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South France - A place where time stands still

I have visited France a couple of times before but its mostly been to Paris and other cities... I was told the French country side and wine regions was a must see by many. My love for wine... although I am very partial to Californian wines (Napa Valley is my absolute fav) ... the French burgundy's and Bordeaux's have been quite a favourite too. So, this trip was specifically to cover the entire south Rhone belt... get a feel for the place, try the local cuisines and of course taste lots and lots of wine! My journey started and ended in Paris... it's your first stop when you fly in internationally. Also, no trip to France would be complete without Paris for me. Paris is among the top five favourite cities for me. The trains are so well connected that it makes your planning that much easier. Just to save time I took a flight from Paris to Bordeaux first. Bordeaux region of France is quite vast and there's so many smaller regions within. The wine and the food here were a perfect start to my culinary trip! After trying the wines here and at Saint Emilion I headed to Lyon. Lyon is your quintessential beautiful French country side for me. The lavender fields were a reason enough for me to make a trip this far out. I still remember the smell in the air when I first got out of the car. The vast meadows look so calming that you really wonder if time stands still around here. And it goes without saying I explored anything and everything to do with lavender here... from honeys to jam to roasted chicken with lavender essence to cakes and ice creams... lavender trumps it all

I tried my hand in a cooking class here and enjoyed the lazy afternoon under the French sun. The blissful lazy days of Lyon ended with me heading to Dijon next. Dijon and Burgundy region are your biggest producers of white grape... hence white wine. My biggest myth got broken here... I really thought Burgundy as the name suggests is a red wine region...in fact it's the biggest producer of white grape... chardonnays and pinot noir. Burgundy also is famous for having the greatest number of Michelin star restaurants! And I dove right into food haven here. It's here in the streets of Dijon that I found tiny bookstores that sold French poetry postcards...my favourite buy from this trip... I found a very sweet sales woman who very patiently read out each one and translated all of them to help me choose. I always tell anyone who asks me...what makes me choose where to go or what to do or what to see...yes I do research like any of you...but the best advice I can give is to follow your instincts...I love to just walk around where ever I go...it lets you build a relationship with the place...makes you feel alone and makes you feel that much more connected...After spending time exploring this region I headed back to Paris....

Paris...an eternal love story in my head... The city oozes romance... the Eifel tower is and always will be love at first sight for me. Not sure what about this city makes me feel like I am living an old classic love story but its worth it every single time. The people, the food, the beautiful architecture...the river that so gracefully runs through the city...and did I mention food! I literally wander around aimlessly in Paris with no set agenda... that's the best way to experience the city. And when the sun goes down the city lights up like a new bride... it's even more beautiful. France! U will always have my heart...and my tummy!! Until next time... Au Revoir!


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