Throughout modern British history, mass demonstrations and protests have often been demonised and depicted as the work of trouble-makers, hooligans and extremists. It was the same old story last week as 10,000 students descended on London to protest against tuition fees and the abolition of maintenance grants, which led to the arrest of 12 protestors.
Travel isn't always about touring capital cities and A-list attractions. To gain nuanced impressions of a nation sometimes it's far more rewarding to head to small towns and villages, where the pace of life is gentler. Quietly observing everyday scenes from the shaded seat of a provincial café is as much a part of experiencing France as snapping selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower.