The western region of Poitou-Charentes has been named as one of the top ten regions to visit in 2012 by travel guide the Lonely Planet.

"/> The western region of Poitou-Charentes has been named as one of the top ten regions to visit in 2012 by travel guide the Lonely Planet.

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SEGOLENE ROYAL

French region surprised to be named in top ten

The western region of Poitou-Charentes has been named as one of the top ten regions to visit in 2012 by travel guide the Lonely Planet.

French region surprised to be named in top ten
La Rochelle by dynamomosquito

Local media seemed taken aback by the sudden honour. Newspaper Charente Libre described it as a “big surprise.”

The region, which is headed by former Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, covers 26,000 square kilometres and has a population of around 1.7 million.

It is known for beautiful scenery as well as the towns of Poitiers and Angoulême and contains the fashionable coastal resorts of La Rochelle and the neighbouring Île de Ré.

It can also boast the town of Cognac, home of the famous tipple. 

In its description, the Lonely Planet called the region “much more laid-back than the Med” and said it was “a place where you can slow the pace right down.”

“Cycle over the lazy landscapes of the dreamy Île de Ré or raise a glass in the pretty town of Cognac,” it advises. “Soak up the salty air of the white city, La Rochelle, after exploring its fascinating museums and breathtaking aquarium.”

Here is the full list of the top 10 regions:

1. Coastal Wales

2. La Ruta Maya, Central America

3. Northern Kenya

4. Arunachal Pradesh, India

5. Hvar, Croatia

6. Sicily, Italy

7. Maritime Provinces, Canada

8. Queenstown & Southern Lakes, New Zealand

9. Borneo

10. Poitou-Charentes

 

The guide also listed its top 10 cities to visit in 2012:

1. London, England

2. Muscat, Oman

3. Bangalore, India

4. Cadiz, Spain

5. Stockholm, Sweden

6. Guimaraes, Portugal

7. Santiago, Chile

8. Hong Kong, China

9. Orlando, USA

10. Darwin Australia


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FRANCOIS HOLLANDE

Hollande falls for radio prankster

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande was invited to take part in a TV show with a French star presenter. Hollande at first accepts the offer. Then he hears the details.

Comic Olivier Bourg pretended to be the assistant of star presenter Patrick Sébastien during a phone conversation with Hollande that was broadcast on French radio station Fun Radio. He invites the Socialist candidate to take part in a upcoming TV show “The world’s largest cabaret”.

Bourg flatters Hollande who is the frontrunner in the run-up to elections in April and tells him the presenter shares his political views. He then tells Hollande he would expected to dress up as a Dino, a French humorist with slicked-back hair and a clownish behaviour.

“We’ll have to discuss that because it won’t be easy,” replies Hollande, Le Parisien reports.

He then asks Hollande if he would agree to sing, ride a bike and act with his former partner and fellow senior socialist Ségolène Royal. Hollande refuses. Bourg explains that Royal, who was presidential candidate in 2007, has accepted to take part in the show.

Hollande still refuses, saying that his ex-partner is not the issue, it’s “the whole thing”.

To hear recording on Le Parisien click here