Ten things I noticed about France

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  1. The French took roundabout landscaping to the next level.  Most roundabouts (particularly in the south) are mini garden/art works that incorporate both plant and art installations. I have photos here from Champagne, they were not the best examples but at least it shows a little of what they do.
  2. 4 pm is the hottest part of the day. This is really the case for all of Europe in summer, but it is interesting to me as it is not like this at all in Australia!
  3. Summer seems to be the season of the French “Fete”. Numerous towns were having fetes: such as hay festivals, strawberry festivals and the most popular of all, the medieval festival. We actually tried to stay in one town that had a fete in action as we drove through but alas, we could not get accommodation at the local caravan park. This particular town had a jousting match on boats happening as we drove through. Quite unique and most intriguing!
  4. McDonalds in France often have a green background, instead of red. At first I incorrectly thought that maybe they were trying to be “different” but after discovering they had free wifi and a desire to try the “Royale with Cheese” (Pulp Fiction) we discovered that green Maccas are actually ones that are fully powered by renewable energy. The majority are of this kind.
  5. The main crops in France (at least those I could identify) are: sunflowers, lavender, corn, vines, apricots, apples and hay.
  6. It seems no matter the size of the town, they will have a boulangerie (bakery)!
  7. Road side rest areas are common (and you are forwarned of their existence), unlike the majority of Europe.
  8. Like the Italians, they love the arvo siesta.
  9. France was the first country with any livestock of note – cattle. My google searching seems to indicate they are Charolais.
  10. The majority of towns are carefully maintained with planter boxes of brightly coloured flowers, hanging pots of flowers from light posts, colourfully painted wooden shutters and artworks painted on the walls of homes and shops.
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