Travel notes:
Travel → France


I was lucky enough to visit France 9 times, mainly from 2014 to 2020, sometimes twice a year. I like this country, but it's fair to call friendship with a Frenchman the real reason for regular trips.

The heart of France is a city of love, romance and, concurrently, the capital is Paris. You always come back from France fat, as they say, like a train, full of passengers. Because it is delicious and most often the boundaries of an adequate amount of sweets consumed in restaurants, as well as foie gras, bread and cheese, are lost. But back to the romance.

The Eiffel Tower is the hallmark of Paris. With its unusual shape, this giant metal structure enchants the whole world. It is worth noting that Gustave Eiffel's work (the tower) was conceived as a temporary structure for the world's fair. In 1889, it was the tallest building on the planet. As you can see, the tower was abandoned and now it attracts many tourists. And migrants from African countries are rushing to please tourists with souvenirs in the form of small copies of the tower, quickly assembling a mobile counter in the form of a magic carpet with goods at the sight of gendarmes (police, that is).

The migrant problem is a huge pain for Europe as a whole. And as for me, this pain would not have happened if, on the one hand, there was a reasonable migration policy, and on the other hand, there was a real desire to help poor social strata in poor countries in the form of both direct financing and the implementation of infrastructure, social, educational and other programs within these countries. But politics is a delicate matter, so we have (or rather have) what is there with a high level of danger and risks to the population due to periodic pogroms, robberies and other violations of law and order. Locals confirm that they feel much safer in Moscow.

There is also the Louvre in Paris, and the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The expositions are not limited to one painting there, the Louvre is really a large and interesting museum, in which it is especially interesting to see how the kings lived. By the way, our domestic emperors lived much more luxurious, confirmation of this can be found in Peterhof. So, for those who do not tolerate the cultural and historical program, there is a French Disneyland.

The best thing for which I am grateful to the streets of Paris is for my marriage proposal to my beloved wife. I will never forget a secret trip to the Tiffany jewelry store, free champagne and an improvement in the category of the purchased diamond along with the volume of the drink consumed. The story of the engagement, perhaps, deserves a separate colorful story, and we are moving on.

In my early travels, I liked snails, frogs and oysters (the latter I later learned to open from shells on my own and purchased a special knife, which now serves as a can opener or a screwdriver). Right now, all these products make me sick. Perhaps when something is popular, expensive and fashionable, the mind allows itself to love it. Moving away from this, in place of rose-colored glasses comes some kind of inner objectivity and a real attitude. My attitude is that it is better to order delicious French beef tartare or Filet de boeuf steak than these controversial delicacies.

France is a wine country. It's easier to say France = wine. And I love wine and that's why I managed to visit dozens of large and small grape farms. This includes the Champagne region (the only de jure historical and actual birthplace of champagne), the Cognac region, Bordeaux and many others. In France, it's fun to drink high-quality and expensive drinks, from a taste, aesthetic and financial point of view. And it's nice to do it both in cafes, sitting on simple outdoor chairs, and in expensive Michelin restaurants.

France is also the sea. There is a famous and fashionable "Cote d'Azur" in the south. As an experienced tourist, I can say that there is, of course, nothing particularly azure there. In Cannes— the stones are like in Sochi. There is a strong wind in Nice. And only in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, closer to Italy, it is expensive, rich and cozy. Again, without the Maldivian white sand and the clear turquoise sea, but it's still good. Somehow in his own way.

I must admit, I have many good memories of this country. And, in secret, just between us, I like it a little more. Italy :)