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Popular Holiday Destination in Europe. France.
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Popular Holiday Destination in Europe. France.

In this series Olena Koshovska tells us about one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. 

Can you guess a country using some hints? Let us try: wine and vineyards, cheese, distinctive cuisine, and world-famous cognac… 

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Popular Holiday destinations in Europe. France. Part 1.

Can you guess a country using some hints? Let us try: wine and vineyards, cheese, distinctive cuisine, and world-famous cognac… Not yet?
Well, accordion music, impressionist paintings, girls wearing berets, fashion and glamour. Got it? Yes, it is France!

This country has such a clean-cut image that it is hardly to be muddled with any other place. France is annually visited by 12 million tourists and is the third in the list of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, after Spain and Italy. It is the country that is called “the star of Europe”. Not only because its outline on the map resembles a star, but because its beauty is captivating and memorable.

Get acquainted with the most famous provinces of France, each of wich has something to offer to an inquisitive traveler.

Burgundy is a historical province of France. It is a blessed land famous for lakes, rivers, vinyards, small villages and ancient castles. For example, Coche castle (of XI century) is a fortress in fair preservation with a jail tower, deep dungeon and a drawbridge.

Wine is a calling card of Burgundy. A tract of well-known vinyards stretches from the North to the South of the region. The ancient town Bon, influenced by the Flemish culture, is the centre of wine-making. The Wine Museum is a must place to visit, as well as Burgundy wine vaults. In them you will be offered to carry out wine tasting, but do not forget to eat a cracker or drink some water in between. Neighboring villages have welcoming appearance and vary in architecture and their local wine.

Normandy is renowned for the beauty of its harsh seashore, shady forests, and prestigious resort towns like Deauville, Le Touquet, Cabourg and others. There are hundreds of golf courses, casinos, night clubs and race tracks here. Numerous flotillas of yachts are moored in marinas – Normandy is one of the most popular yachting centres in Europe. A touristic attraction of this land is a granite island with the old-time abbey Mont Saint-Michel on the half-way between Normandy and Brittany. This miracle of architecture on the top of the rocks was being built from XI to XVI century. It is connected with the shore only with a two-kilometre dam.

Ancient Rouen is the biggest Normand city. Its main cathedral Notre-Damme (XIII-XIV c.) guards the details of Jeanne d'Arc's execution. Her name was given to the Tower and a monument was set in her honour. The Orne river-valley abounds with hot springs which one can explore in plentiful spa resorts.


The region of Provence is 900 kilometres of bays and beaches from Cote d'Azur to Camargue; thousands of kilometers of the Alps mountainsides, hills, castles and olive groves. The places of interest for visitors have always been: vast wine-making areas Cote-de-Provence, Bandolle and Côtes du Rhône; the village of Aubagne where unique porcelain miniatures are made; roman amphitheatres in Arles and Nimes; immense basil in Saint-Maxime. In the west of the region, in the Rhone river estuary a famous biosphere preserve Camargue sets its lands. It is inhabited by pink flamingos and more than 300 kinds of migratory birds. Wild white horses also live here.

This is only a short tour around France. While you are here, go to province Champagne and taste famous champagne. Visit Chablis where you can by the wine of the same name. Take a ride along the Loire banks to be amazed by the beauty of the medieval castles. Enjoy the Mediterranean coast of Nice and Cannes.

There is one more place in this country which, without a doubt, never leaves anyone indifferent. It is a city with its unique atmosphere and acknowledged romantic appeal – Paris. Join us there!

 

Vocabulary list:

  • vineyard – an area where grapes are grown – виноградник
  • beret – a head-dress of a round shape – берет
  • clean-cut image – well-defined and distinct image – строго определенный, ясный
  • be muddled with – be confused with another (place), by mistake – быть спутанным c (чем-то, кем-то)
  • captivating – enchanting, alluring – очаровательный, покоряющий
  • memorable – stays in memory, hard to forget – незабываемый
  • inquisitive – interested in a lot of different things and wanting to find out more about them – любознательный
  • a calling card – a thing or an attraction by which something (e.g. a place ) can be identified – визитная карточка (переносное значение)
  • a fortress in fair preservation – a fortress that has not lost its initial look and condition since down the ages – хорошо сохранившаяся крепость
  • jail – prison – тюрьма, тюремный
  • dungeon – dark cell for a prisoner, usually underground – подземная тюрьма, темница
  • drawbridge – a bridge that can be pulled up, for example to stop people from entering a castle or to allow ships to pass under it – подъемный мост
  • tract – an area of land, especially a large one – полоса (земли), территория
  • Flemish – relating to Flanders, or its language or culture – Фламандский
  • race track – a track for horses to race around – ипподром
  • flotilla – a group of boats or small ships sailing together – флотилия (обычно мелких судов)
  • marina – a specially designed harbour for small boats and yachts – марина, гавань для швартовки яхт
  • granite – a type of hard grey stone, often used in building – гранит
  • abbey – a large church together with a group of buildings in which monks or nuns live – аббатство
  • dam – a barrier that is built across a river in order to stop the water from flowing – плотина
  • execution – the act of killing somebody, especially as a legal punishment (in ancient times – publicly) – казнь
  • hot springs – a natural spring that sends hot water or steam up into the air – горячие источники
  • spa resorts – places where water with minerals in it, which is considered to be good for your health, comes up naturally out of the ground – бальнеологические курорты
  • Cote d'Azur – French part of the Mediterranean seashore – Лазурный берег
  • mountainside – a slope of a mountain – склон горы
  • migratory birds – the birds who fly to warm countries to spend a cold season – перелетные птицы