Savvy Traveler Q&A: France with Flight Attendant, Rosie
June 19 2015
Just say the word "France" and senses come alive - mouthwatering cuisine, brilliant wine, romantic countrysides, elegant fashion, dramatic history, swoon-worthy language...and that Eiffel Tower!
While I was never a francophile before living in Paris, I am now. A land of cheese and baguettes is tough not to get addicted to! Rosie, a flight attendant and savvy traveler, was equally charmed by it.
I am thrilled to share Rosie's experiences in France! She literally makes her time there come alive. You might be surprised by her favorite food while in the City of Light, and make sure you check out her extra travel tips at the end!
Occupation: Flight Attendant
When was the first time you visited France and what was your first impression?
I visited Paris, France last December. I went on a Contiki tour by myself and made a lot of friends along the way! Paris was our last stop of the tour. We drove through the city at night. It was raining and the whole city sparkled. Our driver took us on a little tour around the city and stopped at a spot with an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. I remember tearing up and I have no idea why I was getting emotional but I was just speechless.
Rosie's first look into the city: a sparkling Eiffel Tower. Priceless.
What is your favorite city in France and why?
I’ve only been to Paris! Hopefully sometime in the near future, I’ll be able to go back and visit other cities. I’d love to travel through the countryside of France.
What is one unexpected thing you discovered about France?
I didn’t expect escargot to taste so AMAZING. I knew I wanted to try it but I had no idea it would be the best thing I ate in France.
What is the coolest thing you’ve done in France?
I may be biased but Disneyland Paris was by far the coolest thing I did in France. Don’t get me wrong- I really enjoyed walking around the city of Paris. The food and the shopping is phenomenal, but Disneyland Paris is something I’ve wanted to do since I started planning my trip. I wasn’t sure if I would actually do it because it’s quite out of the city. A cab would’ve been really expensive, so I ended up taking the train and had an amazing experience. They had Christmas decorations up and it was such a great experience even going solo. I’m so glad I did it. (Second place: MOULIN ROUGE!)
A night out after Moulin Rouge with Rosie's Contiki tour buddies on their last night!
Where is the one place you always visit when you’re in town?
I’ve only been to France once but it would have to be the Eiffel Tower, of course! It has been on my bucket list for years. I was starting to think it wasn’t even real. Seeing it in so many pictures and movies, it was really surreal to finally see it in person.
For a good authentic meal, travelers should check out...?
Cafes in Paris offer amazing local eats. Some of my favorites were escargot, French onion soup, and of course you have to get a latte! If you like crepes, make sure to check out 142 Crêperie Contemporaine!
What would your perfect day in France include?
I’d love to start my perfect day by grabbing a latte and a croissant in a cafe and spend the morning there, people watching and reading a book. Then, I’d go for a walk and have a picnic with a friend at the Eiffel Tower, equipped with a baguette and some cheese. Then I’d walk through the shops and maybe end the day watching a French film.
What is the one fashion item you always pack when you travel?
What I choose to pack for clothes always changes depending on the weather and my mood, but what I always make sure I pack is my jewelry. I love dressing up a simple outfit with jewelry. Rings are my favorite and I have a few that I wear almost daily, including my silver “wanderlust” midi ring.
What should those that want to get off the beaten path in France and discover something new check out?
One of my favorite things we did in Paris was going to Rue Vieille du Temple and coming across this awesome flea market. The area was a mix of tourists and locals but it was nice to get away from the museums and touristy monuments to see a ton of local businesses. We ate at a restaurant called Robert et Louise, a family owned restaurant, that served outstanding steaks cooked over a wood fire.
What is your favorite way to relax and unwind while traveling?
Traveling can definitely get exhausting! My favorite way to relax and unwind in the middle of all the traveling is sitting in a local coffee shop or bench outside on a nice day and people watching. I love observing locals- their fashion style, mannerisms, everything! I also like to carry my iPad mini around with me that’s loaded with lots of ebooks and if there’s a chance wifi is available, catching up on YouTube is one of my favorite past times too!
*Extra * Travel tips for France:
Download the app, Citymapper! It will save your life. This app will show you all the different ways to get from point A to point B. It shows you how long it’ll take you to drive, get a cab, use public transportation, walk, or even bike. It shows you the differences in prices in cabs vs. public transportation. It even shows you how many calories you’d burn walking or biking! It’s just an all around awesome app.
Learn some French before you go. This is something I’d recommend doing before going anywhere international, but especially in France. They really appreciate it when you try to ask for what you need in French. Keyword: Try. One of the best phrases to know and keep handy is do you speak English? Or “Parle Vous Anglais?”
Plan your day the night before. It’ll work out much better if you stay organized with your to-do’s in Paris. It can be quite a trek to get from one place to another.