Bonjour France 2018
Last year, for our Bonjour France tour 2018 edition, we explored the North Eastern corner of France.
We started with an extension week in Paris, Versailles and Giverny.
From there, our travellers took a train to Lille where we stayed in the Carlton, right in the city center. While in Lille, we toured the old city, the citadelle, the museum of fin arts. We enjoyed an estaminet dinner and a crêperie dinner.
L'Empire des Roses - Behind the scenes - Courtesy of Louvre-Lens
Towards the end of the stay we rented a car and left for the North Coast. On way, we stopped at the Lens satellite of Le Louvre museum. Some of us toured the permanent expo about human history, others the temporary show about Iran, staged by Christian Lacroix.
We arrived in our rental near Dunkerque, where we stayed 3 days. During this time up North, we visited Dunkerque, the WWII site of Eperlecques, we drove along the Côte D'Opale to enjoy the amazing sites of Cap Gris Nez and Cap Blanc Nez. We went to the market and prepared some delicious French food.
On our way to Champagne, we stopped in Cassel, which had just been elected "French People's Favourite Village". We also stopped in Amiens, Veillers-Bretonneux to remember WWI.
Arriving in Reims, we settled in our city center apartment before discovering the center of Reims. In Reims, we toured the Champagne country, has a tour and tasting of Ayala Champagne, walked to a bunker from WWI, visited the Cathedral and learnt about the war. We went to the markets and cooked some more.
After Champagne, we headed to the less known region of Ardennes. In Charleville-Mézières we stayed in a tiny B&B and went to Arthur Rimbaud's home and the Ardennes museum.
The following day we headed to the extreme end of the tip of Ardennes, which is surrounded by Belgium. On way we made several stops to discover beautiful sites and view points and learn about the history of the region and its many castles.
In the Pointe des Ardennes, we stayed in a lovely chateau by the Meuse river. We visited Leffe Abbaye and learnt about the beer in Dinant, Belgium.We enjoyed a private tour of the Château d'Hierge and a private show of collection of pictures by Christian Galichet, with the artist himself.
We then headed to Sedan, where we stayed in the medieval castle and celebrated a birthday.
Finally, we drove to Troyes the Southern most city of Champagne. There we enjoyed strolls in the medieval streets, tasted delicious food in a Michelin recommended restaurant, visited the bonneterie museum and did some shopping.
It was finally time to catch a train to Paris and say good bye to our traveller, after 3 weeks full of memories.