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Most Interesting Facts about France

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From stunning stretches of coastline to snow-capped peaks, France is a dream destination for all the nature lovers out there. It is beautiful country with picturesque towns, colourful culture, free-spirited people and delectable cuisine. From having the world’s oldest ever living human to being the world’s most visited country, read about the most interesting facts about France.

1. France spans twelve different time zones – more than any other country in the world – thanks to its overseas territories, which are dotted round the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the South American continent.

2. Under French law, infidelity can be “intellectual” as well as physical. In other words, excessive smoking, playing too much soccer, spending too much time with the local bishop, and phone sex can all be grounds for divorce.

3. The shortest period a king or queen has ever reigned over a country was when Louis XIX, technically could claim himself as the king of France. It took about 20 minutes before he was abdicated from the throne, and he never really ruled the country.

4. Among the many inventions, some notable ones are the hot air balloon, pasteurizer, stethoscope, and the parachute. Each of these has changed the world.

5. In France, it’s possible to marry a dead person. In the 50’s it was decided that it should be allowed to marry a dead person, under special circumstances. One needs to prove that there were already plans on getting married, and also send a formal request to the President. Truly whoever said love never dies was not wrong.

6. In the Second World War, when Hitler visited the Eiffel Tower, the French cut all of the lift cables. This forced him to climb the stairs if he wanted to enjoy the view from the top. Oops!

7. Back in the 1600’s in France, it was considered a crime if a man wasn’t able to get an erection, and this was enough to let a woman file for divorce. If a married woman accused her husband of male impotence, he had to prove the contrary in front of an expert panel.

8. France made history in 2016 by banning supermarkets from throwing out unsold food items. These stores are now required to donate the food to charities and food banks.

9. Always forward-thinking, the French were the first to introduce the concept of license plates for automobiles in 1893.

10. For 214 years it was illegal in Paris for women to wear pants. This ended in 2012.

11. The oldest person in the world was (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), a French woman who lived to be 122 years and 164 days old.

 oldest person in the world
Source: Wikipedia

12. Courtesy counts in France. There is even a coffee shop where not saying “hello” and “please” will increase the cost of your beverage.

13. The Statue of Liberty in New York City, was a gift from the people of France to the US. It was built by Gustave Eiffel, the man who also constructed the Eiffel Tower.

14. When you give birth to a child, it is your natural and legal responsibility to take care of it. You do not need to be rewarded for that. But in France, parents who successfully raise several children with dignity are awarded the Medal of the French Family (La Médaille de La Famille Française) by the government.

15. The luckiest person in history could easily be one of France’s former presidents. President Charles de Gaulle has gone down in history to be the person who has survived the most assassination attempts in the world. President Gaulle survived 32 attempts on his life earning himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

16. Cheese Lovers, say cheese:it is said that France produces more than 365 types of cheese. Thus, you could enjoy more than one type of cheese for many days during the year.

17. A man in Paris, , has been inviting total strangers for dinner every weekfor the past 30 years. You can visit his website to book yourself a seat at an upcoming dinner party.

Jim Haynes
Source: Sunday Dinner at Jim’s Feb 1, 2009

How to reach?

While there are many international airports in France, the Roissy – de Charles de Gauille in Paris is the only one that caters to flights from all countries. There are a few airports outside of Paris in cities like Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Toulouse, Lille, Lyon, and Clermont-Ferrand. However, most of these cater to flights coming in from western Europe or Africa. From Indian cities (Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc) you have regular direct and stopover flights to France with Jet Airways, Gulf Air, Air India, Air France and British Airways.

The Eurostar is a dedicated railway service shuttling passenger between France and other European destinations like London, Brussels, Belgium, Amsterdam etc. Domestically also you can travel by trains in France and make an interesting picturesque journey of your trip. There are also ski trains between London and the French Alps during the winter months.

Visa:

France Visa Requirements for Indians

Captain Nero’s recommendations in France:

Rocamadour: Rocamadour is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a clifftop village in Southwest France that will steal your heart. The village has seven sanctuaries which dare back to the medieval era. Head to the Castle of Rocamadour for some spectacular views, walk through the narrow cobblestone streets, explore the religious buildings and enjoy some creamy goat’s cheese.

Rocamadour
Source: Reddit

Nice: One of the most beautiful cities which is a must visit. This awesome seaside retreat is popular for its superb sunny climate, breath-taking scenery, and perfect blend of contemporary and medieval styling in the city’s profile. Spend your time here exploring the beaches, superb eating joints, and the architecture which is the key that attracts most of the tourists here.

Chamonix, Alps: With stunning panoramic view and rows of slant-roofed buildings, Chamonix is one of Europe’s most legendary skiing and climbing centres. With lakes, valleys, dramatic waterfalls, and forests, it’s one of the best places to visit in France.

Chamonix
Source: Flickr

The Alsace region: If you’re looking to enjoy the best of Christmas in Europe and you’ve only got a limited amount of time, then be sure to include the Alsace Region in your itinerary. From the capital city of Strasbourg to Colmar and the beautiful villages of Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, and Eguisheim, there’s tons to see and experience in this part of France.

Click here to check out five best day trips from Strabourg!

The Alsace region
Source: Vinscovery

Etretat: Best visited in the early summer or early autumn, this is one of the most beautiful places in France with breath-taking cliffs. Its famous for the striking rock formation spreading over the English Channel and it will make you feel like you’re standing over the edge of the end of the world.

Etretat
Source: Kemira

Burgundy: Located in east-central France, Burgundy is a popular tourist destination in France with a reputation for making some of the world’s best wines. It is characterised by plenty of crisscrossing winding canals, wine, palaces, museums, lush pastures, medieval villages and rolling green hill slopes. The town of Vézelay and Beaujolais are a must visit here.

Burgundy
Source: Blue Planet PR
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