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Postcards from France - why Francophiles love France

Are you missing France? Wanting to explore a little more France each week? To honour our shared Francophile love of France, here on the blog I'm exploring a little snapshot of what makes France so enticing, curious, beautiful and wonderful.

Every week there will be a virtual postcard on the blog which features a little moment, experience or feature on somewhere in France. Whether you love the mountains or the rolling fields, the coast, surf or cycling, there's something for every Francophile here. From Paris to Nice and Strasbourg to Biarritz, we explore every corner of France. Short and sweet like a postcard from a friend making some observations, these postcards give a glimpse of France and add a little something to your week.

Our hearts are there in the varied and beautiful country so let's explore more of what we love! Surely that's a positive antidote to the times we live in!

This week it's the innovative and practical. What are you to do if you live in an historic city but the streets are so old and narrow that a recycling truck can't get through? Well, of course you use a horse and carriage!

I love that in historic Le Mans, vieux Mans, this is exactly what happens regularly. In the gallery images below you can see them in action!

Christine Salle, and her nine-year-old mare named "Doupette", and a picker collect recyclable waste in the historic district of Le Mans. The crew collects the waste for 800 homes every Tuesday morning, in the difficult-to-access Plantagenêt historic district, also called 'Le Vieux Mans', where it is impossible to install selective sorting containers. Somehow this all feels so in keeping with the web of charming streets showing their medieval or renaissance facades as you pass by. After a delicious lunch in the town, there is nothing more lovely than wandering through these beautiful streets with no aim in mind, soaking up the centuries and charm. Walking through in the morning to find Doupette collecting the recycling could be fun too though!

(Embed slideshow of images by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Have you been to Le Mans?

If all you've seen in Sarthe is the 24 hours race of Le Mans (motor sport fans the world over love it!) then you're in for a treat when you wander the streets of Vieux Mans in all it historic beauty and charm. There's much more to Le Mans than motor sports and races.

Spreading over the hillside above the river Sarthe (also the name of the départment), the old quarter is a charming web of streets and as you walk you can see the marks of eras long gone. From the original Gallo-Roman walls surrounding it, buildings have Gothic, Renaissance, Medieval and Classical styles and details. It's a beautiful walk through history. The immense St Julians's cathedral, built between the 11th and 15th centuries, is also stunning with some beautiful stained glass windows.

The historic capital of the Maine region, you can discover more about the history of the Plantagenets and their dynasty with a stroll through the historic streets.You can explore more at the museums in Le Mans including its archaeological history at the archaeology museum Le Carré Plantagenêt or the art collections of the Musée Tessé.

If you're intrigued to visit, then find out more at the Le Mans tourism website and all about guided tours there.

These postcards from France remind me of the happy times I've travelled through France and yet there's still more to discover. There's always another region, another town or beautiful village (officially a Plus Beaux Villages or not). There are customs and regional food and wine to discover as well as accents and words you might have never heard before.

Tell me, what do you love about France? It could be a fragrance, a texture, a town or city, even a museum or view... let me know by contacting me or on Instagram. I'd love to hear from you. 🥰


Before you go, dear Francophile...

For more France, why not join the curious Francophiles exploring France every month? The free newsletter goes out every first weekend of the month and includes events across France and often dips into delicious food, culture, travel, music, film, style and more. The France in Five feature brings together the month's top highlights with stories, links and classic French traditions.

It brings France to where you are. So if you're newly enamoured with France or a Francophile of long-standing passions, join us now!

By joining you'll also receive every Postcard from France delivered to your inbox in the blog digest. I'd love to talk France with you, so join me in France, wherever you are. Subscribers get all the podcast news before anyone else and are the first to get exclusive news, giveaways and future offers from Francophile-friendly courses and online stores too.

Sign up for the newsletter here (it goes without saying that there's absolutely no spam and your privacy is protected. You can subscribe at any time, but I hope you stay and make 2022 a year to delight in the country we love so much.)

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