France is the most visited country in Europe, it is broadly diverse, with a varied climate. It can
be just as wet and rainy as
especially in the north, but in general has a more agreeable climate than the
It's a great place to go for the summer as it's so close to Britain, and those who live in the
south of England
often hop over on the ferry or the Channel Tunnel just for the afternoon!
France is one of the countries I have visited most often (except for England, but that doesn't count!)
For as many times as I've been, you'd think I'd have some better photos. It can be considerably
more expensive than Britain, especially when the Euro is strong, but good deals can be had on crates
of beer in the hypermarkets. I like how different it is, yet similar, for being so close to home.
Mont-Saint-Michel on the border between Normandy and Brittany, was built at the command of a vision
seen by a middle-aged monk. It is a
strangely tall piece of land just offshore in the Golfe de St-Malo,
connected by a causeway. The Atlantic Ocean disappears over the horizon at low tide, and comes racing back
in, covering the causeway and creating an island. Nowadays there is a permanent connection to land,
but you are warned not to leave your car parked after tea time!
The Château de Brissac, a very large mansion in the north of France, near Angers. It was rebuilt in
1611 in its current form.
Fougeres is in Brittany, northern France. It is like many other towns in the region, very old and well
fortified. In the picture you can see the ancient walls which guarded the city.
The village of Conques (pronounced Konk) in the Massif Central region of southern central France. I
visited Conques with my rugby team from
on our tour of France in 1997. We didn't win.
The southern city of Nice, with a view along the Promenade D'Anglais, down at the pebbly beach. This
picture has an interesting diffusion effect of the streetlamps just out of shot, through the green
of the palm trees. The Negresco Hotel is a Nice institution, and very fancy.
This is a shot of a campsite we stayed at in Martigne near Dieppe in the north of France, in 1995.
My Mum and Dad thought it was very peaceful, which it was, but that to me translated to being a bit
dull. They did however have windsurfing on the lake - clearly a winner with conditions like these!
Another side of France is the massive skiing industry, which offers some of the world's best slope-swooshing.
In 2010 we spent a week in the resort of Val Thorens, the highest in France and part of Les
Trois Vallées, the largest continuous ski area on earth.
The next valley along from Val Thorens is Meribel, with its own resort town. It's a bit of a commute
to get over here from Val Thorens, but not so much as the slog over to Courcheval, in the third of
The Three Valleys. You have to make sure you time it right to get back, or you'll miss the last chair
and get stranded in the wrong village, as I painfully learned.
Chairlift at the summit of The Three Valleys, two miles or over 3200 metres in altitude. Val Thorens
itself is the highest village in Europe.
Spectacular view of the beautiful French Alps, as seen from the summit of Les Trois Vallées high above
the clouds. The last time I was up this high was at the top of