France is a beautiful country. It has lots to do like skiing, swimming, shopping, gambling, drinking, and dining. Here are the topics I will include in my report, government, history, culture, tourist attractions, language, entertainment, transportation, climate, currency, accommodations, and travel tips. Sit back have some wine because you are about to embark on a journey, A Journey to France!
France is a republic with a president and a premier. The president is Jacques Chirac and the premier is Alain Juppe. The legislature consists of the National Assembly and the Senate. The president appoints the premier. He also serves a 7-year term. Ages 18 and up can vote for the president and the legislature. The National Assembly consists of 577 deputies that are elected in their political division. They serve a five-year term. The senate has 319 members that are elected for a five-year term. France is divided into 22 regions, 96 metropolitan areas, 4 overseas departments, 4 overseas territories, and 2 collective territories.
In ancient times the Celts and Germanic tribes lived in France. When the romans invaded, they called France Gaul. Gaul was eventually annexed. In 400 A.D. the west roman empire's defense began to fall. After that France was an independent country. Hugh Carpet was crowned the first king of France in 987 A.D. In the 1700's the French Revolution started. The end of the French revolution marked the end of absolute power for the French kings. Napoleon seized power in 1799. He founded the first empire in 1804. He was exiled in 1814.
The 1993 estimate of the French population was 57,566,091. The average population density is 105.8 people per square kilometer. The population distribution is 76% for urban areas and 26% for rural areas. Studies show that the majority prefer houses to apartments. The major religion is Roman Catholic. 99% of the French population is literate. There are 72 universities in France.
Shopping is a big attraction in France. In Paris, department stores are good places to shop. In Normandy, shops have a rich selection of antiques. Sunday is a good day to shop on in Normandy because many stores have discounts. Normandy has a lot of lace too. The prices are high and the pieces are labor intensive. There are some good beaches in Normandy. It has lots of seaside coasts. There are many widely spaced resorts. On the Atlantic coast there are many waterslides, wavepools, and other water goodies. Paris has lots of culture. The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889. It costs $8 to go to the top. It's open daily from 9:30 A.M. to 11 P.M. At night you can almost see all of Paris. In case you get hungry there are cafes to eat at on the Eiffel Tower. The Louvre has a collection of great art works throughout history. It was built in the 13th century. It has the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Divinci. There are seven sections at the Louvre. They are ancient civilizations, sculptures, furniture, drawings, paintings, prints, and arms armor. Don't try to see it all at once. The hours are wed-Mon. 9-6 and Tuesday open til 9:45. Admission $10 for adults, $7 for ages 18-25, 18 and under are free.
In France the official language is French. English is usually understood in most tourist areas. Speak slowly in either English or French. Your French may sound prickly. If your French isn't that good just try to learn a few words.
So you need something to do in your free time? Okay now listen well. At night you may want to go to a nightclub. Many have an English atmosphere and lots of whiskeys. Try Le Queen's Bar, it has a karioke machine and a video recorder so you can see your performance later. There are hundreds of theaters in France. Look at "Officiel du Spectacle" for the movies you want. If you want to "jazz" it up a little go to Le Petit Journal for tradional jazz. Bring $20 per person and some money for food. Wait til 10 or 11 P.M. for some "real" music. Go to Centr la Meret des Eaux, it is an aquarium. It costs $5 per person. It's open from Tues.-Friday from 10- 12:30 A.M. and 1:15-5:30 P.M.
In France many places are accessible to cars. Some high-cost hotels have car-renting services. Paris has 6 train stations, so you could get around easily. Most taxis will charge $2-3 per mile. Fashion
In France you should bring sweaters and sweatshirts because it can get cold. Also, you should bring winter coats. You should try to wear dressy clothes as much as you can because many fashion designers are in France.
The french currency is a franc. Five francs are equal to one dollar. Some hotels accept American money, but don't depend on it. Also, some hotels have a currency exchange.
Accommodations A lot of good hotels are in Paris. The Meurice Hotel costs about $ 300 per night. This hotel has Persian carpets and big rooms with a bath. The Fleurie Hotel costs up to $ 300 per night, this hotel has exceptional dining and a bath. The Imperial Palace is in Lyons, it costs $ 200 per night it also has a bath. The Alexandria costs about $ 150 per night. It has a bath. Most hotels in France do not have bathes.
For traveling on the airplane try to get a nonstop flight. Most flights do not allow smoking. Get as much sleep as you can. In customs don't worry about your laptops, video cameras, etc. They won't be damaged by the x-rays. Change the batteries before leaving on all of your electronics. Bring all of the lenses for cameras. Wear dressy clothes at the restaurants. Tip about 10% of the bill for restaurants.