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Mobile app significantly speeds up detection of potentially fatal kidney condition

06/08/2019

A new mobile phone app that helps speed up the detection of a potentially fatal kidney condition has been described as a “potential lifesaver” by hospital staff. The app, known as Streams, is able to detect acute kidney injury in 14 minutes (on average). Until now, this process would have taken at least several hours. This is highly significant as acute kidney injury can begin to affect other organs if it is not treated quickly. One in five people who are admitted to hospital develop acute kidney injury and it leads to around 100,000 deaths in the UK each year. The app works by looking for a waste product called creatinine, something that is normally filtered out by a person’s kidneys. It then sends warning signals to front-line clinicians’ phones if a patient’s blood tests indicate they have acute kidney failure. Streams was developed by the Royal Free Hospital in London and technology firm DeepMind, which is owned by Alphabet. Speaking to the BBC, Mary Emerson, lead nurse specialist at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “It's a huge change to be able to receive alerts about patients anywhere in the hospital. Healthcare is mobile and real time, and this is the first device that has enabled me to see results in a mobile real-time way.” The findings of the app trial are published in the journal Nature Digital Medicine.

Scientists move one step closer to developing universal cancer test

25/01/2018

Developing a universal blood test for cancer has been one of the biggest goals in medicine ever and now scientists at John Hopkins University have taken a huge step towards achieving it. The team have trialled a test that can detect eight common forms of cancer, with the ultimate goal being to develop an annual test that can catch cancers early and save lives. While more work is needed, experts in the UK have described the breakthrough as “enormously exciting”. The test works by picking up on tiny traces of mutated DNA and proteins released into a person’s bloodstream by tumours. The CancerSEEK test, as it is known, looks for mutations in 16 genes and eight different proteins released by tumours. In a trial involving 1,005 patients with cancers in the stomach, liver, ovary, pancreas, colon, oesophagus, lung or breast, which had not yet spread to other tissues, the test was able to successfully detect 70% of the cancers. The test is particularly exciting as it was able to detect some cancers that currently have no early detection screening programmes. Pancreatic cancer is one area where the test could really make a big difference. At present, four in five pancreatic cancer patients die within the year they are diagnosed. That’s because the disease emits so few symptoms and sufferers are often diagnosed too late. The CancerSEEK test will now be trialled on individuals who have not been diagnosed with cancer. This will be the real measure of its effectiveness and usefulness.  

Gum Disease Found to be Associated with Kidney Disease Deaths

23/02/2016

A new study has uncovered further evidence that a close link exists between oral health and chronic diseases; specifically that patients with chronic kidney disease and severe gum disease have a greater risk of death than those with healthy gums. Led by the University of Birmingham in the UK, the study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, found that oral health definitely isn’t just about teeth, again highlighting the importance of good oral hygiene. Iain Chapple, senior author of the study and a professor in periodontology, said: "The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums." For the research, Chapple and his colleagues analysed data from some 13,734 individuals in the US, of which 6% were found to have chronic kidney disease. The team then assessed the link between severe gum disease and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease. They found that over 10 years, the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease was increased by 9% if they also had periodontitis (severe gum disease). Professor Chapple said that the most worrying fact is that people with periodontitis often don’t know they have it. A little bit of blood when they brush their teeth is often dismissed as normal, but if they don’t have it checked out further they could be risking problems in the rest of their bodies.

Study: Placing Catheter Under Collarbone Best for Patients

29/09/2015

A new study has found that a catheter placed in the vein under the collarbone appears to lower the risk of infections and clots in an intensive care unit patient’s bloodstream. In fact, according to the researchers behind the study, it lowered those risks by two to three times in comparison to catheters placed in other areas, such as the large vein in the groin or the jugular vein in the neck. Catheter-related infections usually occur as a result of bacteria on the skin which attach themselves to it as it’s inserted and find their way into the patient’s bloodstream. Despite placing a catheter in the vein under the collarbone being the preferred method, according to the study, a lot depends on the skill of the individual placing it. Ultrasound is inevitably used to guide the procedure and this reduces the risk of a patient encountering a problem like a collapsed lung. Lead researcher Dr. Jean-Jacques Parienti, from the department of biostatistics and clinical research at the Cote de Nacre University Hospital in Caen, France, said: "The [under the collarbone] route is the safest for the patient, provided that everything is done to reduce the risk of mechanical complications during insertion." The findings of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on September 24.   Photo via: National Cancer Institute 

How Cancer Drugs are Being Used to Flush Out HIV

25/08/2015

Scientists have developed a way of flushing HIV out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug, combating its survival mechanism and killing it in the bloodstream. Dormant HIV reservoirs are targeted by the “highly potent” cancer drug and while more testing is needed, experts have described the treatment as “interesting”. Researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine in California believe that a skin cancer drug known as PEP005 may be able to “kick and kill” these hidden HIV reservoirs. At present, anti-retroviral therapy – the “cornerstone” of cancer treatment – kills HIV in the bloodstream, but leaves its reservoirs untouched. According to their report, "PEP005 is highly potent in reactivating latent HIV". It’s one of a number of "lead compounds for combating HIV". It’s the “kick and kill” strategy that interests scientists the most. The kick effectively wakes up the dormant virus allowing the drugs to kill it. Dr Satya Dandekar, who led the research study, said: "We are excited to have identified an outstanding candidate for HIV reactivation and eradication that is already approved and is being used in patients. "This molecule has great potential to advance into translational and clinical studies." The down side is that the drug has still not yet been tested in people who are HIV-positive. So while the research carries immense amounts of potential, a significant amount of testing and further investigation is needed.

Green Laser

25/06/2015

GREEN LASER Green Laser vaporisation of prostate adenoma is a way to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is performed under anaesthetic using keyhole surgery (without opening and along the channel ) with ultrasound guidance. This intervention aims to improve urination (power and quality of the urinary stream) by removing the obstruction caused by the prostate). The consequences of this treatment are: urgent needs, blood in the urine, some mictional pain during the healing phase (which can last up to 2-3 months) and a permanent loss of ejaculation but no erectile disorder and pleasure being unchanged. The limitations of this technique are: imperfect and incomplete results when the prostate is large (>60g) suboptimal indication (insufficient obstruction and predominant irritative complaint) urgent, frequent needs… absence of histopathologic analysis of the vaporised tissue The advantage of this laser treatment is to reduce bleeding, simplify and reduce postoperative recoveries when compared with other techniques and to allow ultrasound monitoring to check the optimal nature of the intervention. It also allows to use saline serum to reduce the risks associated with the use of other irrigation fluids. This technique also allows the maintenance of some anti-platelet drugs (Aspirin…) but require VKA anticoagulant to possibly be stopped.

French Government to Invest ‘Hundreds of Millions of Euros’ in Tourism Industry

16/06/2015

Despite being the most popular tourist destination in the world, with approximately 84 million visitors last year alone, France is set to receive massive investment in its tourism industry under ambitious new plans from the French government. The government of France want to see visitor numbers rise to a spectacular 100 million by 2020 and are determined to achieve this by investing “hundreds of millions of euros” in hotels and other tourist establishments across the country. France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said: "Tourism is a national treasure. When you ask people around the world 'where they want to go?' 'France' is always the first answer.” The new campaign will see the French Ministry of Affairs pushing for more shops and dining establishments open on Sundays. Border police will also be encouraged to be more polite and say “hello” and “thank you” during passport checks. Existing experiences will also be streamlined under the new plans, with the issuance of visas, paperless city passes and very-high-speed Internet access in popular tourist destinations all features. Fabius added: "We have to educate people so that they speak different languages, we need a publicity campaign on television, and we need to make sure people receive a good welcome when they arrive at airports.” The French government’s proposed plans for the tourism industry are fantastic news for our patients and will no doubt make their stay with us even more enjoyable.    

Giant Replica of Prehistoric Caves Now Ready in Southeast France

13/04/2015

It had a budget of 55 million euros, involved 35 companies and hundreds of workers, but now after two and a half years, the famous prehistoric Chauvet Caves were finally inaugurated by French President François Hollande on Friday. Discovered in 1994 by amateur explorers Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire, the Chauvet Caves are thought to be the world’s oldest known caves decorated with human paintings and are estimated to date back about 36,000 years to the Aurignacian era. Experts believe that the caves were sealed shut by a rockfall around 23,000 years ago and remained that way until they were discovered in 1994. The walls of the caves are adorned with over 1,000 images and thee site was given Unesco World Heritage status in 2014. Situated in Vallon Pont d’Arc in the Ardèche region of south-east France, the replica caves are only a few kilometres from the original and while modern-day humans will never get to the see the original cave’s paintings, the replica is 3,500 square metres of Stone Age animal paintings, engravings and red dots. Anyone wishing to pay a visit can do so from April 25 this year. For more information about how France Surgery can facilitate a number of medical procedures and afford a relaxing recovery period here in France, contact us today. Photo credit: EOL Learning and Education Group

Louvre Announces Single Fare to Encompass its Permanent Collections and Temporary Exhibits

13/04/2015

We’ve got some fantastic news for museum fans and art lovers alike today because the Musée du Louvre in Paris – the world’s most visited art museum – has just announced that it will be introducing a flat 15-euro fee, which will give visitors full access to both its permanent collections and temporary exhibits and create “better synergy” between all its components. The Louvre drew a staggering 9.26 million visitors in 2014 alone and the museum believes that figure could reach an astonishing 12 million by 2025. More surprising is the fact that 70 percent of its visitors are foreign tourists who come especially to see some of the world’s most famous masterpieces such as the Vénus de Milo and, of course, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. In contrast, domestic visitors tend to skip the permanent collections and instead favour the temporary exhibits. In an official press release last week, the Museum said: “"For the past 18 months, the Louvre has been working on trying to create better balance and stronger links between the permanent collections and the temporary exhibits.” At present, visitors to the Louvre pay 12 euros for the permanent collections, 13 euros for entrance to a temporary exhibit and 16 euros for a combined ticket. The new 15-euro flat fee will take effect on July 1 and brings the Louvre more in line with other famous art museums across the world. To find out how you can undergo a world-class medical procedure here in France and experience the majesty of the Louvre as part of your recovery, contact us today. Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

Terms & Conditions

14/08/2014

PART I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT France SURGERY's scope of activities: Linking people living abroad with clinics or hospitals and doctors or surgeons working in France, Linking them with travel agents, airlines, hotels, restaurants, performers, all providers of concierge services Assistance in organizing the trip: administration and logistics. Prior to the signing of these the Clients acknowledge they have been informed that: France SURGERY are neither a clinic nor a hospital and neither does the company intend to practise medicine or provide any medical or paramedical service. All services offered by clinics or hospitals are their own responsibility and that of practitioners attached to them. Health Facilities provide services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these conditions may limit or exclude all or part of the responsibility of Health Facilities to their clients. In particular, these conditions may exclude any liability for death, injury or medical error. It is the responsibility of the undersigned client to become aware of possible Terms and Conditions of health facilities before committing themselves. Any document produced or any agreement made with the Health Facilities cannot be the responsibility of France SURGERY . France SURGERY is not a travel agent under the provisions of Articles L.212-1 et seq of France’s tourism regulations (Code du Tourisme) and are not intended to be. All services offered and/or services provided by service partners, are the responsibility of the latter. The conditions set forth herein apply only to clients who are non-commercial individuals and to any territory with the exception of France (including Corsica and the DROM-COM, France’s overseas territories). The parties agree that their relations will be exclusively governed by this contract, excluding any condition previously available on the site, except the legal information which will always remain in force and form an indivisible whole with the present. The present Terms of Use were updated on October 31, 2010 TITLE II. - CONVENTIONS ARTICLE 1. - DEFINITIONS 1.1. "Client" means anyone who notes, books, orders and buys a service offered on the site. 1.2."Service" means any service offered on the site. 1.3. "Site" refers to the infrastructure developed by France SURGERY according to computer formats used on the Internet, including data of various types, such as text, sound, still or moving pictures, videos, databases, intended to be visited or seen  by  the clients to become fully aware of the services offered. 1.4. "Internet" means various networks of servers located in various locations around the world, linked together through communication networks, and communicating using a specific protocol known as TCP/IP. ARTICLE 2. - ORDERS Orders regarding all of the services offered on the site must be placed on-line from the website of the France SURGERY platform An order will be recorded on the site only after clear identification of the client’s login and password. Orders imply that the terms and conditions have been accepted. Any dispute in this respect will come under the framework of a possible exchange and of the guaranties mentioned below. France SURGERY commit themselves to honour the orders received on the site only within the limit of availability of the services and that of their partners. ARTICLE 3. - VALIDITY OF THE ORDER Any Client of the Site who does not hold a client number will have to go through the regular registration procedure in order to obtain one. This number is totally personal. In the event of a loss or if the number is missing, France SURGERY should be informed at short notice. The client should then contact France SURGERY’s customers services and complete the appropriate form provided on the website or call the following number: + 33 953 02 03 09 (€0.49 per minute) In all cases, the online provision of a credit card number followed by the final confirmation of the order will be worth as evidence for the entire order as provided by the Loi du 13 Mars 2000 adapting the law of evidence to Information Technology and dealing with the electronic signature and will cause the sums incurred for the order to become due and payable, in the conditions laid down below under Article 5. This validation is legally valid and considered like a genuine signature and express acceptance of all operations carried out on the site. However, in case of fraudulent use of their credit card, the clients are required, upon the finding of such use, to immediately contact France SURGERY customer services by calling the following phone number: + 33 953 02 03 09 The records stored in France SURGERY computer systems under conditions of reasonable safety, will be considered as evidence of communications, orders and payments between the parties. It is expressly agreed that, except in cases of obvious error made by France SURGERY, the data stored in the information systems of the Company have probative value as to orders placed by the client. Digital or computerized data are valid evidence and, as such, are admissible under the same conditions and with the same evidential value as any document created, received or retained in writing. The filing of orders and invoices is carried out in a reliable and sustainable format in order to correspond to a faithful and sustainable copy in accordance with section 1348 of the Civil Code. ARTICLE 4. - QUOTATIONS - SERVICES 4.1. Customized Quotes Within seven days after registration by the new client, and provided that the file, including the forms to be completed have been regularly and fully filled in, France SURGERY through secure channel will forward a customized quote, which will be accompanied by a comment either during a phone interview or by phone or videoconference. Acceptance of the quotation will remain at the discretion of the clients and their responsibility. In the event that, it would not be possible to establish a custom quote, because of information supplied (including medical ones), the client will be notified within the same period of time. France SURGERY’s mission cannot get started before the quotation has been accepted, dated and signed by the client. 4.2. France SURGERY offers clients the following services: 1 "Medical Care Package" Connecting with the clinic Meeting the client on arrival at the airport or railway station and assistance throughout the stay in hospital Accompanying the client back to airport/ station. 2 "Medical Tourism Package" Connecting with the clinic Meeting the client on arrival at the airport or railway station and assistance throughout the stay in hospital Accompanying the client back to airport/ station. 3 Organization of sightseeing: Hotel, Restaurant and sightseeing Tour Reservations 4 Concierge services on request: "Well being A LA CARTE, make it easy" Babysitters French lessons Cooking Classes Sports club sessions Laundry Footwear repairs Hairdressing Beauty treatments Massages Provision of various everyday life accessories or items (ties, stamps hose/stockings, public transport ticket ...) Restaurant reservations 5 Administrative support services: "France SURGERY Travel Procedures Support" ARTICLE 5. – RATES - PAYMENT - CANCELLATION 5.1. RATES All prices quoted on www.france-surgery.com or in any brochures or Information can be altered at any time without previous warning, particularly when health facilities and/or Service Providers change their price-lists. Prices become final at the signature, by the client, of an agreed estimate defined in consideration of its own specific features.  The prices are quoted in euros and include all taxes. They take into account the amount of VAT applicable on the date of the order, but exclude the taxes and fees not expressly referred to. The rate in force on that day will be applied. Any change of VAT rate will be reflected in the price of services. Prices will not be modified once the client’s order has been placed, except in the event the latter would claim services not included in the original estimate. Similarly, if one or more taxes or contributions were to be created or modified, this change might be reflected in the selling price of the services on France SURGERY ‘s website and sales documents. The prices for services ordered on the site along with the date of the order in question are authentic. Prices are guaranteed at the date when the order is placed. 5.2. Terms of Payment Payments can be made: On line when opening an account (registration), by credit card (Carte Bleue, e-cartebleue, Visa, Eurocard, Mastercard, American Express); by bank transfer to pay the full balance of the service. Payments will be made as follows: 40% of the sums due shall be paid to France SURGERY and the clinic at the conclusion of the contract between the parties at the date of "estimate and confirmation’s order's" validation by the client through mail or email confirmation. The remaining 60% of the amount due to France SURGERY and the clinic shall be paid not later than two weeks before the date set for starting the management of the client on the French territory "the date set for starting the management of the client on the French territory," is agreed to be understood as  the date on which the client will benefit from France SURGERY's services in the said territory. 5.3. Cancellation Any cancellation by the Client of this contract will lead to the following payments: In the event of cancellation by the client more than 15 days before the date set for the management of the client on French territory, the amount paid when the contract was signed (40% of the total) will remain vested in France SURGERY and clinic. In case of cancellation by the client less than 15 days before the date set for the management of the client on the French territory, the latter shall pay all the amounts due to France SURGERY and clinic under this contract. The clients acknowledge they have been informed that in case of cancellation of their order by France SURGERY particularly because of the inaccuracy or omission of essential information they would not have provided on their health status or condition (particularly when filling the pre-diagnosis form), the current article shall apply. ARTICLE 6. - CONFIDENTIALITY France SURGERY does everything in its power to ensure the confidentiality and security of data transmitted over the web. To this end, the website uses a secure payment module of SSL type (Secure Socket Layer). ARTICLE 7. - PERSONAL DATA France SURGERY agrees to comply with all operative legal provisions relating to medical confidentiality. France SURGERY staff does not have access to the contents of pre-diagnosis questionnaires, nor to those of email correspondence with the clinic or the practitioner or any other document including medical information. The confidentiality of exchanges between the patient, physicians and surgeons is guaranteed through a system of encryption when capturing and storing data. Only solicited doctors or surgeons have access to the medical information on the patient. France SURGERY reserves the right to collect data on the client being understood however that they will remain strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties. The client is informed that such an Automatic Processing of Personal Data has been declared to the CNIL (the French Data Protection Authority) under the number of HpK0103486y on the 11th November, 2010. Pursuant to the Act of 6 January 1978, the client has a right of access, opposition, rectification of data concerning him, either directly online or by postal mail to France SURGERY, at the following address: 22 rue Saint-Joseph - 31400 TOULOUSE, FRANCE. ARTICLE 8. - LIABILITY Throughout all the stages of the ordering process and during the steps following the conclusion of the contract, France SURGERY has an obligation of means. France SURGERY commits itself to describe the services sold on its site with the greatest accuracy. The information which will be communicated to its client by France SURGERY via www.france-surgery.com, its Internet platform, come from third parties such as health establishments or Service Providers. France SURGERY cannot be held liable for any information item supplied to them by third parties. All information obtained on www.france-surgery.com, or through France SURGERY cannot in any way engage the responsibility of France SURGERY. France SURGERY, via www.france-surgery.com performs the upstream role of a negotiator and compares rates for its international clients. Under no circumstances France SURGERY, via its Internet platform intervenes in the payment of medical benefits; neither can France SURGERY be asked for any refund of sums paid to one or more health facilities or to a practitioner. Similarly, if for some reason, a health care facility or a practitioner fails to fulfill their obligations or fulfil them poorly, it would be the health care facility or practitioner that could be blamed and their the sole responsibility of, excluding all claim or legal action against France SURGERY of any kind. It is the sole responsibility of the client to obtain any permission, passport, visa or other administrative formalities as may be requested by Service Providers or national authorities to be able to complete the trip chosen by the client. France SURGERY accepts no responsibility and provides no guarantee for: Tourist services, Diagnoses, Choice of medical treatment and/or surgical procedures and their appropriateness or not, Implementation of medical treatments and/or surgery, Compliance with medical treatment and/or surgery with the commitments made by health care facilities, Security and prevention, Any other kind of service provided by the Health Facilities, practitioner or any other person associated with them or workers related to health facilities from whom the client would have required services. In no event shall France SURGERY intervene in the choice of the practitioner or health facility, such a choice being under the sole responsibility of the patient, france surgery cannot be liable for such a choice. france surgery is not responsible for any acts, errors, omissions, promise, warranty, negligence, or breach of contractual obligations from health facilities, practitioners or any other person associated with health facilities or service providers, neither is it responsible for any physical injury, death, material damage or any other resulting damage or expenses. The client acknowledges that all medical, surgical or other benefits can provide a risk. Therefore, the client declares that: It has obtained information or has been advised by France SURGERY about the need to seek the advice of an independent and qualified practitioner. France SURGERY has not not given any advice or opinions that a reasonable person can consider as an opinion or advice of a medical nature (including, but not limited to, any risks or side effects related to surgery). Even if France SURGERY may have provided information on Health Establishments, it cannot be held responsible for the service delivery by health facilities or practitioners. The client agrees not to hold France SURGERY, its subsidiaries, officers, members, employees, agents, or representatives, liable for any direct or indirect damage (including, but not limited to, profit losses and/or damage resulting from inconvenience, delay, loss of utility, or physical or mental harm) related to or resulting from the use of information from the www.france-surgery.com website or agreements made or information obtained on www.france-surgery.com, or even not to bring proceedings in liability as he/she acknowledges using these services at his/her own risk. In all cases, France SURGERY shall not be made liable if the breach of its obligations will be attributable to an unforeseeable and insurmountable fact of a third party to the contract or to a force majeure event, as defined by the French case law; neither shall it be for any delay or failure due to a fortuitous event, because of the other party or a third party or external causes such as social conflict , intervention by civil or military authorities, natural disasters, fires, water damage, interruption of telecommunications network or power grid. Similarly, the responsibility of France SURGERY will not be engaged for any inconvenience or damage arising from the use of the Internet, including a break in service, external intrusion or presence of computer viruses. ARTICLE 9. - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY All elements of France SURGERY's website, either visual or audio, including the underlying technology, are protected by copyright, trademarks or patents. They are the exclusive property of France SURGERY. A client possessing a personal Internet site and who, for personal use, wishes to place a direct link to France SURGERY on its website, must first submit prior written authorization to the Company. In all cases, any unauthorized link must be removed on simple request by France SURGERY. ARTICLE 10. – DURATION OF THE CONTRACT The present conditions apply throughout the duration of the contractual relationship between the parties. ARTICLE 11. - GENERAL PROVISIONS 11.1. Entire Contract The parties acknowledge that the present Contract constitutes the entire agreement between them and replaces any offer, arrangement or previous agreement, written or verbal, with the exception of legal notices showing on the site and which are an indivisible whole with the present contract. 11.2. Contract Changes No subsequent document, no modification of the contract regardless of the form will not produce any effect between the parties without taking the form of an addendum signed and dated by them. 11.3. Nullity If any provision of this contract turned out to be invalid under the rule of existing law or a judicial decision having become final, it would be deemed null and void, without invalidating the contract or altering the validity of its other provisions. 11.4. Waiver The fact that either party does not claim the application of any clause in the contract or acquiesces in its breach, either permanently or temporarily, shall not be construed as a waiver by that party to the rights arising for it from that clause. 11.5. Domicile The parties elect domicile at the addresses indicated on the order form for the client and on the address appearing on the site for France SURGERY. 11.6. Applicable law and disputes The present conditions are subject to French law. The competent jurisdiction in the event of a dispute regarding the interpretation or enforcement of this contract will be the court of the location of France SURGERY’s headquarters.

Recover from Surgery in La Rochelle

13/08/2014

La Rochelle is a beautiful city that sits in the western part of France, next to the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its positioning La Rochelle has a naturally Oceanic climate which remains fairly mild throughout the year due to the Gulf Stream waters. Arguably this is the perfect type of climate if you are choosing somewhere to relax and recover from surgery, no extreme cold and no extreme heat to contend with. This classic city boasts the ‘Old Harbour’ and many city walls which are still intact, so you can enjoy a relaxing walk around sightseeing during the day or a stroll and enjoy the fine cuisine in one of the many seafood restaurants. If you find water calming and soothing why not take a boating trip to the Ile d’Aix or Fort Boyard. If having your feet on land is more your thing then La Rochelle has numerous attractions to tempt you. Numerous museums are on offer ranging from the aquatic theme of the Aquarium of La Rochelle and the Maritime Museum to the Natural History Museum and the Museum of the New World. You can also experience the gothic and renaissance periods of La Rochelle by visiting the three Towers of Rochelle, the Town Hall, the Cathedral and the Law Courts. If you simply want to enjoy a bit of time to yourself to recover from surgery then taking in the breath-taking scenery of the many parks and gardens will be more your cup of tea. Photo Credit: La Rochelle Facebook Page 

Remembering 14th July - Bastille Day

03/07/2014

Just over a month away is Bastille Day. Held annually on July 14, Bastille Day is the French national holiday and commemorates the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 – the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was not only a prison but also an iconic symbol of Louis the 16th’s absolute power. By capturing the Bastille, the people of France showed that Louis’s power was not absolute and power should be based on the nation. However, don’t think that the storming of the Bastille triggered streams of prisoners to flea out of the building. At the time, the Bastille only housed seven inmates and the event would become more poignant for its symbolism of liberty and the fight against oppression. This historic event complements the Tricolore flag perfectly as both symbolise liberty, equality and fraternity for every French citizen. It brought about the birth of the first republic in 1792 and marked an end to the unquestionable power of the monarchy. And what better way to celebrate such an iconic event than in the country where it all happened? There’s still plenty of time to arrange a visit to France and experience for yourself the passion that a national event such as this arouses. Photo credits: © lifeofriley - Fotolia.com & Embassy of France in Washington

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