Coming attractions: France...and Sex in the City, Manhattan Style
Rushing around today, so I'll take a cue from the folks in Cannes and give a bit of a preview of next week.
I'm off to France (I know, tough life) tonight an evening flight with Air France. Why? Two reasons, really. Number one is I want to go. Number two is we don't get as many stories out of France as I'd like.
I can't quite explain how this business works. But we get funny waves of stories being submitted. For a while, I was deluged with Cambodia/Vietnam stories. That died off, then there was a lot from Wales because they recently held a big travel writers confernce. Of late, I've been getting TONS of offers for stories out of India; mostly focussing on game preserves and hunting/searching for tigers and lions. It's weird, because we didn't get much from India for the longest time. And then, wham!
Some of it has to do with tourist boards. Some countries are quite aggressive and work overtime to get journalists to come. Others, such as Italy, seem to sit back and wait for journalists to arrive. Given the amount of press Italy gets, I guess I can see their point in not spending gazillions of dollars. But it's a competitive market, and it still surprises me a bit that the Italians aren't more active. Florida gets an incredible business from Canada, but they recognize it and are constantly sending me information and travel deals and trip suggestions of all sorts.
Anyway, I look at the travel editor's job a couple ways. One, I want to go to places I think I'll enjoy. That only makes sense. Nobody wants to read a story from a reporter who had a depressing trip and hated where he went. I haven't been to France for a long time, and there's a lot to like. I used to see photos of these beautiful villages perched on the side of a rocky hill in the Dordogne, and I've dreamed of going there for the longest time. So I'm flying to Paris overnight today, then catching a flight to Bordeaux.
The French tourism people wanted me to check out St. Emilion, so I'm doing that on the weekend. Likely I'll have a sip or three of red wine. After that it's a couple days in the Dordogne river valley east of Bordeaux, checking out old villages and the prehistoric sites. This is where the Lascaux caves are, with the incredible cave paintings and a rich history of early man, so there should be plenty to see.
After that it's Corsica. I haven't see a Star Travel story on Corsica in a long time, and it's got beautiful coastlines and rocky mountain villages in the rugged interior. And it looks cool, with local cheeses and wine and charcuterie and a real sense of independence from France. So it has the makings of a good story and probably some decent blogs if I can improve my French from almost non-existent to merely horrible.
I'll have a half-day in Paris at the end, which is too bad. I should've given myself another day, but there's work to do here in Toronto.
Anyway, I love France. And it's one of the top places Canadians like to go, and it's important that the travel editor have some familiarity with it. These are parts of France I don't know so well, so in addition to making myself happy I think it's a service to our readers. I hope so, anyway.
While I'm across the pond, Star entertainment/movies writer Linda Barnard, who's a hoot and three-quarters, will be New York City for the Sex and the City movie weekend. There promises to be lots of glitz and glamour and good stories to tell, so Linda will be filing a blog posting on Monday; assuming all goes well and she doesn't spill a tall cosmopolitan on her keyboard.
I'm hoping to have good Internet connections in the Dordogne and Corsica, but I'm not quite sure what kind of setup my hotels will have so if I miss a day you'll know why....
Have a great weekend, everyone, and talk to ya soon.