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Friday, March 30, 2012

Fousesquawk Travel Destinations: France

We express our gratitude to the French Armed Forces. Without their assistance, this film would not have been possible.




Ahh yes, France; gay Paree. Love is always in the air when you visit France. The land of great wine, great food, bad beer, bad armies, bad waiters, Irma La Douce, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Getting there


If you are traveling from the US, there are direct flights via Air France from New York to Paris-or you can fly one of the lousy American carriers. If you are coming from one of the former French colonies, like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon etc, you can just demand free passage, plus welfare, free rent and a free apartment in one of the lovely French banlieus (suburbs).  Just show up at the airport, commandeer a car, kill the driver, and settle into your free apartment. Others have to hop a taxi and pay for a hotel.

The best season to go.


That would be right now, fresh off the great military victory in Libya, the first war France has won since Napoleon's army was shooting bullet holes in the Sphinx. To celebrate, you should visit his tomb in Paris. If you get close enough, you  may hear him laughing about the Libyan campaign.



Speaking of tombs, don't forget to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Collaborator.


But don't think that France is just about great military victories, veal cordon bleu, cheese, and Chateau LaFoof wine 1935. There is great technology.


(To say nothing of French vanilla, the French horn and the French kiss)

A history of great political leaders. (I even have a couple of portraits.)

King Louis I
King Louis II
King Louis III
King Louis IV
King Louis V
King Louis VI
King Louis VII
King Louis VIII
King Louis IX
King Louis X
King Louis XI
King Louis XII
King Louis XIII
King Louis XIV (below)



King Louis XV
King Louis XVI (below)





















And don't forget Pierre Laval, Charles (The Humble)  de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac and Jerry Lewis.

Places to Visit

Famous landmarks? Well, everyone knows about the Eiffel Tower. Be sure to visit it on a Friday. There's a guy standing at the top calling the faithful of Paris to report to Notre Dame for prayer. (Notre Dame is currently under re-construction. Something about installing a minaret.)

Walking in Paris is always an adventure. You never know who or what you will run into to.






And don't forget to visit the Louvre. That's where you can see the Mona Lisa and try to fathom that mysterious smile.


Outside, you can buy those famous postcards to send to your family back in the States. Here's one I bought outside the museum back in 1967. I still keep it by my bedside whenever I want to remember France.



Now where should you stay in France? The French tourist agency, headed by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, can accommodate every taste in your choice of hotels. The Strauss-Kahn hotel chain is noted for first class room service.


And who is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, you ask?

You don't want to know.

And don't think that Paris is the only place to visit in France. You can always travel to Rouen and see where they burned Joan of Arc at the stake. Or you can go to the east of France and see the impregnable Maginot Line built to protect France from one of those chronic German attacks. It worked; the Germans drove through Belgium. I also recommend Marseilles in the south. And don't worry; you don't need to speak French there. Nobody else does either.

And don't forget to visit Strasbourg (before the Germans take it back). That is the site of the European Parliament, where British member Nigel Farage regularly takes his counterparts to the woodshed. You've watched the videos here on Fousesquawk. Go and see where it actually happens. This is also the site where our own President Obama made his historic reference to "the Austrian language" (which by the way, was the native language of Marie Antoinette-Mrs. Louis XVI). I hear they erected a plaque on the exact spot where Obama made his now-famous utterance. It is engraved in Austrian.


So if you're thinking about a great vacation destination, consider France. Don't worry; they use the Euro. But you better get there soon-before it's gone. (France or the Euro, you ask?-Both.)

In closing, let us all rise and sing the Marseillaise (perhaps, for the last time)..



"Arise children of the fatherland



The day of glory has arrived


Against us tyranny's


Bloody standard is raised


Listen to the sound in the fields


The howling of these fearsome soldiers


They are coming into our midst


To cut the throats of your sons and consorts






To arms citizens Form your battalions


March, march


Let impure blood


Water our furrows






What do they want this horde of slaves


Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?


For whom these vile chains


These long-prepared irons?


Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage


What methods must be taken?


It is us they dare plan


To return to the old slavery!






What! These foreign cohorts!


They would make laws in our courts!


What! These mercenary phalanxes


Would cut down our warrior sons


Good Lord! By chained hands


Our brow would yield under the yoke


The vile despots would have themselves be


The masters of destiny






Tremble, tyrants and traitors


The shame of all good men


Tremble! Your parricidal schemes


Will receive their just reward


Against you we are all soldiers


If they fall, our young heros


France will bear new ones


Ready to join the fight against you






Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors


Bear or hold back your blows


Spare these sad victims


That they regret taking up arms against us


But not these bloody despots


These accomplices of Bouillé


All these tigers who pitilessly


Ripped out their mothers' wombs






We too shall enlist


When our elders' time has come


To add to the list of deeds


Inscribed upon their tombs


We are much less jealous of surviving them


Than of sharing their coffins


We shall have the sublime pride


Of avenging or joining them






Drive on sacred patriotism


Support our avenging arms


Liberty, cherished liberty


Join the struggle with your defenders


Under our flags, let victory


Hurry to your manly tone


So that in death your enemies


See your triumph and our glory"


Merci.


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