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6767thomsonalfresco.co.ukRegional Information - FrancePlaces Of Interest & Things To SeeMonet's Giverny Garden Giverny is a small village where Claude Monet spentthe last 43 years of his life producing countlesspaintings of his gardens including hisfamous -Waterlillies.You can see reproductions of his finest works, aswellas some of the spectacular gardens andlillypondsthat inspired the famous impressionist painter.Bayeux TapestryBayeux is an old town which was sparedbombardment in World War II.Home to the magnificent 11th century BayeuxTapestry. This tapestry is 70 metres long and accountsthe 1066 invasion of England. Made between 1070 and 1080, the tapestry is housedin the Centre Guillaume le Conquérant, close tothecathedral.CaenCaen was mostly rebuilt after intense bombardmentin 1944. It now boasts a large cityand river port andis the gateway to the Calvados region, well known forit's oysters. Caenoffers many places to visit, includingMuséede Normandie, with exhibits covering thehistory of Normandy and remains from the Bronze,Neolithic and Iron Ages. Also Mémorial-Musée de laPaix presenting a view of life during World War II, theremains of William the Conqueror's fortress as well asnot one but two abbeys!RouenHistoric Rouen is the capital of Normandy - whereJoan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431 anditnowhouses The Joan of Arc Museum. There isanimpressive Gothic cathedral and the old citycontains around 2000 half-timbered houses whichlinethe narrow streets.ValognesWell worth a trip to visit the cider museums, andyoucan indulge yourself with tastings of theliqueurs andapple brandy.La Cote Fleurie - The Floral CoastThe Port of Honfleur is a picturesque seaside townwith its colourful harbour and lively atmosphereanditattracted many impressionist painters in the19thcentury. There are fine stretches of sand hereand it is home to a small naval museum MuséedelaMarine.Deauville is the Queen of the Coast, known as theMonte Carlo of the North, with its stylish resort andattractive wide promenade and yachting marina.Withfirst class hotels, a casino, a beach and tworacecourses there is no lack of excitement and thebest restaurants are located off the PromenadedesPlanches.CoutancesThe medieval hilltop town of Coutances, hastworemarkable sights, a Gothic cathedral andastunning landscape garden.D-Day LandingsThe coastline of towering cliffs and beaches isfamousas the location of the 1944 D-Day Landings. There arefive D-Day beaches around the bay of the Seine, eachremembered by its code name. The landing beachesof Omaha andUtah make a fascinating trip. AtOmaha Beachthe American infantry division lostover3,000 men before midday on 6th June 1944. Other D-Day beaches are: Utah, Gold, Juno andjustwest of Ouistreham and the British SwordBeach.Fun For All The FamilyTheme ParksParc Astérix - (North of Paris) has one of the mostimpressive roller coasters in Europe. Why not minglewith the comic characters Astérix and Obélix, andenjoy the Menhir Express log flume. Cerza ZooGreat for the kids, Cerza is home to over 250animals. ClécyMusée du Chemin de Fer Miniature - The biggestminiature railway in Europe.Luc-sur-MerWhere you can see a skeleton of a whale which wasbeached there ninety years ago!CherbourgLa Cité de la Mer - The largest aquarium in Europe.ArromanchesA circular theatre where you can learn about D-Day and the battle of Normandy througharchivefootage.Beaches to visit:Normandy is home to some of the finest beachesinFrance. There are sandy beaches at Fermanville,StPair-sur-Mer and along the Cherbourg peninsula.Many beaches are accredited with the European BlueFlag award, these include Barneville-Carteret, Dieppe,Les Pieux, Fecamp, Gouville and Colleville-Montgomery.Things To DoThe Cider Route - a scenic trail through the regionsapple orchards. This is a signposted routethrough theheart of the Norman cider making country.Golfing - Normandy is a golfer's paradise with many18-hole courses. These are varied with acombinationof links, parklands and stadium-style courses.Local Specialities. Cream - Normandy is the land of dairy produce,with cream the base for dishes à la Normande.. A regional speciality is fish poached in ciderandcream.. Calvados - Apple brandy - known as 'Le TrouNormand'.For a list of events in Normandy visit:www.normandiememoire.comNormandy

68Regional Information - France68Parisand the Champagne RegionPlaces Of Interest & Things To SeeIle de FranceOften forgotten by those visiting the capital, thefascinating region of Ile de France surrounds theromantic city of Paris. Walk in the footsteps of famousartists, stroll through pretty forests and villages, orbecharmed by the long list of fascinating culturalsites and palaces, such as Versailles, Fontainebleauand Chantilly.ChantillyMainly associated with horses and host to manyimportant racing events, Chantilly is a small eleganttown 40km north of Paris. The château, both romanticand graceful, is open to visitors all year, althoughunlike the beautiful park, not daily.VersaillesThis beautiful château stands in all its glory,welcoming visitors through its doors and into itsstunning grounds (closed on Mondays). 23kmsouthwest of Paris, the Palace of Versailles wasdeveloped through the centuries as the epitomeofroyal indulgence.FontainebleauSituated in the middle of a forest, the chateau atFontainebleau (closed on Tuesday) was built in the12thCentury, effortlessly evolving with the centuries.ParisWith so much to do and see, Paris is a vibrant city.Highlights include...Eiffel TowerThe Eiffel tower is the very symbol of Paris; it is 320mhigh and is made with over 6,000 tonnes of iron. Itwas built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of theRevolution. Three levels of the tower are open tothepublic so you can get the lift to all platforms or,toavoid queues, take the escalator to the 1st and2ndplatform.Arc de TriompheWalk down the Champs Elysées and you won't missthe Arc de Triomphe, the largest traffic roundabout inthe world. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806to commemorate his imperial victories. You can walkup the 284 steps to the viewing platform which is wellworth the climb for views of the surrounding area.Notre DameThe Notre Dame Cathedral is a true masterpieceofFrench Gothic architecture and dates back fromthe13th Century. It has spectacular stained glasswindows, stunning interiors and the famoussculptured gargoyles.Sacré CoeurThe Basilica of the Sacred Heart has some of thecity's most impressive views. You can climb the 234spiral steps to the top where you can get a bird's eyeview of up to 30km away on a clear day. It was builtin1873 with contributions from Parisian Catholics. Musée du LouvreThe museum building was built as a fortress duringthe early 13th Century but was turned into a nationalmuseum in 1793. It houses many famous worksincluding Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.Pompidou Centre Quite a unique building built in 1977, the PompidouCentre is a museum built out of glass and steel.Ithouses works by Matisse, Picasso and Miró andPollock amongst other artists and street performersentertain visitors in the Piazza outside.Fun For All The FamilyDisneyland®Resort Paris Twenty miles to the east of Paris and a million milesaway from reality, the theme park incorporatesswashbuckling pirates, fairytale favourites, runawaytrains, shops, and a daily parade along Main StreetUSA. You can experience the thrills of a high speedrollercoaster or take a walk around the stunninggardens. Watch out for the superb night-timeextravaganzas. La Villette Park, ParisThe highlight of this 35 hectare park is the Children'sScience Village, it is split into three age groupswherechildren can take part in imaginative scienceexperiments, and there is also a unique electricityexhibition. Cité des EnfantsThis is a science and nature interactive museumspecifically designed for children 3-11 years old. Anaquarium contains 200+ species of fish, crustaceans,mollusks, and seaweed. Nearby is the Cité de laMusique, a complex devoted entirely to music andhome of the Conservatoire National de Musique.Grévin Wax MuseumThe museum contains not only life sized figures offamous people, but also historical scenes from Frenchhistory. Children will enjoy the 'fun house' mirrors thatdistort their reflections.Parc AsterixThis unique amusement park has the theme oftheAstérix comic characters of Gauls and Romanconquerors. Astérix is the hero and has a sidekicknamed Obelix. In addition to the rides and exhibits inthis adventure theme park there are activities for thewhole family to enjoy that will fill more than a day.The Rue de Paris mimics a medieval square hometoacrobats, jugglers and restaurants.Things To DoRiver Cruises - You can travel along the River Seineadmiring the views and taking in the city.City Tours - You can catch one of the open top busesto geta quick tour of the whole city.Musée Vivant du ChevalVisit the amazing Horse Museum located at thestables ofChantilly château.GivernyNear the town of Vernon, outside Paris itself, you'llfind thehome where Claude Monet once lived calledGiverny. See the artist's inspiration for yourself; thelittle pond, Japenese bridge with the azalea andwaterlilies.Local Specialities. Parisian cafés serve the likes of tea, coffee, simplesnacks and meals such as salads, filled sandwichrolls and omelettes.. Shellfish and snails . Foie Gras and rillettes - similar to pâté. Andouillette - tripe sausage. Crème Caramel. Grillades - grilled fish and meatsthomsonalfresco.co.uk