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NewsletterJune 2014

Roland-Garros dans la Ville

In the spirit of Roland-Garros - aka the French Open, the Eiffel Tower was host of Roland-Garros dans la Ville 2014. Along with a giant screen showing the French Open, there was also a tennis court, more photos here.

Band of Brothers Actors

For anyone in Normandy during D-Day celebrations.

Band of Brothers Actors autograph sessions in Normandy:
June 3-Static-Line military shop in Sainte Mere Eglise 3PM-5PM.
June 4-Hotel Villa Lara in Bayeux 6PM-8PM.
June 7-Utah Beach Museum-11AM. Signing will be actors who attended the Band of Brothers Actors Reunion the night of June 6.

There is a €10 per person donation for entry into the autograph sessions. Band of Brothers Actors Reunion posters are also for sale for €20 and can be signed. All proceeds benefit the non-profit mission of the World War II Foundation.

European Elections

In what was widely expected, but nevertheless a shock (my guess that was voter intention) to mainstream parties the Front National (FN) received 25% of the vote in the May 25th European Elections. This result comes down to, voter anger at mainstream parties, that is the ruling Socialists (PS) and center-right UMP and the FN's charismatic leader Marine Le Pen.
Right now both the PS and UMP aren't doing well. For the Socialists, François Hollande continues to be the most unpopular President in French history. He is now seen by many voters as powerless to fix the stagnant economy and record unemployment. The UMP for its part, is mired in a scandal - Affaire Bygmalion that brought down its leader Jean-François Copé and now faces a leadership struggle.
This is gold for a populist like Le Pen, who as her father, is skilled at scapegoating and pushing fear buttons but also speaks to the worries of many French. Who see France as a ship in a storm without a captain and few alternatives. Next, Le Pen, out of power can offer solutions: opting out of the euro and the EU. That have little chance of happening and wouldn't help if enacted.
The FN is often described as 'extreme right.' In some respects that's true, the FN is law and order, anti-immigration and France for the French. But the FN is also anti-globalization and doesn't see free market capitalism as good for France. This is one of the reason that the FN is now the party of the French working class. Many of whom, I'm sure feel sold out by Hollande and the European Union of today.
Le Pen's success also needs to be kept in context. She might do well in some elections but she and her party are a long way from winning a presidential election and the parliamentary elections to follow. For all the FN's success, it still has trouble finding candidates and lacks the infrastructure to win a parliamentary election.

Chamonix

Ever wondered what a bird's eye view of the French Alps looks like? If so, you might want to 'Step into the Void.' Step into the Void is a sky walk at the summit of the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix. After taking two cable cars and an elevator to the 12,605 ft summit, you'll be able to walk into the glass box that is Step into the Void. It's worth the view but unnerving!
Talking about Chamonix, if you're ever in this French Alps town, make sure to go on one of Teresa Kaufman's walks. Here are photo highlights from her Perspectives, Passage-Ways and Lunch at Le Bistrot walk. This walk includes a stroll in the center of Chamonix, a visit to Le Bistrot's kitchen, then a walk in and around Chamonix and back to Le Bistrot for lunch.
Teresa offers visitors much more than just a walk. You'll visit parts of Chamonix that most tourist miss and in her Perspectives' walk you'll go inside a one star Michelin restaurant's kitchen, how many walks offer that? If do one of Teresa's walks, say Jeff Steiner sent you and get a 10% discount on the basic photo walk fee (not including meals) of €20.
If you can't make one of Teresa's walks, give lunch at Le Bistrot a try. Le Bistrot's €20 per person lunch special (not including drinks), is one of the best deals for lunch in France. It's fine dining at an accessible price.

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An American In Brittany: 'Bienvenue Chez Moi!' Cheryl Ward welcomes you to her home and B & B. Located in the beautiful Cotes d'Armor region of Brittany, France, 30 minutes from the Roscoff ferry arriving from England, 25 minutes from Gare Morlaix, arriving from Paris, and directly along the GR34 national coastal walking and bicycle routes.
This cozy four bedroom 'Tables d'hotes' is a Breton stone home located directly across from the sea, bordered by a river and forest. It's country garden, butterflies and birds beckon you to stay awhile, breathe deeply, and step away from everyday life. Whether you stay one night, or many, experience France's well kept secret paradise…the beautiful Granite Rose Coast, while creating memories to last a lifetime!

Domaine la Fontaine: B&B and cottages in the beautiful Charente-Maritime. Domaine la Fontaine is situated at the edge of the small village of Soubran in Southwest France. Domaine la Fontaineis in a peaceful area, with an impressive view over a large valley, where one can enjoy the things that make life worthwhile.
Five fully renovated rooms, each with individual bathroom (1 with bath), tasteful furnishings, in a charming 19th century Charentaise House. Cosy salon (TV, fireplace, piano etc.) for common use. Four comfortable and cosy gites (cottages).
For all guests there is a large garden, a heated swimming pool, parking and free WiFi.
A few times a week we offer dinner and you are more than welcome to join us. Dinner is of course accompanied by a good glass of wine. Domaine la Fontaine is in the Charente-Maritime department, a beautiful region with a wide range of activities (Atlantic coast, Bordeaux, famous wineries, nature, village markets, golf courses, etc).
We speak your language.
Come and see for yourself, it's worth a visit. Check out our Grape Harvest Weekend Package and Golf Package.

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