Isabelle de Bisschop
"I found Isabelle to be absolutely charming! She has a marvelous sense of humor and made each of us in her group feel very special -- five stars for Isabelle."
21-time traveler from Austin, Texas
- Marseille, France
- Normandy, France
- English, French, Icelandic
- Hobbies & Interests
- Hiking, climbing, photography, art history, reading, attending conferences about architecture and history
- With us since
I grew up in France, where learning about food is part of the upbringing of children. My father was a fine gourmet and was very picky about the quality of food that we ate. My family and I spent a long time at the dinner table and discussed what we did during the day.
As a child, I enjoyed the freedom of walking home from school by myself and stopping at the boulangerie(bakery) to buy a pain au chocolat (chocolate bread) before getting home to do homework. Today on my tours, while walking in villages and towns, I like to point out the glorious buildings that are living proof of France’s rich history. We look at the beautiful food shops, like the patisserie (pastry shop) or the charcuterie (meat store). I take the time to describe what is in the window and talk to the shopkeeper—in French, if possible. As a former French teacher, I try to teach my travelers useful words. It’s made bus rides really fun, with lots of singing—in French, of course—learning how to count in French, and telling French jokes … lots of good laughs!
There are also other more somber, but just as indelible memories from my tours. The visit to the American military cemetery in Normandy, where there are more than 9,000 American World War II soldiers buried (though about 1,400 U.S. soldiers died on D-Day), is always very emotional, especially when World War II veterans are among our travelers. Every single visit there is a memorable experience.