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Not His Fault
on September 15, 2012
Too many travel books are confined to the average tourist who is compelled to see the "must see" sites. Steves, who numerous travels to France make him a walking encyclopedia of this terrain, is compelled to dedicate too much of his book to Paris and other touristic classics.
Not until you delve into the pages of lesser known places does Steves deliver to his readers what many others cannot. But, even then the reduction of pages and substantial dedication of the others make this less through than you may wish.
To the publisher, I would recommend that a new book called "Unknown France" be written by this author about lesser known places like beautiful Annecy, high hilling Auch, bay enchanting La Rochelle or Epernay.
Some of my friends told me, after I returned, that they never had a good meal in Paris. I never had a bad meal outside of Paris -- get the hint? The villages and lesser cities are not only more charming that the New-York-like impersonal multicultural unembracing Paris, but they depict the France which the country would be more proud to allow portray the national norm of this country glazed with adorable centuries-old stone structures atop rolling hills.
In spite of all this, I followed one Stevesism: do not take too many pounds of travel books with. In yesteryear, he would recommend to tear out the important pages in order to lighten your load. This is the 21st century -- so I brought my Kindle version with a few other competitors' copies (free as they came from the library) and carried those few extra pieces of sage information about the many cathedrals encountered (people Notre Dame has many competitors -- maybe better and certainly less crowded -- in the lesser towns like Chartres, Auch, Strasbourg, or Besancon).
If Steves could write more about the lesser known, I would hop onto that publication. And, I would hop quickly because the lesser known would become more known because of his strong following.