Dear reader,
you certainly have realized that there is no subtitle for this page!
The reason why is evident:
"Never try to ask more than one French for opinion at the same time,
unless you enjoy a good pissing contest"!
 
 
subtitle: ...
????  For any other country it would have been easy to write one, but for France ... ...!?  ... ???

Between my French friends it started a never-ending discussion (which is still going on):
"Too insipid!" ... "No, too profound!"
"Too elegant!" ... "No, much too common!"
"Too rational!" ... "No, too irrational!"
"Too glorious!" ... "No, too scandalous!"
"Too humble!" ... "No, too splendid!"
"Too brilliant!" ... "No, too prosaic!"
"Too much ...!" ... "No, too little ...!"
... and so on.      
Shall my page about France already fall flat at the beginning on a little headline ?!  ...
" Nooo! Wérrry umportant!!! " ... I can still hear them saying.
 
... Anyhow, I could never had made my French friends "d'accord"!
And my Homepage would never had made it to the Net.

Therefore, let's go directly to France, and see for yourself, why
France is one of the most visited countries on the globe
and why the Germans have a saying like
"Leben wie Gott in Frankreich" .
But before you go to the more serious sites or guides, perhaps you would like to have a look at my " French Collection of the Net ", a hodgepodge of French or "Frog" related sites of sometimes doubtful context or interest, but ... . You do know ... "Collectors"!  Don't you?

Lately I found a site about . It has nothing to do with the subject you think. I thought that too! And than an American friend told me, that to dissect a frog or trying to understand a French person is almost the same endeavor.
The only difference is that after a while one knows everything about a frog's anatomy, but is still completely lost in the so called ("...so called by the French", he insisted) " Cartesian" thinking . Whereupon one of my French friends remarked:  " ... ... ".
O.K., O.K., they are still discussing!
"No!, not discussing"
, says my French friend, "arguing , ARGUING!
And don't forget that it was your Benjamin Franklin who said :

"Every man has two nations, and one of them is France"

Dear reader, I must admit that our French friend could sometimes be a pain in the neck!  Couldn't he give me this citation right at the beginning!?
That's the subtitle I was looking for!

Amongst all the more or less good -(more good than less)- Net Guides for France I took almost at random the following ones:
World Travel Guide/France or Excite/Travel . Both are complete, interesting, clear. There is also Destination France , the Lonely Planet's profile "will keep you out of the merde when you're in the Home of the Betterave and the Land of the Brie" (their own words!) ;-) .
" Quoique ... ?! ", says our French friend.
"Quoique, what ?" do I hear and "Quoique, was ?" .
(You certainly have realized, that one of my German friends has just joined the discussion.)
"Oui, oui, it's a good, even very good, guide and they changed a bit their style. But I still have an older introduction and some of their former articles in mind, which seemed a bit irreverent, even when I looked  closer at the "tournure" des phrases. But," he continues, " I am perhaps a little susceptible. Don't you think so? No, I really think, that this guide is a good one. I even like it very much!
Quoique ...?"
"Quoique, what again!?" "Quoique, was schon wieder?!"
(You certainly have also realized, that our two other friends have lost a bit of their patience.)
 "Ben, oui".  It's forgotten now, but in one of their articles was little final remark about the odd French nuclear bomb? We, the French, do not call bathing suits Mururoa ! We still stick to the older, but so much more seducing or significant word Bikini ! Quoique, this so nice sounding word could have another meaning too, as far as I remember!"
" Whereupon my other friends ....... .
But now I think it is better we should leave them.
They really like each other, but they have interminable discussions!
They are quarreling about an article from Lonely Planet, which - sometimes - could be interpreted as (a bit), let's say "disrespectful" by the French and, as we all know, only French people are allowed to be disrespectful with the French!
And ... for myself I must say that I liked this "irreverent" style.
Its authors had a refreshing view and a - very - personal interpretation of some of our main conversation topics. Just read what they have said (already some time ago) about a change in French government - and how they said it :
" Probably suffering from a belief he was Superman, Chirac called a snap election early in 1997, under the pretence of seeking a mandate for the final push towards meeting economic monetary union (EMU) controls. However, he did not count on the fickleness of the French people and his RPR party were ousted from government by an unlikely alliance between the Socialists, Communists and Greens.
It was the term "fickleness", for example, which did not find the approval of our French friend. In his opinion they should have written :
"..., he did not count on the deep and sound understanding of democracy of the French people ..."

I still remember this episode. Chirac, who remained as president, was forced to do the governmental tango with Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The EMU was hanging in the balance!
I must say that I found myself  "the deep and sound understanding of democracy of the French people" quite surprising. Since the French Revolution  it can be even quite expeditious sometimes." (Mr. Chirac and Mr. Jospin are still meditating that point and Monsieur Sarkozy should keep it in mind !)
 
In another commentary the people from Lonely Planet were not mistaken when they wrote : " The concept of culture is of signal importance for the French. Convinced of an enduring cultural superiority, France has bestowed magnificent examples of artistic expression in all fields, not to mention some of the ugliest wallpaper and the worst pop music in the world."
Although a French would have replaced "superiority by "mission" or "spirit of conversion". And a French would not have said: " ... the ugliest wallpaper and the worst pop music in the world." That's not the right Parisian sound! They prefer to say something like : ... some of the most "avant-gardistic" ... and so on ... .
But - and please bear with me, dear Reader, - we are not here to discuss little differences in Anglo-Saxon and French expression modes! We are here to see and learn more about France and the French. But before we continue our virtual trip I should give you perhaps some information and explanations about symbols, institutions and features of France and the French (at random and in a purely coincidental order!):
The French Language
 The Tricolor Flag
National anthem
(La Marseillaise)
Marianne
the embodiment of the French Republic 
Bastille Day
14 July The National Holiday
Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen
The Precursor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Do's and Don'ts
in France
La baguette
the famous French bread
The menu
a modest example of a typical French meal
French wine
French cheese
 
Cocorico
or the French (Gallic) Rooster or Cockerel (if you like)
and many more such as the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty (which, by the way, came from France! As you see, our French friend is still with us!), l'Arc de Triomphe etc., which will be added in a later edition.

Should You find interesting links, please let me know!

Now, if you think that you will still need more information, try this fine compilation of links to facts, bits and pieces from France.

But try to understand a Webmaster! I really will ask him, why he mentioned only la "Nouvelle-Calédonie" amongst all the beautiful and fabulous regions of France's "Outre Mer" !? He must have some private reasons! Hasn't he!? I myself have a weakness for
Reunion Island! I'll make a page about it!

But now let's come back. One gets too easily lost to those faraway Islands.

There are - fortunately - many, many more sites with interesting and useful information and lots of links (be warned, some will work others will not! I couldn't check them all!) to France and French related subjects. The authors of these sites did really a great job and they collected and compiled almost every possible item about the theme. Some of the sites are simply outstanding and I admire their creators for their work. If you do not find what you are looking for amongst our Link List of French Resources on the Web, go and surf around and...tell me what you have found!


Now, dear reader, let's see what you have learned! Here is a QUIZ to test your knowledge of France.

Done? ... In general quite satisfactory? But still some gaps?
OK! There is a little brush-up of your knowledge of French culture and history ?
Ready for a new test ?
No!? First you want to read something more about France ?

"Chapeau !!" Continue like that and you will be soon an expert about France and French matters!