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Oops! Did you forget to cross yourself when that black cat ran in front of you this morning, as you passed under the house-painter's ladder — thinking about the hand-held mirror which slipped from your hand and was dashed to pieces on the tiled bathroom floor?

That could explain why you've arrived here, at a page you didn't expect, didn't want, or didn't need. On the other hand, if you're not the superstitious type, there might be some other reasons, too:

Misspelled Address

If you arrived here after manually typing a URL (Uniform Resource Locator, otherwise known as an Internet address) into the browser's text box above, then the chances are 76% or better that you may have mis-typed a portion of it — such as the directory path or document name. (You wouldn't be seeing this page if you got the domain name wrong!)

No matter. If you'd rather not type it in again or can't fathom which character(s) might be wrong, why not avail yourself of our excellent navigation links? The two drop-down menus above will take you to most topics on this site: the left one lets you pick one of four general areas — France, Paris, Provinces, or Colonies, while the right one will change to reflect the topics of the area you selected from the left. Scroll down the menu until you find something you like!

If you wish, you can enter some keywords in the search box above, or try our advanced search page for some really esoteric capabilities. When all else fails (it shouldn't!), you'll also find a link to our site map in the narrow red strip at the top of every page.

Document Does Not Exist (Yet?)

As it happens, the Discover France web site is constantly evolving, and some pages which we hope to add soon are not finished yet. Yes, it's true — we jumped the gun by adding some document titles to the drop-down menus above, on topics which are planned for the very near future but haven't seen the light of day yet.

For example, there are some French overseas departments and former colonies whose pages are still under construction. Why add them to the navigation menus before they're ready? Frankly, it's our own little incentive to get them up as soon as possible. But, sometimes, other projects or little emergencies divert our attention....

Please accept our profuse apologies if you became a victim to this programming quirk! Would you like to help solve the riddle of missing material? We're always on the lookout for talented writers to submit articles on pertinent topics. If you are such a person, please download our article submission guidelines (48k file; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader), and then contact the webmaster with your proposed subject. Our community of francophiles (currently about 2.75 million visitors a year) will love you for it!

Document Is Gone Forever

This does not happen very often, but — humans being the imperfect creatures they/we are — it's possible that an old document has "flown the coop", never to return. Generally, we're adding pages — not taking them away — so this occurrence should be rare indeed.

Bad Referring Link

This also doesn't happen often. If you arrived at this page by clicking on a link at another web site, then the other site's webmaster may have misspelled the link to our intended page. If this is what happened to you, we will gladly inform the other webmaster — if you could just visit our Guestbook, provide the address of the site you came from, as well as the intended destination page (or topic) at Discover France.

Help Fight Link Rot!

It is our mission to provide you with a wealth of useful information right here, but we also offer thousands of links to relevant material on other web sites worldwide — which we feel might benefit you in your quest for knowledge. Providing this service can be a tough balancing act, however, since statistics report about 30% of Internet links go "bad" each year — as a result of webmasters who have moved, renamed, or deleted their pages.

In such cases you'll be greeted with a "404 - Document Not Found" error page on the other site. You can help keep "link rot" to a minimum, though, and your efforts will be warmly welcomed! If one of the links here takes you into cyber-limbo, would you be so kind as to notify the webmaster by visiting our Guestbook? Thank you, thank you — mille fois merci!

Other Page Errors

There are a couple of other reasons why you might have ended up on this page. These causes are known as "error codes", in web browser parlance. One of the most common error codes is #403 - Forbidden Access; in most cases, it means you have attempted to view a directory or file path without adding a valid document name. The #400 code (Bad Request) could be generated as the result of a form not working properly or some other cause. If you would like to report such issues, we appreciate your help!


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