If you’re visiting France close to Christmastime, you must visit Strasbourg and Colmar. Just two hours by train from Paris (albeit our OUIGO train was 3 hours late…), these two cities are famous for their Christmas markets, which date back to year 1570. While Strasbourg is more well-known and slightly bigger, I preferred the markets and neighborhoods of Colmar. You can easily take a 30-minute train between the two. We decided to stay two nights in Strasbourg and just took a day trip to Colmar. A friend of a friend based in Strasbourg also recommends visiting the nearby Kaysersberg if you have time.
Rurutu is a magical island. Located 572km south of Tahiti, this relatively small place is most known for whale watching. From July to October, it’s very common to see majestic Humpback whales swimming and jumping out of the water along the horizon.
In preparation for our family’s big trip back to French Polynesia, we asked our relatives what their favorite islands were. Out of the 118 ones to choose from, Fakarava (population: 800) came up over and over again. After visiting, I can certainly see why. It is actually the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, which, I learned, refers to ring-shaped land forming around a lagoon. The waters there were the bluest I’ve ever seen, and I was happy to have made a new “Ramiti Family” at the pension we stayed at. The motto was fittingly, “where the sky meets the sea.”