Archive for May, 2010

Medieval Villages of France

May 30, 2010

Some people come to France for the Wine. Others for the food. The celebrated restaurants. Others make the journey to make journeys. Cycling. Hiking. Walking. But those who come for France’s History discover an embarrasement of riches in the Medieval Villages of France.

Here, in the buildings that remain, the churches, cathedrals, and artifacts, the everpresent atmosphere of the Middle Ages is invoked. Not living through these times, but simply looking back at them, through the rose-colored glasses of our dreams and imaginations(aided by Hollywood, of course) we have no real perception of daily life – “Way back then.” For the rich, naturally, it was as you would expect. “No worries.” But for the poor, the great majority, it was virtually nothing but worries! Brought about by the rich, who, in any era, ride roughshod over the poor.

The Bubonic Plague did’nt help. Sweeping Europe twice in 100 years, killing tens of thousands. Mostly those who were most at risk in unsanitary conditions. – You guessed it – The poor.

But there were some positive elements of life in the Medieval Villages of France.

French Guitar Legend

May 23, 2010

Although he usually shares his Senic, Culinary and Historic “Treasures of France”with us, this time film-maker and French resident, Christopher Strong(the”Bicycle Gourmet“) introduces us to a human treasure.

And, a musical one at that. Pierre Bensusan.  A new name for me.  And I suspect for most people. Although, as the Bicycle Gourmet points out – Pierre is not a household name – for lovers of acoustic guitar music, Pierre is definitely “the Cat’s Pajamas.”

He has the ability to make one guitar sound like many. And for the past 30 years he’s toured the world. Leaving a lasting, and positive legacy. Spoken of in reverent tones by other  guitarists – electric and acoustic –  Pierre remains humble and approchable.

You can read the whole story at French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet.

French Cycling – What do You Need?

May 18, 2010

What do you need for French Cycling? – other than a good bike? Well if you’ve never “been there -done that”, there are three options :

1. Throw caution to the winds…..

Just do what you feel/take the advice of well meaning friends who have also never been there. But have “heard things.” (Lawyers call that “circumstantial evidence.”)

2. Read Travel Magazines…

Make a list of everything they say you need for the trip of a lifetime and start shopping.

3. Listen to an Expert…

Somebody who has not only “been there-done that”, but also has the tee shirt! Because he’s still there. Still doing it.

Such an expert is the French Cycling, “Bicycle Gourmet.” After years of surfing the backroads of France filming his “Treasures of France” series, he’s overqualified to advise you on what you really need.

And in his post – French Cycling -Part Two, he lays it all out. Simple. To the point. No fluff. Just solid content. In is usual down to earth style.

French Cycling Vacation

May 17, 2010

Cycling through France as a “vacation experience” has never been at the top of my “To Do Before I Die” list. But, after reading the latest lyrical waxings on the subject by the Bicycle Gourmet, I just might add it .

Like most of us, I rode a bike as a youngster and teen, but since that first driver’s liscence, bicycle travel has been a pleasant, but distant memory. However, when you visit France, which I have, by car, you can’t help but be impressed by the incredible beauty of the country. Not to mention the genuinely friendly people. Particularly in the country.

And while not everyone speaks English/American, most locals know enough to get you pointed in the right direction. Add to this, the food, the wine and the history, and you’ve got a country not to be missed, no matter how you travel through it.

The French Cycling Gourmet makes a pretty convincing case for selecting the bicycle as your mode of travel in his latest post – French Cycling.

French Travel Advisor

May 7, 2010

Although he would probably object to being called a “French Travel Advisor”, Christopher Strong, better known as the French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet, does give us tons of inside info on all things French.

After, as he puts it, “a zillion plus” years of cycling all over the French Country backroads, the Bicycle Gourmet certainly has “tasted the land and the people, as well as the food and wine.”

If you’re looking for insider info on anything French, chances are, he can point you in the right direction. For instance – how about a region that’s warm, but not hot? With fresh local food and wine. Friendly people. And, not overrun with tourists?

Sound good to you too? Get the Bicycle Gourmet’s advice HERE