Well, here it is. We all saw this coming. Here is the obligatory post of travel tips and tricks. I’ve seen many many many posts of traveling tips as I’m sure we all have but these are my favorites. They’ve either been picked up from personal experience or from those handy dandy touristy maps you can find at hotels in your destination country. These are my favorite off the beaten path type places, and how-to’s to getting “the good stuff” wherever you are. Some of these are pretty general and can be used everywhere, while others are specific to that one place. There’s a few countries I’ve found good tips for but let’s start with…
- Lou Marmitou – This is a restaurant in Mussidan. If you ever find yourself heading east from Bordeaux or near Bergerac for whatever reason, you need to take a detour and go here or find someplace exactly like it. It’s pretty much a truck stop diner that is family run, with a set menu at 12,50 € per person and a strong house red. It’s beyond amazing. Took me a few visits to learn but don’t fill up on the soup course. It’s always so good but it’s super filling and there’s so much more good food still on its way. Weird side note : My family has been there several times and sat at different tables each time. We always end up sitting under a painting of a pear. There’s only one pear painting there.
- Carrefour – The U.S doesn’t have Carrefour, we have super Wal-Marts instead..and Costco. Other countries might have a Carrefour or 2 but nowhere is as blanketed with them as France is. This is the place to hunt down for groceries when you find the boutiques to be too expensive. It’s also the place to get cheap chocolate bars that are as good if not better than the fancy chocolateries. You can get everything from banana juice to futons there and that’s kind of fantastic. And if you want a random reminder of your time spent in Europe, sign up for their e-newsletter. Every once in a while I get an email from Carrefour in French and I have no idea during which visit overseas I gave them my email but it’s a universal reminder to think about my time in France so I never unsubscribe (
plus I’m too lazy to, haha)
- Listen to the radio and watch tv – I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really go into this. During my time in France I was with family and friends of family, so in the South of France, instead of taking the train or bus, we drove everywhere. I also watched tv with family in the evenings after dinner. I saw French and English shows and movies as well as listened to French and the few English songs that played on the radio. From this I found new artists to listen to that I never would have found at home and sometimes still can’t find them without some master sleuthing. I have movies that remind me of the first time I watched them in a 5 story walk up in a tiny village that looked like it was from a Disney movie or on a laptop in a caravan in Les Abrets. These songs and movies become a little bit of nostalgia that you can revisit for the rest of your life.
There’s always the tips like my Souvenirs post about keeping all your tickets and collecting maps etc. Plus it’s always helpful to research the places you’re going through Google, Pinterest, and the multitude of travel sites.
Next up we’ll visit the Netherlands, Belgium and maybe even Germany.
Until we meet again,