France Resources

This page is for you. I’ve included resources about France, everything from moving to traveling. Books to apps. If I find anything that may be useful, I’ll post it here. Click the link or image to get your copy of the item.

Note: I have either used or researched these resources to make sure they are top quality. If you access a link that has a problem or tries to spam you, please let me know so I can investigate or remove it! Some are FREE: some you have to buy. Many are downloadable.

Learn French

DuoLingoThis is the best FREE online language learning program I have found. It’s a cool concept and fun. With Duolingo you learn a language for free while helping to translate the Web. Create an account, join a community of learners, speak, write, conjugate. You can sort of compete with other learners as you reach levels.

 

eBooks

I’ve come to love eBooks. They are a convenient resource and entertainment. Living in France, I had difficulty finding books in English, so I resorted to eBooks. Now, I’m an eBook fanatic. Check out these eBooks.

Taking Root in Provence (October 2011) Authors:  Simons, Anne-Marie and Grenier, Pierre ISBN-13: 9781937667009

French Riviera Marco Polo Travel Guide: Travel With Insider Tips (March 2012) Author: Bausch, Peter ISBN-13: 9783829780100

A Castle in the Backyard: A Dream of a House in France (Sept 2002) Author: Draine, Betsy and Hinden, Michael ISBN-13: 9780299179434

French Dirt (Feb 2012) Author:  Goodman, Richard ISBN-13: 9781565127401

Apps

I have an iphone and I use apps like a maniac. When traveling, I download apps to learn about the area. I use apps to navigate. I use apps to communicate FREE with my family and friends in the States. Here are some great apps for you.

IMPORTANT: Before you download apps, make sure they work on your device(s). Read descriptions carefully. These are mostly iphone apps and require an iTunes account to download. Some work on iPods and iPads. Many have an Android version (search the Android store). Some are FREE; some cost a few bucks.

iTunes download: “La Marseillaise” The National Anthem of France Ok, maybe not the most useful app, but if you’re going to  live in France, you should learn the French National Anthem.

iTunes download: “100 Fromages de France” This cool app gives you recipes French cheese. Ok, so you don’t want to make your own; but how about learning the history of each cheese? The region it comes from? or what kind of milk it’s made with?

iTunes download: 123 Color HD: Talking Coloring Book (English, Spanish, French and German Voice-Overs Included) This is great for introducing kids to language. Was an iTunes staff pick, New York Times feature, and Woman’s Day #1 travel app for kids.

iTunes download: Air France Mobile If you are flying Air France, which I frequently do, you can download this app to your iphone to buy tickets, but more important, to get updates on flight info.

iTunes download: Airports // GOinside If you travel Europe frequently, or not so frequently, you’ve got to have this app. Go Inside gives you airport maps for all of the major airports when you’re flying in and out of Europe. That’s really important when you have a connecting flight and need to quickly get to the next gate. There’s also info on all food and services in the airports, AND it gives you up-to-date flight info so you can track if your flights are on time.

iTunes download: Avertisseur de Radars France Warning Radars. Here’s another app you’ve got to have. You need a gps installed on your iphone. This app tracks the radars, fixed and mobile, real-time. You can set it to do some other speed control things, too, but the radar tracker is worth it.

iTunes download: FRANCE BLEU Do you listen to France Blue? Me, too! Listen on your iphone. This app finds your location and directs you to your local station. You can even download podcasts to listen offline.

Hardcopy Books

For those of you who prefer to hold something in your hands…

I love Rick Steves’ travel books. It’s like taking along a top-notch tour guide.

Rick Steves' French

Julia ChildI can relate to Julia Child. She moved to France unable to speak French and not a clue how to cook. My Life in France tells her story of becoming French.

Le Road Trip: A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France
by Vivian Swift is like a children’s book for adults, with watercolor images based around a traveler’s log.

Fête de Theatre Avignon

Gallery

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Street performers line Avignon’s main thoroughfare that leads from the city gates to the Palace of Popes. Flyers advertise free and paid theater products. It’s a week of celebration of theater and dance. Continue reading

Roquefavour Aquaduct

Though not nearly as ancient as the Pont du Gard,the Roquefavour Aqauduct, located near Aix en Provence, is equally as impressive.

I came upon it quite by accident, driving through the mountainous countryside. In route to Aix, we circled the mountainside on a small road, steep rock on one side and a drop into the valley below on the other. And then we descended into the valley, driving through the tiny village of Coudoux along more tree-covered winding roads.

Near Ventabren, unexpectedly and majestically, three stories of stone arches appeared above us. We pulled into a small parking area to take photos. Since, I’ve read that the best way to see the aquaduct is by hiking the area. From the road the view is only briefly visible as it is surrounded by the rising rocks. This makes sense because this portion of the waterway was built to traverse the narrow Arc River valley as it continues on its way to Marseille.

The three-level water conduit stands 83 meters (272 feet) and is 393 meters (more than 1200 feet) long.

In the early 1800s, the City of Marseille suffered a drought in which many people died from cholera. They decided to draw a fresh water source from the River Durance to Marseille. Built between 1841 and 1847, it was named the Marseille Canal and supplied nearly all of the city’s water until 1970. Today it still supplies a large majority of the city’s water.

Modelled after the Pont du Gard in style, the pont is newer, but longer and taller. Like the Roman aquaducts, from its source to its destination the gradient is gradual, taking advantage of the natural downward flow of water.  Ponts were built by the Romans to traverse low-lying areas and assure a consistent gradient. Building such massive structures across deep valleys required a large amount of building materials. The Romans develop the system of building arches as supports, reducing the amount of materials needed. The result was a functional, yet magnificent piece of architecture.