American dog in france
Here’s my cutie pie boston terrier, lulu, at an excellent crepes place in vence, where we used to live. i’m glad dogs in public is a subject for americans and non-frenchies in general. (does anyone get offended when i say ‘frenchies’? ‘cuz i do say that with an endearment level infused with many hugs :-))
it’s not gross when dogs are in restaurants; doesn’t bother me one bit especially when i see MY dog in the restaurant. it’s only gross when NASTY smelly rotten dogs are in restaurants (which is what i’m guessing people against this issue imagine) and i’ve never seen a stinky, misbehaving dog in public places ever in France.
i always ask if it’s ok to bring lulu inside and i usually get the weirdest look because no one asks, apparently. dogs are simply given more respect and leeway in france. tant mieux! the only places i remember being able to take lulu to (inside somewhere) in the u.s. was…the oh-so-exciting home depot! and of course the pet shops. here, lulu can go shopping in the malls!
the french dogs are much more well-behaved and not only that, they are much cleaner than their american counterparts.
carry le rouet and flexible housing laws
carry le rouet is one of my favorite resort town getaways and relatively unknown to non-frenchies (i think). it’s a photo op par excellence with its pictoresque port, to-die-for ocean (and les calanques) views, and relatively clean air, considering it’s a mere 20 minute drive from marseille. one of the most groovalicious things about being a resident of france is: i now can hear about places to visit other than the places the american tourists invade – then go visit them! i’m not saying the other places aren’t worth visiting; i just love the ‘off the beaten path’ options.
looking at the picture, you’ll see a house (center picture) slightly masked by trees. that house is owned by jean-pierre foucault, beloved host of many shows including the french version of ‘who wants to be millionaire?’ i’m told that the stated law mandated that no housing be built on the land because it’s protected, and would spoil the view of many, many homes in the neighborhood. apparently, jp has managed to pull the right governmental strings (which i’m thinkin is not that hard to do given full pockets).
Baptistery in Fr�jus
Fréjus is a hidden gem undiscovered by many non-Europeans. Situated quite conveniently between Cannes and St. Tropez, it’s often overlooked because of the more glamourous cities along the Riviera. Though, by no means, is it uncrowded during vacation months.
If you’re the type of person who’s in search of a reprieve from the sweaty, suntanned multitudes squished side-by-side along the cramped beaches of the cote d’azur’s glitzy towns, a nice hike in the Fréjus area valley or mountains, or an exploration of the ancient roman ruins or a relaxing stroll through the old town, will be refreshing alternatives.
Fréjus was one of the largest ancient Roman towns in Provence with many remains scattered throughout the town and region. The Episcopal City is definitely worth seeing: cathedral, cloister, palace and the Merovingian Baptistery built in the 5th century. For only 4 euros, you can take a fascinating guided tour (in French) to see the baptistery, carved entrance and informative film about the ceiling motifs – only accessible if you take the tour. Note: dogs are allowed to take the tour for free. tho lulu did not care at all for the introductory film. everyone’s a critic…
CLOSED on Mondays *
Address: 58, Rue de Fleury
Phone: (33) (0)22.214.171.124.30
Directions: The cathedral in the old town.
water sports in the south
If you find yourself in the south of France and want a refreshing reprieve to escape Nice’s masses huddled along the Promenade des Anglais, and the ever-present toxic fumes from diesel fueled cars in nonstop traffic, St. Laurent du Var is just 5 minutes from Nice and a great place for windsurfing. Other recommended places for windsurfing is Estérel, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and the Lérins Islands.
If you’re into ocean canoe kayaking or rowing, the best places are: Antibes, Mandelieu, St-Laurent-du-Var and Cannes. Rowing at Villefranche sur Mer, Mandelieu, Monaco and Menton.
For motorized water activities (Jet-skiing, Water-skiing, parachute rides, etc) things get a little tricky. The driver of any craft with an engine more powerful than 6CV needs a license. If you have a license from a country outside of France, it should be ok but check this out anyway, just in case!
For scuba diving: contact the Comité Départemental de Plongée
(Alpes-Maritimes) Tel: 04 93 61 26 07
Equipment rentals (windsurfing, canoes, kayaks and boats) and advice/information are available at one of the many sailing centers (Stations Voiles).
OH. Take note of the flags on the beach! GREEN means it’s pretty safe and there’s a lifeguard somewhere (hopefully), ORANGE means it’s dangerous but there’s a lifeguard somewhere (maybe). YELLOW means that the water is POLLUTED so please, definitely ask someone about the flag colors if you’re color blind!!!!
Saint Laurent du Var
Park for free at “CAP 3000,” a mall then walk to the beach from there, then go shopping later or grab a pastry at the galleries lafayettes bakery (it’s pretty good).
(33) (0)4 93 74 77 05
Ligue Cote d’Azur de Voile
Grasse: Perfume Capital
One of the several things France knows how to do the best, is perfumes. they’ve had quite a bit of practice at this industry too: 200 years.
Known as the perfume capital of the world, grasse is a short day trip from cannes (15 min drive) or nice (30 min drive).
When you vist the fragonard perfume factory & museum, housed in a 17th century villa you’ll get quite a noseful but the guided tour was informative, free and allowed dogs (which of course, is VERY important in these travel tips)…
Here’s a picture of “the nose,” taking a coffee break. they say, these mad olfactory scientists must train for 10 years to fully develop the abiility to mix, match and identify the correct essenses to create a great perfume.
At the end of the guided tour of fragonard, you’re strategically taken to the perfume store. if you don’t want to buy anything, that’s fine; you can, however, ask to smell samples of their perfumes and it’s fun. try to decifer each essence in one perfume.
The room is filled with a lot of extremely potent smells, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, i wouldn’t recommend staying too long.
23 boulevard Fragonard, 06130 Grasse
Musée Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Bvd Fragonard and, Route de Cannes, “les Quatre Chemins”
(33) 493 36 44 65
OH! To capture an imaginary olfactory medievel grasse experience (and intrigue) without having to leave the comfort of your home, read Perfume : The Story of a Murderer (Vintage International) by patrick susskind.