What I’ve been doing this week – finalising my itinerary for France

Hi Frugalistas!

In one of my recent posts, I spoke about my upcoming trip to Paris, and how I was going to make a familiar place feel new all over again.  In this post, I’m outlining the rest of my upcoming French trip – which will be brand new!

First of all, it’s off to Reims in Champagne, where I will be the guest of Reims Tourism.  As well as being the Champagne capital of the universe, Reims is a very historic city in its own right.  Its ancient Cathedral is where French kings were crowned amongst other things.  I’ll also be getting into some of the local food scene (of course), so look out for my pictures on Instagram as I go – as well as upcoming posts here on the blog.  Then, purely in the name of research of course, there will be a visit to one of the famous Champagne caves.  Which one?  Well, that you will have to wait and see!

Reims Cathedral  Photo:  wikipedia.org

Reims Cathedral
Photo: wikipedia.org

Even though I’ll be staying in Reims for a couple of nights, it can also be done as an easy day trip from Paris, so I’ll also be working out what to see, and what to do for Frugalistas who have limited time and a thirst for champagne in its native habitat!

Beautiful Colmar Photo:  wikipedia.org

Beautiful Colmar
Photo: wikipedia.org

Then it’s onto Alsace, to experience a very different part of France.  Alsace has a rich architectural, food and social culture because of its history – it’s been alternatively German and French over the centuries.  Having also travelled extensively in Germany previously, I’ll be keen to look at the “Frenchness”, the “Germaness” and the unique Alsatian culture.  While I’ll be staying in Colmar, I’m keen to get out and about and visit the picture postcard villages on the Routes de Vins.  As the name suggests, yes, there will be more “research” into the local wines which, like Champagne are world reknowned.  As well as wine, Alsace is well known for its unique cuisine that combines both French and German influences, so yes, I will be researching that too!  I’m fortunate to be staying at a hotel with a good restaurant, so I’m looking forward to savouring the local delicacies, and hopefully also chatting to the chef about what makes Alsace cuisine so special and so unique.

Alsace vineyards Photo:  wikipedia.org

Alsace vineyards
Photo: wikipedia.org

The final part of my French odyssey is an alas, brief visit to Lyon.  As I’m only able to fit in a single night I’ve decided to limit my experience to the old town, and yes, you guessed it to food!  Lyon is one of the great French culinary cities, and I can’t wait to get stuck into savouring the delights of the local bouchons (bistros) that have their own unique culture and cuisine.

So, if you happen to see a barrel shaped woman rolling onto the plane to Istanbul on the 12th October, it’s likely to be me!

In a first for me, you’ll be able to join me along the way via Instagram, or on Twitter @jokarnaghan1 or follow at #frugalfirstclassfrance.  Do follow along, and enjoy some serious food porn, some glorious French culture and history and fabulous scenery.  All my favorite things about France!

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10 Comments on “What I’ve been doing this week – finalising my itinerary for France”

  1. Carolyn @ Holidays to Europe 24/09/2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Wow, Jo! Your trip sounds wonderful. I visited Alsace in July this year and fell seriously in love! Make sure you visit some of the fairy tale villages on the wine route – I particularly loved Riquewihr, Hunawihr and Ribeauville, but I’m sure they are all gorgeous.

    Have a glass of the local Reisling and a slice of Tarte Flambé for me!

    Bon voyage.

  2. Pretraveller 24/09/2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Jo, isn’t it exciting when you are in the final stages of planning a trip! Hope you enjoy your time in France, it is such a great place to visit.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 24/09/2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Yes, I’m pleased the way it’s all come together. I’m really looking forward to sharing my journey, and using Instagram for the time on a trip.

      Thanks for your kind wishes Anne

  3. Lucy Dodsworth 24/09/2013 at 8:48 pm #

    I love Paris and Reims but haven’t made it to the Alsace yet – it’s on the cards for 2014 as I’m a huge Riesling fan so look forward to reading about how you get on.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 24/09/2013 at 8:59 pm #

      Thanks Lucy. I’m really looking forward to the Riesling too. I believe it’s quite different in style to how we make it here in Australia

  4. holidayaddict 24/09/2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Love the idea of “researching” wine! Reims sounds lovely. And I’ll look forward to hearing about Lyon. I definitely think I need to give France some more attention in the near future.

  5. Pamela 29/09/2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Look forward to reading your advice about day trips from Paris to Reims and a visit to one of the champagne houses as we’ll be in Paris again next year and would very much like to include that on our itinerary.
    Lyon is such a beautiful city – we revisited in 2012 after many years and had a magic day. We just took an early tgv there and hired a taxi to take us on a little tour around the main sights. The driver was wonderful, gave us great advice on things to see. The old town and the presqu’ile area are beautiful. We took the funicular up to the top – the basilica is wonderful and the views magnificent. Also had a superb lunch and wine in the old town. At the end of the day another taxi back to the station and the tgv to Paris. It’s a long distance of course – the weather in Lyon was fabulous even though in Paris it had been overcast and quite cool – but on the tgv the time passes so quickly and pleasantly.
    Have a great trip!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 30/09/2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks for the great advice re Lyon – much appreciated! I’m a bit disappointed to only be able to fit in one night this time. I’m planning a full post on how to do a day trip to Reims from Paris. Even though I have the luxury of a two night stay I’ll condense the best of what I see into a day trip-sized package for those with less time, or a less convenient itinerary.

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