Monday, March 21, 2011

Bienvenue en France!

Bonjour, mes amis!

On Friday, March 18, one of western Europe's oldest countries has become part of our Pico world. FRANCE is finally here for all of us to enjoy, MAGNIFIQUE!!!

L'Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a renowned avenue in Paris, France. It is well-known for its cinemas, cafés, and luxurious boutiques. Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous (and prestigious) streets in the world!

Strolling down l'avenue Catero and I enjoyed breathing in the afternoon air as we viewed the beautiful Romanesque architecture that adorns both sides of the boulevard.

We took in the many museums that Champs-Élysées leads you to - the most famous of which is Musée du Louvre (the Louvre Museum), where you can find the timeless and very famous 16th-century portrait of the Mona Lisa by the unmistakable Leonardo da Vinci.

On our tour of Champs-Élysées the many churches, cathedrals and châteaux were part of our must see landmarks.

Along the way we came upon a variety of classic French boutiques and shops where French fashion, interior and a variety of traditional food and drinks can be purchased.

Vocabulary for shopping:
Here are the French words for common types of shop to help you on your shopping trip around the Champs-Élysées:

In English:In French:Phonetic pronounciation:
Clothing shopMagasin de vêtementsmag-a-zann de vet-mon
Grocery storeÉpicerieeh-pee-siree
Pastry shopPatisseriepat-ee-seurie
Book shopLibrairielee-brair-ree
Wine merchantsMarchand de vinsmar-shone de van

Now what seems to be L'Arc de Triomphe (the Arch of Victory), complements our new area. This beautiful historic piece is just one of the many impressive monuments that France has to offer.

Other famous destinations in France:
Make sure you stop by these beautiful and historic spots if you ever get to visit the real France
  • The Maison Carrée: the best-preserved Roman temple in western Europe.
  • Notre Dame de Paris: an important example of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.
  • The Panthéon: an example of Roman religous architecture; home to the gods and burial place of historic figures.
  • Basilique du Sacré-Cœur: a Roman Catholic church that serves as a political, cultural and religious.

After a long day exploring this new area, Catero and I were ready to take a break and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many café, restaurant and bistros. Dinning al fresco was superb. We enjoyed watching the many exciting pedestrians enjoying their stroll down the busy avenue.

Food and Drink Facts:
  • In France, beer is considered a luxury and expensive to purchase. However, wine is usually given free at most restaurants for lunch and dinner.
  • The French love cheese with their wine.
  • The country produces over 400 types of cheese, but you can find over 1,000 different varieties of cheeses in grocery stores.
  • Hot chocolate is a popular drink in France, though they like to drink it from bowls and dip various types of bread into the liquid.
(Source: 20-20 Site: Fun Facts About France)

If you want to travel FAST within the city limits, The Paris Metro (or Metropolitain) will be your best option.

This underground transportation will transfer you in a flash from one side of the city to the other. With its 300 stations (384 stops) and sixteen lines all over Paris you will be able to cover allot of ground in no time.

Finally, who can ignore the presence the most recognizable structures in France and the whole world, La Tour Eiffel! Standing tall and proud against the backdrop, Picos now can appreciate the tallest building in Paris. Built in 1889, this lattice tower stands about the same height as an 81-storey building and its the most-visited paid monument in the world.

Facts and Figures About France
Fast Facts:
Did you know ... ?
❦ France is the largest nation in Western Europe.

❦ Almost ten percent of the entire landmass of France has been reserved for national parks and forest reserves.

❦ A person who can speak the language French fluently is known as a Francophone.

❦ One of the France facts for kids is that the French flag is known as the Le Drapeau Tricolore or the three colored flag because as the name suggests the flag has three colors on it. The blue color is the color of St. Martin, white the color of Virgin Mary, royalty, and Joan of Arc, and the red stands for Saint Dennis.

❦ Tourism is one of the biggest industries in France with the country being a tourist destination for almost 75 million people every year. This number is more than the number of tourists visiting any other country in the world.

❦ The national anthem of France is called the La Marseillaise and was first sung by soldiers marching into the city of Paris. The national anthem was compose in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

❦ One of the most famous French monuments is Le Musee du Louvre or the Louvre museum which is home to art works like the Mona Lisa. This museum is the most visited art gallery in the world.

❦ Interesting amongst the France facts for kids is that the Statue of Liberty, which is located on Liberty Island, New York City, was a gift from the people of France to the United States.

❦ One of the France facts for kids that many people are unaware of is that there exists between France and Great Britain, an underwater tunnel known as the Euro-tunnel which allows you to make the journey between the two countries in less than an hour.

❦ One of the France facts for kids that many people are unaware of is that there exists between France and Great Britain, an underwater tunnel known as the Euro-tunnel which allows you to make the journey between the two countries in less than an hour.

❦ One of the facts about Paris, France is that the city was originally named Lutetia.

(Source: France Facts for Kids)
Without further ado, visit Pico's nouvel espace (new area) and be prepared to spend the time of your life walking and enjoying down la grande avenue Français. Au revoir, mes amis et bon voyage (goodbye, my friends and happy travels)!

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