Going Places: A Few Moments Getting Lost In France

Jun 22, 2017

We've talked about France many times before on Going Places. But this week, we're going to see the country through a slightly different perspective.

Joan Harkins lives in Seattle and recently started importing cider and calvados — a French apple brandy — from the Normandy region of France. She spends a lot of time traveling in the more distant parts of the countryside, away from the path usually beaten by tourists.

Her recommendations:

1. It's easier than ever to research small places. Google Maps very often provides a streetview, or at least a close-up look from above. Look for Airbnb or VRBO rentals with lots of positive reviews. Quantity is important here — you want to find a place that's been written about glowingly several times over. One or two good reviews does not a guarantee make.

2. Pack lightly. If you rent a car, you'll find the trunks are often smaller than we're used to in the states. If you don't rent a car, you'll probably be traveling by rail, and will want to be able to move quickly and easily.

3. If you do rent a car, make sure it comes with a GPS for directions. Many places in rural France don't have street addresses. They have names, they have postal codes, they have village names — and sometimes they just give you the longitude and latitude. Joan illustrates the importance of this point in the audio above.

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"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Joan Harkins is our special guest this week. She’s the founder of French Cider, a Seattle-based importer of ciders and calvados. Our usual travel expert, Matthew Brumley, will be back next week. 

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