France: On The Roadby Steven Cronin
Paris, the city of love and a thousand other clichés, still holds a certain mystic. But no matter how many written words this great city has commanded - however familiar this town may appear - Paris will always remain an enigma, a magnet for millions of visitors from around the world.
Paris carries an enchantment that you cannot always put your finger on. We perceive Parisians as chic and stylish, forever setting the trend.
But there is more to this country than just its capital. France is home to over 60 million people, including many of North African descent.
One of the things that keeps France great is its attention to detail: the back street shop that sells 30 varieties of croissant, the creaseless department store bags to carry home your latest in fashionable attire, the delightful little chocolates that accompany your coffee on one of the street corner cafes.
The French language itself conjures up magic and mystery, adding to the romance of being in an alien land.
The modern France bears aspects of foreign influence. Alongside the chic boutiques and stylish cafes sit far-western heavyweights such as McDonalds. But France will forever remain French. Chic and panache will always prevail.
Provided you can steer clear of the boy racers who treat the roads as racing tracks, France will satisfy even the most ardent explorers.
When visiting France, the first place on most people's itineraries is Paris, and the fabulous Louvre. Whilst Napoleon endeavoured to conquer Europe, his armies busied themselves collecting the spoils from their defeated hosts.
When the Louvre was built in 1793, these trophies were exhibited in the new museum for the whole of France to witness.
Today the Louvre has been given a modern day makeover. A magnificent glass pyramid embraces the museum making it instantly recognisable around the world.
If you can endure the crowds, some of the world's most celebrated art can be witnessed. These include 'Winged Victory' and the 'Mona Lisa' with her legendary smile.
For those wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of France's busy cities, the town of Chamonix offers the perfect contrast to city life. Located in one of the spectacular valleys of the French Alps, Chamonix offers picture postcard views, dominated by centuries old glaciers and the imposing summit of Mount Blanc.
Just one of the many reasons for France being the world's number one tourist destination.
About the Author
Steven Cronin owns the City Breaks website featuring city break special offers from luxury hotels to budget accommodations. For more information please visit http://www.sargas.co.uk
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