Lake Annecy in the Summer
The above photo was taken during the Tour de France’s stop in Annecy on July 23. You can see more photos I took on my Flickr page.
Cahiers de vacances
Here’s a French tradition and it has nothing to do with food. Cahiers de vacances (Vacation Workbooks) are bought by French parents so their children don’t forget what was learned during the school year. Cahiers de vacances are just like regular workbooks, with exercises for math, French, history and so on. The only difference is they are for the summer so there are often tie-ins with popular characters like Dora the Explorer. France is by far the Cahiers de vacances sales leader in Europe.
Yes, you can find even more American culture in the French Alps. After Viva La Clusaz, mentioned in last month’s newsletter, there is La Roche Bluegrass Festival (aka the European Bluegrass Festval)taking place in my home town, La Roche sur Foron from July 29 - August 2 2009. This year there will be some 40 concerts. Best of all they are all free.
If you don’t live in France you never heard of the HADOPI law. HADOPI is an acronym for Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet (High Authority of Diffusion of the Art Works and Protection of the (Copy) Rights on Internet). The law’s focus is protecting artists from illegal downloading of works on the Internet. Under the law anyone caught downloading copyrighted works, usually songs, is denied Internet access after two warnings.
Cutting the VAT
If you have been to France lately you probably noticed lower prices when eating out. On July 1st VAT (value-added tax) in France was cut from 19.6% to 5.5% for restaurants. Result: making meals cheaper and more affordable. This reduction, asked for by restaurants in France for several years finally received approval. One promise (along with lower prices) made by a few restaurant associations was the hiring of new workers.
Here are two recent new businesses that I’d like to mention:
This month’s Newsletter is brought to you by:
Les Rossignols: Is a beautiful old Quercy farmhouse built around 1840, near Assier, in the Lot, Midi-Pyrenees. Close to Figeac, the famous medieval riverside market town, there is much to do and see. Three bed and breakfast rooms are available, from a romantic double room with private roof terrace, to a family room for four. The top floor can be rented as a suite of two bedrooms to sleep six, with spa bathroom and sitting room. Close to the wonderful tourist sites of Rocamadour, St. Cirq-Lapopie, the prehistoric caves of Peche Merle, the Dordorgne, Lot and Célé river valleys there is plenty to do. Walk, explore or watch the wonderful birds and wild life, whichever way you can be sure of a fabulous holiday and warm welcome.
Saint Jacques: Is a completely renovated auberge (manor house) in the heart of a charming Solognot village just 15 minutes south of Orléans and 90 minutes from Paris. The auberge has a large living area, a dining room and a bilingual French/English library. For enjoying the kilometres of trails we offer the use of our bikes, also badminton and ping pong are available. Only a few minutes away are several of the Loire Valley castles including Chambord, François 1er's famous hunting castle. Numerous wineries and restaurants along with 5 well-known golf courses are also nearby. Americans in France readers get a 10% discount on B&B accommodation, workshops and special weekends!