Have you been to Paris? Have you already explored the Riviera? The Bordeaux wine country awaits, and what better way to tour this historic region of France than with a slow-moving barge cruise. Rather than rushing around on a bus tour, you'll glide through the inland waterways of southwest France, giving you a unique perspective on this scenic part of the world.
The first fingers of dawn kiss the bell tower of the Basilica of St. Sernin, coaxing a faint pink glow from its brick façade. As the sun arcs across the sky, the cathedral and its host city of Toulouse take on a warm rosy hue that deepens with each passing hour. Dusk brings an ethereal glow, a welcoming warmth emanating from structures built centuries ago. Such is life in Toulouse, the famed Pink City of France.
If you only think of salad dressing when you hear the word, "Roquefort," think again. Roquefort, offers much more than just cheese-making. The town of around 700 residents is set in the rolling hills of the Midi Pyrenees region of south-central France, and features dramatic hiking trails, historic chateaux and remnants from French history, dating back to the Roman era.
We just got back from a fantastic trip to France and I fell in love with this lovely country all over again! We visited some wonderful UNESCO sites near Toulouse. One of my favorite visits was Albi. Located in south-central France about 50 miles northeast of Toulouse, is a quiet town of around 52,000 residents. Though less well-known to North American tourists than many other towns in southern France, Albi is steeped in Medieval history and makes an ideal day stop on a barge tour of the region.
One way to immerse yourself in French culture is to sample the many flavors of its cuisine. An even better way is learning how those delectable dishes are created. What could possibly top that scenario? Combine a luxury all-inclusive barge cruise through the canals of France with cooking classes focusing on that areas regional dishes. Learn to select the proper ingredients and then turn them into artistic creations to please both the eye and the palate, all under the watchful eye of an experienced French chef.