Some days back , I was invited to participate in an interactive session on France at the Park Hotel with a few fellow Kolkata bloggers. The event was attended by Fabrice Etienne, the Consul General of France in Kolkata and Catherine Oden, Director Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency.
France has always been a traveler ‘s dream destination and the session was aimed at making people more aware of the places to visit, the various kinds of activities one can indulge in and share information about visa processing and other important details. Do you know that it now takes only 48 hours to get your visa approved and that you no longer need to submit details of your hotel bookings and vouchers for a visa? The bio metric screening has also been put on hold for some time and the embassy is looking at more opportunities to make the visa process a smooth and simple one for travelers.
Catherine Oden and Keshwar Bhagat of Atout France spoke about the major attractions of France and they reiterated that France has so much more to offer than just Paris. And I can vouch for that since I was there some months back. Paris is beautiful no doubt but one should also visit the other attractions. During my eight day trip, I went to Paris, Nice, the Loire Valley and Disneyland. Loire Valley is full of regal chateaus and did you know that Herge, the creator of Tintin was inspired by the Chateau de Cheverny in Loire Valley and drew a slightly altered version of it to create Marlinspike Hall? Chateau de Cheverny is like a mini Tintin museum. Everywhere you look, there is Tintin looking right back at you!
You get everything in France – great food, wonderful places to see and of course, who can forget shopping? Be it a family holiday, honeymoon, school trip or a business convention, France can be your ideal destination. And Atout France is always there to help you out with your trip.
Before signing off, here are a few pictures of my trip to France with my girlfriends. I landed there on my birthday and spent eight magical days in the beautiful country.