Tagged: France

Provence and a bit of Monaco

It is really hard to describe how magic, stunning and peaceful the region of Provence is.

Once you are there, you can really feel the vibe that inspires so many writers: fresh food and produces, the colour of the Côte d’Azur contrasting with the mountains, the happiness of the locals, the traditional dishes from each village, the Rose wines, the aroma, the architecture, the craft, the sunset…

Since this was the last and the best leg of my trip to Europe this year, I’ve decided to do a photo log of some of our best moments in South of France.
The last two shots are from another dream that came through as part of this amazing trip: the Monaco Grand Prix.


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Gordes


Calanque de Sormiou between Marseille and Cassis


Calanque de Sormiou


Calanque de Sormiou


La Ciotat


Pampelonne


Pampelonne


Saint-Tropez


Port Grimaud


Saint-Raphael


Nice


Nice


Nice


Nice


Villefranche-sur-Mer


Villefranche-sur-Mer


Principauté de Monaco


Principauté de Monaco

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Pont du Gard – South of France

Unless you are pretty lucky, It is not really everyday that you wake up in the middle of South of France.

I was lucky enough to spend the end of my holidays traveling through Provence and exploring all those little scenic villages that I used to dream about when watching Le Tour de France on TV.

From Carcassonne we drove to Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gard River in southern France. This is where we slowed down and started enjoying some priceless time in touch with nature: the smell of fig blossoms everywhere, the most ancient and largest olive trees that I’ve ever seen and a remarkable day swimming in a river with the picturesque aqueduct as the background.

The only thing that made us leave that 30°C day and move to our next destination was basically the fact that we had no food in our pack and we were getting hungry. Yes, I was very hungry but instead of the usual bad mood that I will be on in situations like that, I was feeling extremely energised.

And just when I couldn’t hope for more, we passed by these huge cherry fields that looked like a painting.

I’m sure I could do a bit of foraging here If I wish but this is one of those places that deserves respect. We stopped by a small stand at the end of the field and we found this lovely French lady selling the cherries per 3€ a kilo. Are you serious ?????? Je voudrais un kilo de cerises s’il vous plaît?

So exciting!

This was truly one of those unforgettable days that is worth to write about….and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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Carcassonne – France

Although at this point of our holidays I’ve seen more medieval villages than I was hoping for, Carcassonne was the place I was most looking forward to visit.

I love medieval history and crossing through the Pont Vieux (old bridge) to go to La Cité, the Walled Cite, was breathtaking. It felt so special that I wished some of my closest relatives and friends were here with us to share this amazing experience.

The 2 days that we spent in Carcassonne were very relaxing thanks to the hospitality and great vibe of the locals, the beautiful food and the perfect sunny and warm weather.

I could picture this City full of horses, pigs and chicken running everywhere, the peasants, the joiners, the soldiers and royal family, the markets, the costumes and the traditions.

This crusade stage is nowadays a host for tiny shops full of artisan soaps, moisturisers and craft, patisseries, boulangeries, wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops, fromageries, a Cathedral and a Castle.

I can still smell the sweetness on those alleys that leaded us to the place where I bought some Oreillette, a fried dough sprinkled with orange blossom flavoured sugar.

After so much walk, we sat on a courtyard of a bar, watched the sun setting, had a bottle of a local rose and some local fromage. Time seems to have stopped for a while.

In the restaurants that we chose for dinner, the waiters couldn’t understand a single word in English. Not a surprise at this stage and honestly, it feels good to get around using the basic French vocabulary that we’ve learned back in Sydney.

On the way back to the hotel in our last evening there, we were walking on that same bridge and I was telling the hubby how glad I was for the last two days.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than that, I realised a big light was arising from behind the silhouette of the Walled Cite.

It was past midnight and apart from the two of us and the cats (yes, French people love their cats) , there were maybe another couple or two crossing the bridge at that time.
I couldn’t believe it. We sat down, waited for another 5 minutes and we had the most memorable and exclusive scene that we could possibly have from that spot: the Carcassonne fortress under a full moon.

The Walled City of Carcassonne – the largest medieval city in Europe – has been in the UNESCO Heritage List since 1997 and can be now crossed from MY wish list (but only with a fine print saying that one day I will be back).

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