My family’s history in France is centered upon two regions in Northeastern France; Lorraine and Champagne (Champagne-Ardennes officially). Historically, my ancestors came from Champagne which is the region directly east of Paris. Cities like Chaumont, Epernay, and Chalonswere the homes of my family for centuries. In the 1800s however, a lot of my family moved to the neighboring region of Lorraine. A lot of my family lives in this region today. Lorraine is a region that is often overlooked in France, but it is filled with hidden wonders that only the most curious adventurers, explorers, and tourists can find.
Famous for its mirabelle plums, breweries, crystal works, majestic gothic cathedrals, museums, art-nouveau buildings, lakes, ski resorts, miles of forests, exotic zoos,national wildlife parks, pinot noir wines, dozens of Spa towns, local markets, Medieval/Renaissance carnivals and fairs, re-enactments of World War I battles, hot air balloon meets, citadels, and beautiful old castles and palaces, la Lorraine has everything.
Map of France showing the two regions in North-East Area.
My best childhood memories are all in these regions. From wondering the wild forests behind my grandmother’s house, to finding old German World War II bunkers, exploring dungeons of old run-down castles, to picking apples and plums in the countryside. My childhood was made wonderful because of all these things. Not to mention the hundreds of vineyards located all throughout the regions! After all, Champagne is the home of Champagne!
I recommend visiting these regions if any one of you ever visits France. As I say to everyone who even has a desire to visit France, ‘Paris is the ugliest part of France.’ The true wonders of la belle France are spread out in the other regions of France.
Truthfully, Parisians tend to be very ‘different’ from the rest of the French people. Basically, they like to think that they are in the most beautiful city in the world at the center of the universe. Be prepared if you ever decide to visit France. And remember to explore the many other areas of France!
“La Lorraine est mon enfance.”