The History of Wine

Millions, perhaps billions, of people throughout the world drink wine. And a lot of them do it right here in France. In fact, plenty of people travel to Paris just to sit in cafe and drink the French wine. Wine is a common drink that comes in many different varieties. Wine has a fascinating history that most wine drinkers don’t know.

Humans have made wine for thousands of years, even though they didn’t have those handy little counter top wine fridges like we have today. In the country of Georgia, archeologists have found evidence of wine jars up to 8000 years old. Other sites have shown evidence of wine-making dating to as early as the late Neolithic period in Europe.

In China, there is evidence that a fermented beverage made of grapes and rice was produced around 7000 BC. However, due to the age of the jars found, there is no conclusive proof that grapes were used. Other fruits, such as hawthorn, might have been used to make the drink, which would mean it was not truly wine.

We can thank the Phoenicians for spreading wine culture around the Middle East. They started from their base of city-states and moved westward to Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.

The earliest evidence of wine in India dates to about 300 BC. There are writings from the court of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya condemning the frequent use of alcohol by the Emperor and others in his court. The writings mention a type of wine called madhu.

True wine is made from fermented grapes, however, other types of fruit can be made into what are called “fruit wines.” Most other types of fruit lack some of the specific qualities which grapes possess, making it more difficult to turn them into wine. Historically, then, wine is made from grapes unless other types of fruit grow in much greater abundance in a specific area.

Some beverages called “wine” are made from starch-based sources, such as barley or rice. Rice wine is common in Japan, where it is called sake. However, these are not truly wines either. The word wine in these cases refers more to the similarity in alcohol content than to the production process. In taste, these drinks more resemble beer than fruit- or grape-based wine.

This is only a very brief look into the long and fascinating history of wine. There is lots more to learn about wine and its history if you want to learn. There are many different varieties of wine grapes, for example, which produce different flavors in the wines they produce. Any vineyard, wine enthusiast, or wine and spirits store would be happy to help you learn more about this delicious beverage. Now, if only those wine bottles were easier to open for my old hands!

Best Souvenirs To Take Home From Your Trip To Paris


So, you’ve finally managed to take that dream trip to the City of Lights – congrats! But now you have to decide on what souvenirs that you’re going to buy to take back home with you. And what you’re shopping for will depend on if you’re just getting a little something for yourself or will you also be getting stuff for friends and family?

Either way, you never know in what part of the city that you might come across something that you want to take back home, so be sure to carry a small daypack or something so that you have an easy place to stash whatever you buy. Cause you definitely don’t want to be navigating the city with a lot of different shopping bags in your hands.


Let’s face it – magnets are pretty much the go-to option when it comes to souvenir shopping for friends and family. This is especially a great option when you have a lot of people to shop for because magnets are not only a super cheap option but they also are small and don’t add a lot of weight to your suitcase.


Whether for you or other people, postcards can be a great souvenir to take home. What I like to do is get maybe 3 really good postcards of a place where I’ve gone on holiday and then when I get back home I put them in a 3-panel frame together. Not only does it look really cool, but it’s a great way to remember cool places that you’ve visited.


Seems obvious right? If you’re in a country known for excellent wine then you want to bring some of that home and pop that wine bottle open when you’re relaxing after work. Of course getting it back to your country can be tricky since you can’t bring in it the cabin in your carry-on. Of course, you can put it in your checked luggage, but there is always the risk that one of the luggage handlers will decide to steal it. For the best results, we suggest that you find a winery or local shop that will actually ship it to your home address, if possible.

Fashion Pieces

Let’s face it – Paris is known for fashion, so if you can find a good piece to add to your wardrobe, then it will be perfect! Even if it is just a scarf or hat that you can’t get at any local stores at home. But one thing to remember is that you should get something that you can wear for many years to come, so a basic color is the best option here. A few years ago when I first traveled to the city, I bought a hat that I can still use almost a decade later since it was a classic style. I’d also add to this to skip all those touristy t-shirts, regardless of how cheap they are. You may think they are a good choice due to the price, but you’ll probably never really wear ’em all that much and they’re usually made so poorly that they end up all faded within no time.


Though it’s not quite as good as what you can get in Belgium or Switzerland, there is no denying that you can find some pretty tasty chocolates and other treats in Paris. And best of all, you can easily stash them in your carry on bag to take back home. I find that friends and family also love these as gifts, if you can prevent them from melting until you can gift them away.

Why You Should Take A Walking Tour Of Paris

A Saturday Walk through Le Marais - Paris - September, 2016

So what would be finer than to take a walking tour in beautiful Paris, France? This should be on the list of anyone who wishes to see Paris. Although, it is not a must have, it is one of the most relaxing ways to see the parts of Paris that might be missed otherwise. Seeing landmarks at the walking pace allows for conversation to take place, facts to be learned and many selfies to be taken in a leisurely state of community. Tourists that share a walking tour will find a new group of friends or share more special time together if they are already affiliated as friends and loved ones. Paris walking tours are engineered to cover more venues in a more time conscious fashion. And you can find a list of the top walking tours in Paris on TripAdvisor.

Walking tours of Paris will bring people together who share a love for travel, culture, Paris, art, or wherever they can find common ground as a means of bringing them together. This is an amusing and pleasurable way to see the one of the most cherished cities in Europe. These tours can also be very educational for those who are in the academic mode in cultural and historical studies. Many will be exposed to the grass roots of Paris that they had never been able to experience from miles away taking courses or watching documentaries. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes, like the best travel shoes for women, dress appropriately for the weather, and have a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

There is a great harmony within the Parisian culture that is unique. Some call it an ambivalence that allows those who live within the cities historic neighborhoods to cohesively coexist. Experiencing this humanity that is a special quality in Paris will open eyes and establish new alliances and understanding. Sure, some may think that taking the pubic trains or busses to see the sites is safer or more practical. Yet, they will miss the vibrance of the streets, the closeness of the people who live and work on those streets and to feel the energy of the crowds that traverse the public walkways and streets. Feeling the rhythm of the Parisian heartbeat as a united force is much more enlightening and enjoyable on foot, in the opinion of the Paris walking tour guides.

As one passes from one site of importance to another in a vehicle, much will be missed that is the very essence of Paris. Walkers find the pace to be perfect for revealing one breathtaking perspective after another. Those views will certainly be unseen when riding a bus or a train from one special venue to another. Getting completely immersed and lost on the walking tours, is a form of ‘intoxication,’ with the inner beauty of Paris, that cannot be experienced any other way. The pedestrian way will uncover monumental fountains, charming alleyways with shops that are unavailable otherwise with books and priceless items that would become coveted purchases.

The true romantic will fall in love with Paris all over again when covering it on foot with well versed Parisian guides. It is right to seriously make plans to see the Paris, the city of Lights, while walking hand in hand with someone special.

How To Get To Paris From London

When you have a choice to make between bus train or flight to travel from London to Paris or vice-versa, which one do you choose? how do you determine what means of travel is the right one for your needs and budget? Let us find out here.

Traveling by Train

The truth is vast majority of people, especially commuters to busy industrial areas in and around Paris and London take trains on a regular basis. And most of them choose Eurostar train service, one of the major transportation providers in the area. Why? Because this mode of transportation comes with more advantages than drawbacks. First, it is the convenience of traveling by train that initiates the deal. It is also the fastest and most stress free option for travelers who have used other transportation methods. However, traveling by train is not the cheapest way available. Of course there are coach options if you want to lower the cost but sometimes, depending on the availability of seats, the cost may be relatively high. While trains can whisk you from one city to another in a zest, the fastest coach is also capable of reaching your destination within its scheduled time. Then there are slow coaches that would take longer than expected. For example, the one that uses the tunnel between France and London takes more than 7 hours. The Eurostar train service, on the other hand, takes a little over 2 hours from London to Paris. So, if you are not in a hurry and want to enjoy the convenience of a train, start early with this service. Sometimes, the service also offers return fares free of charge in order to encourage train travelers. You can then select your own mode of transportation once you reach the destination.

Megabus Coach Services and Eurolines

Absolutely not in a hurry to reach Paris center? Then bus service is the best option for you if you are on a budget. These bus services are provided by Megabus, Eurolines and a few other companies in and around London for those traveling to Paris. They also offer year round service irrespective of seasons and holidays so you can make the best use of your vacation. These buses come with all modern facilities and perks, such air condition, Wi-fi as well as concierge service upon request. Their schedules and fares are available online as well as on-site.

Flights from London to Paris

London to Paris was once the busiest aircraft route before the start of trains. Today, it is one of the expensive travel modes. Travelers choosing flights to travel from London to Paris make a very small portion of the market. And traveling from one city center to another makes little sense if you are traveling by air. However, the air carriers that were in the past when people used to travel by air a lot still operated between these two cities, keeping the vibe intact. Some of them include, but not limited to, Air France and British Airways. There are many other low cost budget airlines as well if you want to fly to Paris from Luton or Gatwick airports.

Best Places In Paris For Literature Lovers

Paris is a literature lover’s dream vacation come true. The city of lights brings to life the melodramatic stories of the great writers that played out their lives, and careers within its limits. Tourists visiting Paris like to see all the historical monuments and locations plastered on every map of Paris. On the contrary, the bookworms are usually looking for the less known homes, cafes, bookstores, and hotels where the great literary minds were inspired. In the heart of Paris, you can find many interesting lit-locations, which we have gathered into a comprehensive list for you.

A great place to start your book wandering adventure is at the Ritz Hemingway Bar. Yes, it was Hemingway’s favorite drinking hole, but before that it was a ladies waiting room. In 1936, it became acceptable for women to enter drinking establishments, the Ritz transformed the waiting room into Le Petit Bar. Hemingway once drank 51 Dry Martinis with his friend Colonel David Bruce in Le Petit Bar.

Not far from the Ritz is Le Pavilion des Lettres, which has 26 rooms dedicated to writers such as Voltaire. The rooms display quotations from many famous writers written on the walls. Within a short distance, you will find the famous Moulin Rouge and just up the street Musee de la vie Romantique. This amazing museum displays the private life of French writer Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, known by her pen name George Sand.

Across the river from the Louvre, is the Chateau de Monte Cristo. Tour Alenxandre Dumas’ chateau, where you will see engravings and paintings that give a glimpse into this writer’s world. Just a couple blocks away is the Literary Salon of Natalie Clifford Barney. Conversations and poetry readings included guests such as Paul Claudel and Pierre Louys.

Just a short distance from Barney’s Salon is The Village Voice, an English-speaking bookshop. Since 1982, many modern authors have held readings at the bookshop. After this, you can stop in at the Cafe de la Mairie where Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway were both inspired to write books that still enthrall readers today.

Start your day early when you visit Richard Wright’s house, because don’t want to miss breakfast or brunch at Les Editeurs, which houses more than 5,000 books. From there a nice stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg where Hemingway himself walked regularly.

To the East of the Seine River is the Père Lachaise cemetery, the location of Richard Wright’s grave, marked with plaque #848 and tucked under some stairs. The cemetery is not far from the Maison de Victor Hugo, where he wrote Les Miserables. Your next stop will be The Red Wheelbarrow, named from one of Carlos William’s poems. The Wheelbarrow claims to be “THE” English bookstore, which is filled with a huge collection of English books. Next, you can grab a drink at the quaint Le Cafe Livre bookshop. Then relax and enjoy a meal in Le Fumoir restaurant’s candlelit reading room that houses 3,000 books.

Round out your Paris meanderings by visiting American writer Gertrude Stein’s house. Then it’s tea, scones, and book browsing at the Tea and Tattered Pages second-hand bookshop. Your last stop will be at the Apostrophe Hotel near the Jardin du Luxembourg. This amazing hotel is called a Poem Hotel and is designed to resemble a large book, created from a selection of literary themes. We hope you enjoy visiting this list as you explore the city of lights and continue looking for other lost literature locations.

Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris

Staying in Paris or cities nearby, visit Disneyland Paris, for a fun time for the whole family. Online booking is conveniently provided with money-saving vacation packages and special ticket prices for a host of entertainments.

Things to See:

Take tours of the Disneyland Paris Park; go behind the scenes, see the Tower of Terror,take Studio Tours or join VIP showings of multiple locations. Disney is famous for many endearing characters. See the entertaining, “Chip and Dale, meet Mickey Mouse or visit the Disney Princesses. This landmark Paris attraction can include a tour of Paris. Take a day tour, or an illuminated tour of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.


Disneyland Paris has an all meal plan, character dining, as meal plans. Sit down for a delicious meal at a “Jam Jar Lid in Bistrot Chez Remy and have a delicious meal. In the “In Geppetto’s Land of Toys, Au Chalet de la Marionnette serves scrumptious burgers, roast chicken and other delights in a unique setting. Excitement is always on at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon. A taste of the “Old West is staring at you in this saloon and concert hall. However, it will be closed during September thru March 2017.

Where to Stay:

Numerous hotels are located in and around the Paris area. However, it is quite fun to stay on the Disney property. Try the Disney Village and discover unlimited fun. Shops and restaurants are open into the wee hours. Stay at the Disney Hotel, only a 5- minute walk, or Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch a 15-minute walk. This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Once the park closes, those staying at Disney hotels have continued access to the Disney facilities not open to the public.

There are more hotels in close reach of Disney entertainment and even more partner hotels. The Vienna House Dream Castle is a partner hotel located only a 10-minute stroll from the action. The lovely Elyse Val d’Europe gives patrons the rich flavor of the” French Grand Boulevard” and The Algonquin’s is a place with large accommodations for active families. These hotels offer free shuttle service so customers have no problem moving between the Disney property and their hotel.

How to Get There:

Travel by train, plane or car to this fun destination. Once in Paris, public transportation is available. Go to Nation Station, and get on the RER A train, which carries passengers to the heart of Disneyland in about 35 minutes. If you are traveling from England the Marne-la-Vallee/ Chessy train station stands at the gate of Disneyland Paris. This makes getting to a hotel and moving luggage very easy. Your vacation begins the moment you step off the train. Simply place your luggage at the Disney counter, pick up your receipts and move on to your hotel, baggage is delivered to your hotel for you.

Best Time of Year to Visit:

Disney is a year round entertainment center. Beautifully decorated for holidays and hosts a number of festivals and entertainment venues. Visiting Disneyland from Tuesday thru Thursday in the off-season is a sure way of avoiding crowds. Lines are not as long and tours are less crowded. However, shows and extended hours may vary during these times.

Special Services:

Group visits are welcome so make the Disneyland Paris staff aware. Visitors with any food allergies have a selection of dietary foods available. Anyone with special needs will find the Disney property extremely accommodating. For an even better vacation, get Disney express luggage service to make the whole trip easier. Those in need of strollers and wheelchairs can rent from the stroller center.

By Gil Dekel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Areas in Paris To Avoid If You Hate Crowds

Sunset Picnic in Paris

Paris is one of the top places most people want to visit, at some point in their life. Just because Paris is a household name, it doesn’t mean there aren’t places you need to stay away from. That’s what this content is all about. Below you will find about 5 places you need to be avoiding and why.


This one makes the top of our list. Why? there are about 12 small avenues. They all go in this roundabout, meeting in the middle. When you do meet, it’s a disaster. What makes it a complete disaster is there aren’t any traffic signs. To say it’s a free-for-all is an understatement. If you are lucky to come out of this without any injuries, they say you can pretty much go anywhere in Paris. We don’t suggest trying it.


There is one specific time and season you don’t want to go. It happens to fall in the summer time, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The best place to see it is during the weekday, on a morning or early evening. Any other time is plain old tourist season. You will be standing in long lines and it becomes a headache, especially if you live here.


We state this specifically for the terraces. You will be paying about 10 pounds for a pint of beer, and this is in the smaller prices ranges. It’s not good for those of you on a budget. Please pick another time to venture to these places. The only upside to the cafe terrace is that you do get a first-class look at some celebrities going by. Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops. Your views will often be blocked by many rude people. You often have to pay with your life for this sort of experience. In other words, don’t do it.


Now, some of you might be wondering what is so awful about the Metro. We are talking about on a really hot summer’s day. It’s going to be way over-crowded. It’s going to smell. We are not kidding you with this one. There’s not going to be any place to sit. All the good seats will have been taken, even before you come along. The worst part about it is there’s no air-conditioning. It’s best to walk to where you need to go. Lots of tourists want to try out the Metro, because they have heard so much about it. This is not the time to do this.


Now, some people can’t hold it in. We suggest using a toilet in a bar or cafe. These public toilets are sort of hit-or-miss. If you don’t know what this means, look it up! Don’t pee in a car or metro area either. This is one place where it’s best not to follow the crowds. When you do use a bathroom in a cafe or bar, please buy something while you are there. It’s a customary pleasantry. Many will find it very insulting if you do not. Some of them may even give you dirty looks. Remember, this is not America. In America, we consider it an option of sorts. Over in Paris, they consider it to be good manners and part of the etiquette.

Why France’s Christmas Markets Are Worth A Visit

You should plan on seeing the Christmas markets of France if you live there or are planning a visit to the country during the Christmas season. These markets are worth the trip, because they are lovely and filled with wonderful items for sale. They are a great way to begin the Christmas season, and offer many great opportunities for shopping.

There are many different choices available in the French world of Christmas markets. Spend some time thinking about what you like doing and do some research on the various Christmas markets in the region you will be traveling in. Read up on them on the Internet to see which one you like best. Each location differs in what they have to offer. Some are small, while others are quite large.

Some people visit more than one market in a single day. They get the opportunity to experience many of them and extend their chance to explore the offerings. It is a nice way to spend a long day preparing for Christmas.

You can eat some great food and do some shopping at the markets. While you are walking around, there are drinks for sale that will keep you toasty warm. All of the different parts of the market are filled with interesting things to see.

It is nice to make your trip to the Christmas market a trip with the family. You can either travel there together, or meet up at the market. After the market closes for the day, there is time to discuss Christmas plans over a nice dinner.

If you are the adventurous type, you can set aside some time and plan out a visit to several markets. If you plan your route well, you may be able to visit several of the markets on your trip. A great place to start your journey is Paris.

Christmas markets are colorful places, so plan on taking many photos for your memory book. This will make it easier for you to remember which ones you liked best, in case you get the chance to be in France around Christmas time again. And, after you return home, you can share the photos with your family and friends.

You will never regret going to France’s fabulous Christmas markets. If you head to France during the Christmas season, they provide a wonderful glimpse into the French culture.

Heading to Paris? Here’s What You Should Know

Are you planning to travel to Paris? If so, there is certain advice that would benefit you on your journey. The following travel tips will help you as you head out on your trip.

1. Don’t miss the Eiffel Towel.

Anyone that travels to Paris needs to stop off at the Eiffel Tower. It is quite a site to behold, and it even lights up in the evenings, making for a very special sight. Visitors can head inside and make their way to the top. Once there, the views of the city are quite spectacular.

2. Go biking.

Transportation can be a little tricky in Paris. Solve that problem by renting a bicycle and using it to get around town! There are actually a number of places where you can secure a bike during your stay. In addition to getting a bit of exercise, it really is an efficient way to get around the city.

3. Research the cheapest plane tickets.

Do you already have your tickets? If not, make sure you look on a variety of travel sites, as the prices can vary quite a bit. By doing a little extra research, you can get a much better deal on this part of your trip. There are a large number of sites to look through; try and explore four or five of them to make sure you get a good rate. Also, stick to the most well-known sites, as they can generally provide you with the best service and the best price.

4. Go on a river cruise.

If you really want to make the most of your time in Paris, consider going on a river cruise. This is a very relaxing experience that lets you see a lot of the city. Still, it is important to remember that you need to set this up ahead of your trip. River cruises can be quite popular, which means that you might not be able to secure a spot if you wait to book until you get to Paris.

As you get ready to head to Paris, keep this advice in mind. With a little preparation, you can turn an already great trip into something fantastic. Also, with the money you save, you can even plan something special for yourself once you get to the city. Make sure, however, that you take your time to look through travel sites to determine which one can get you the best plane tickets. Once you are ready, secure your seats on your flight!

How to Use Public Transportation to Enjoy Paris

For the millions of people who regularly visit Paris, there are numerous public transportation methods. The bus service and Metro provide access for the historic and cultural attractions throughout the city.

So, how is one able to get from place to place in Paris during the height of the tourist season? Here are some ideas for traveling in the City of Light:

1. The Metro

Most visitors to Paris use The Metro to access many of the attractions in the city. The Metro is much like the subway networks in many other large cities, and is a quick and easy option.

Those visiting the city can use any of The Metro’s sixteen lines to get anywhere in the city. Visitors who are familiar with underground transportation systems that operate anywhere in the world will likely find the Paris Metro quite familiar.

You can find your bearings by using the clear map systems that are posted at every stop. You’ll be able to plan your journey without much bother. Change trains at central stations, allowing you to quickly get to the stops that are closest to the attraction that you want to visit.

If you get lost or are in doubt about where to go next, stop by an information kiosk. The staff there will provide you with easy directions.

2. Reduce the Amount You Spend

If you’re visiting internationally, the Paris Visite Card is likely the easiest way to see Paris. It provides visitors with unlimited Metro access, as well as bus service in some situations. These cards usually cost a small portion of the price of individual tickets for these services.

These cards are typically available at Metro stations, but can also be purchased at many tourist information offices. There may also be special discount offers for entrance to popular Paris destinations packaged along with the cards.

3. Paris Buses

Bus services in Paris are the most highly effective in the world. Individuals who want to see the many historical attractions and cultural monuments of Paris may find that using bus service is a great way to do so.

However, purchasing a ‘t+’ ticket, which is what you obtain when you purchase a carnet in a Metro station, does not allow you unlimited bus access to Paris. This particular pass only provides you with ninety minutes of unlimited bus transfers, not completely unlimited transfers. You may be happier with your trip if you consult your travel agent about truly unlimited transfer options. Otherwise, consider contacting the Paris tourism office to learn about options available to you.

There are also multiple customized tour buses that provide specific packages for visitors to see the City of Light. These typically include tour guides, as well as admission to several of Paris’s unique attractions.