Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How to see France in half a day

It’s somewhat of a novelty item. Located in Elancourt and accessible by train and bus France in Miniature boasts 116 French monuments, chateaux, villages and churches.

France Miniature is a 5-hectare (12-acre) outdoor park in the shape of France that contains about 160 outdoor 1/30-scale models of major French monuments and landmarks. Monuments are placed in the park to correlate approximately with their real-world locations in France.

Many of the models are animated, and all of the country's best known landmarks are represented (the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Lourdes, Mont Saint Michelle etc).

A lot of effort has gone into these models and it’s fun to wander about and take photos. There are self-operating rides and attractions for children but it’s best to arrive early to avoid queues. Signage is often confusing so at times we found ourselves in a different region of France than the logical progression. Visitors to France will enjoy it. French residents are likely to find it unrealistic and a couple of the models such as St Tropez are very inadequate.

A word of warning: This place can be expensive. Their website gives various prices but it turned out a lot more expensive than their site indicates when we actually turned up to buy: Twenty-three euros plus the price of audioguides each plus the cost of parking. One of our audioguides didn’t work but they did not offer to reimburse us. Wasps just love sheltering inside the models but we were not menaced by any.

Beware the hot sun. You spend several hours walking on concrete paths with no shelter so use sunblock. Even then it gets too hot at times.


Post a Comment

I welcome your comments, contributions and feedback.