Travel Advice

My first school trip ever at age 7: up to la Rhune mountain by old fashioned train along a spectacular track when the weather is clear! So yes I have a soft spot for this very popular tourist attraction ( although avoid the July-August crowds and line ups if possible or go early in the […]

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I recommend to time your visit of Bordeaux with the Bordeaux fête le vin festival taking place every other year. You purchase an inexpensive passport to sample wines from the various wine regions  from a huge selection of wineries as you stroll down from tent to tent, set along the Garonne river. Of course Bordeaux […]

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The most popular destinations on the Basque coast ( Biarritz, St Jean de Luz, San Sebastian)  are located kind of halfway between Paris and Madrid ( about 1h15 long flight) and a 50min long flight from Barcelona. It is easy to get to by train, plane or car. On either side of the border, there […]

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This NY Time article was published in March 2013 but I had missed it. I found a translation of it in France last Summer while reading Le Courrier International that dedicated an entire section to the Basque country and covered what foreign media had to say about the region.  Biarritz and the nearby beach towns, per […]

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Have a read: the observations made in this Globe and Mail article on the influence of social media in today’s back packing travel do not surprise me. One more advice I may add is that those who stay at home, parents and friends, need to support the backpacker`s personal  journey by setting no expectations nor placing […]

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In the late 15th century and 16th century, numerous Jews escaped the harshness of the inquisition in Portugal and Spain to arrive in Bayonne. Among them, there were some chocolate making artisans. With them, they introduced coco beans into the country and brought the techniques of chocolate making. Bayonne became the first chocolate city in […]

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I liked this Globe and Mail article Arrive as a Stranger. Leave as an Expert published in May 7 paper version . It contains travel advice on how to explore a new city in a meaningful fashion. The goal is to  leave with a deeper understanding of the place. The author used Paris as an […]

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Check out this NY Times  article although with a US focus. Some good tips and an interesting promise of a new cell based tracking device coming out soon to know where your luggage is when not in flight.

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The  Vallée d’Ossau ( Ossau valley) is still within the district of the Pyrénées Atlantiques as you get into an area where the Pyrénées look more like the young chain of mountains they are. In the Basque country the height of the Pyrénées is lower, so wonderful challenging hikes can still be enjoyed close to […]

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It is hard to stay on top of the restaurant scenes in a city like Paris. This Globe and Mail  article is a nice update on what might be happening at the moment with  bistros. For English readers, another good source to stay au courant is www.parisbymouth.com, an anglo-PArisian website with contributions from food authors, […]

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