Thursday, April 21, 2011

Armchair Travelling

I have always loved to travel and, up-to-now, I still find it wonderful. But the last couple of trips have shown my husband and myself that we won’t be able to do it forever. It gets a little more difficult with each passing year; although my mother was still going strong in her 80s.

Just in case the time comes when we must content ourselves with armchair travelling, I’m slowly obtaining a collection of travel guides, which, aside from the internet, may just be the next best thing. In that regard, Amazon sent me a lovely Fodor guide for reviewing this month and I would like to pass along my thoughts on the book to my readers.

It’s “Fodor’s Guide to “Provence & the French Riviera.” I highly recommend it. Here is my review:

“Several years ago my husband I spent two glorious weeks exploring the southeastern area of France. From the Pont du Gard near Nimes, to the lemon center of Menton, next to the Italian border, the beauty and charm of the area enthralled us. Reading Fodor’s beautiful new guidebook entitled “Provence & the French Riviera” brings back all the excitement of a market day in a village like Gordes, or looking down at Monte Carlo from the heights of the Grande Corniche.

As much as we crammed into that two-week period, I wish I’d had this guidebook at the time. It shows us that there is so much more we actually missed that we are now ready to get on the internet and start booking our next trip.
I love how the book starts out with two pages of Top Experiences and then goes on to suggest several tours planned for those with special interests. For example, there is one called “The First Timer–The Best Two-Week Tour” which gives one two days at all the essential sites. Another lovely itinerary called “The Modern Art Route” takes you to see paintings by 20th century artists like Picasso and Matisse.
Of course, at the beginning they tell you what their ratings mean. The top rating is called Fodor’s Choice, which is indicated by orange stars throughout the book while black stars highlight sights, restaurants and properties they consider “Highly Recommended.”

The book is then broken down into areas: each one explaining the top cities to visit; top sights to see; top attractions to experience; along with things like Festivals, Nightlife and the Arts, Shopping, etc.

As usual in a Fodor Guide, there are beautiful full colour pictures and, with Province and the Cote d’Azur being such an amazing area to see, they have outdone themselves with these. Even if you can never visit this wonderful area of France, just reading the book will make you feel like you have experienced some of its delights.”