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9 things we learned about France in the March issue of FRANCE Magazine

PUBLISHED: 13:36 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 06 March 2019

Buy your copy of the March issue of FRANCE Magazine now

Buy your copy of the March issue of FRANCE Magazine now

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One of the best bits about working on FRANCE Magazine is learning something new about our favourite country every single day. This month we found out about lucky owls, cave hotels and cheeky monkeys…

1) If you’re outside Dunkerque’s Hôtel de Ville at carnival time, there’s a very real chance of getting hit by a herring.

The highlight of this northern city’s carnival season is the parade celebrating the three days leading up to Ash Wednesday when the fishermen would traditionally go to sea. The procession culminates in the main square, where the mayor throws herrings from the town hall balcony into the crowd!

Find out more carnival capers on page 19.

Flying herrings at Dunkerque's carnival. Pic: Marie Lan-Nguyen CC BY 2.5Flying herrings at Dunkerque's carnival. Pic: Marie Lan-Nguyen CC BY 2.5

2) You might end up sharing your breakfast with monkeys – or makis – on this French island.

At Le Relais Forestier on Mayotte, you can enjoy your breakfast with the added company of some cheeky lemurs who are more than happy to share your delicious meal. They’ve got a penchant for papaya!

Be seduced by exotic Mayotte with Mark Stratton on page 38.

3) There’s a knife named after actress Fanny Ardant.

The star of La Femme d’à Côté is rumoured to always carry a Laguiole in her handbag, so the company honoured her with the limited-edition ‘Ardant’.

Discover France’s legendary blades with Heidi Fuller-love on page 82.

4) You can ski with birds of prey(!) at this Alpine resort.

This sounds incredible! In the Alpine resort of Val d’Arly you can take to the slopes with eagles and other birds of prey for a descent like no other.

See what other new experiences you can try in France this month on page 18.

Enjoy a descent with a difference at this ski resort. Pic: Pierre Brand/OT Val d'ArlyEnjoy a descent with a difference at this ski resort. Pic: Pierre Brand/OT Val d'Arly

5) Rub this owl statue in Dijon for good luck.

On Rue de la Chouette, on the north wall of the city’s cathedral, stands a cute owl that is said to bring good luck if you rub it. It’s now rather disfigured after all those hands!

Enjoy a tour of delectable Dijon with Mary Novakovich on page 44.

6) The ‘father of modern conjuring’ was a Frenchman.

We all know Harry Houdini, but have you heard of his namesake, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin?

Be spellbound by his tricks with Sandra Haurant on page 48.

7) You can take part in a race up the Eiffel Tower – that’s 1,665 steps!

The Verticale de la Tour Eiffel might be our idea of hell, but if you like a running challenge like no other, you can sign up here.

See what other exciting running races are taking place in France this spring on page 20.

The first man sets off on this epic marathon. Pic: A ChaumontelThe first man sets off on this epic marathon. Pic: A Chaumontel

8) There are so many amazing accessible accommodation options in France.

Whether it be a cave in the Loire Valley or a treehouse in Corrèze, there is no shortage of lovely disability-friendly accommodation in France.

Get inspiration for your next holiday with our top picks on page 61.

9) You can go and see a ‘fish ladder’ in Alsace.

Yes, this exists! At the hydro-electric dam in Gambsheim, a ‘passe à poissons’ was installed in 2006 to allow migrating fish to pass up and downstream.

Enjoy a drive through the Northern Vosges with Adam Ruck on page 28.

So what are you waiting for? The March 2019 issue of FRANCE Magazine is on sale 30 January – order your copy here.

Or take advantage of our great subscription offers and get FRANCE Magazine delivered straight to your door every month!

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