France is on the western edge of Europe, and lies within the northern temperate zone. It covers 551,500 km2, about 1000 km from north to south and from east to west.
People come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended, and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, including Europe’s most popular, Disneyland Paris. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, windswept Atlantic beaches, the snowy resorts of the French Alps, the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian’s dream that is Normandy.
I have visited France several times:
- In 1973 I drove around Europe with a friend. We came from Monaco, stopped in Nice and Paris, and continued to Belgium.
- In 1980 I flew to Paris to meet a friend, and we took the train all the way to Athens for a vacation in the Greek islands.
- In 2000 we arrived by train in Nice from Italy to visit friends in Lorgue in Provence.
- In 2001 we drove by car from Amsterdam through Germany to visit Disneyland Paris.
- I have also had a few transit stops in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
Disneyland Paris – Euro Disney – July 2001
We bought a 2-day ticket to the park, and spent allmost 2 full days there. Not the best weather – a little rain nad some sunshine. We had lunch in the Blue Lagoon restaurant.
Eiffel Tower, Paris – July 2001
Unfortunately it was raining when we visited the Eiffel tower. At least there was no queue, and we did not have to wait long for the elevators. Not the best view from the observation deck – but we ‘have been there’.
(I visited the Eiffel tower first time in 1973).
Louvre Museum – July 2001
The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument. It is located on the Right Bank of the Seine. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters. In 2019 the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art – Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings.
We visited the Egyptian collection, among the world’s largest, comprising over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th century AD.
Montmartre, Paris – July 2001
After driving up the Champs-Élysées avenue and around the Triumph Arc we headed for Montmartre and the Sacreceur basilica. Of course it rained here too, and it was rather cold and windy. We had lunch at a small restaurant before admiring the view of Paris from Montmartre.