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The Man Who Would Be King

Orélie Antoine de Tounens – King of Araucania. Photo (unknown). PD-100+; PD-US-No Notice. Wikimedia Commons.

Did you ever see the movie The Man Who Would Be King? Based on Rudyard Kipling’s novel of the same name, the movie starred Michael Caine and Sean Connery—two guys who became kings of Kafiristan in a remote area of Afghanistan. I won’t spoil the ending for you but it didn’t turn out well for Peachy and Danny (their characters). Delusions of grandeur set in for Danny, natives got restless, and the consequences weren’t pretty.

Researching my medieval book was really 90% about the kings and queens. So when I see an article about French kings and princes, I stop and read it. The one that just caught my eye appeared in the Wall Street Journal on July 8, 2015 (In France, Princes Feud Over a Kingdom You’ve Never Heard Of by Matt Moffett). Read More The Man Who Would Be King

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“Raphaelle”: Should You Hire a Professional Tour Guide?

Well I’ve said it before, if you can hire a private guide for trip specific themed walks, do it! What I mean is if you want to visit or explore a specific subject in a city, hire a knowledgeable guide.

Should you hire a professional tour guide?
Stew Ross (center), Raphaelle (left) and Sandy Ross (right) checking facts about the French Revolution as they tour the streets of Versaille. (Photo by Dan Owen)

For our trip to Paris I wanted to visit Versailles – not specifically for the general palace tour (been there, done that) but for the events that were significant to the Revolution. In other words, those events that occurred between May and October 1789. There were three primary events during this time frame: the meeting of the Estates General (4, 5 May), the September massacres (9 September), and the events leading up to the return of the royal family to Paris (5,6, October).

I needed an expert guide for the Versailles segment of our trip. I had researched Paris but decided it would be much more efficient to use the guide for Versailles. Read More “Raphaelle”: Should You Hire a Professional Tour Guide?