Blogs from Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, Europe


Tom and I have been meaning to make the trip to St. Paul de Vence for a long time. Previously with only a 3-5 day stay in Villefranche-sur-Mer time always seemed to run out. Within the last few years many people, especially our French friends, have really encouraged us to go when we are in the South of France. It really is only an hour away by car but then again it seems everything is just an hour from Villefranche-sur-Mer. Last year we made a sincere attempt planning a day trip there but once again time (and a towed car) was our enemy. Now that we've had the ultimate luxury of our extended stay here time is on our side and luckily the excuses have run out. This is a car trip as the village sits ... read more
Entrance Portal
Grande Fountain
View of the Alps

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Grasse August 11th 2019

We woke up pondering where our travels should take us today. We had a lovely time in Antibes by the sea and a challenging time driving to Ventimiglia, we thought today would be a great day to visit Cannes the next town West of Antibes. Yes Cannes, home of the international film festival in June. It's another town by the sea and the weather is still hot and very humid so off shore breezes won out. We've become fond of traveling by the local train. We hike down to the Villefranche-sur-Mer Gare, buy our tickets and hop on. While my French in general suffers from lack of proper accent plus the fact that I only know very bare basic words, one area I do exceed in is ordering red wine from the St Emilion region AND ... read more
Staircase and fountain
beautiful umbrellas

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Antibes August 9th 2019

We drove to La Turbie yesterday so today we decided to let the car rest, it's had enough trauma for a day. Tom and I have been wanting to test the local trains anyway so we headed down to the Gare (station) to check out the schedule. We found that the trains that come into Villefranche-sur-Mer run about every half hour and stop at most of the towns along this beautiful coastline, it's a milk run. We decided that today would be a good day to head out to Antibes by the sea as the day is hot and very humid. We are dripping wet as we wait for the next train West. We are feeling particularly lucky as we boarded because this train is air conditioned, it really helped as it was crowded with local ... read more
rampart view of Cap d'Antibes
Marche Provencal

We've been here for a few weeks now and have settled nicely into our little house in the hills. There is so much to see and do here. Some days we decide to venture out by car and some days we just want to go down to the village and walk around. Sound relaxing? Not always. The French (or whomever built these roads) must have measured the narrowest vehicle (or chariot drawn by one horse) at the time they built them and created the incredibly narrow width of all roads here accordingly. In order to expedite the drive up the hills (or corniches as they are referred to here) there are many back to back hairpins turns that are at steep inclines. The roads are so narrow that the novice driver will need to come to ... read more
blind curve 1
Cars park in the funniest ways...........
sidewalks in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » La Turbie August 7th 2019

La Turbie I'm at the point in this journey where I cannot remember the actual date nor do I know what day of the week it is. This trip has been long with many different legs. Usually I'd be here for two precious weeks counting each day as it slips away into the past trying to squeeze fantastic memories into every second as the vacation races towards its ultimate end. Not so this time, I've managed to completely engross myself daily in the views from our house perched in the hills of Villefranche-sur-Mer and what we may or may not do today....... or tomorrow........ or maybe it just doesn't matter if I stare out our window all day watching the fishing boats bob up and down in the water. I can fantasize about sunning myself on ... read more
inner village 5
repurposed water well
Outskirts of La Turbie

Villefranche-sur-Mer It is supposed to rain today but our first glimpse outside gives no hint of wetness to come. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It is hot and humid here at the Cote d'Azur. The house we rented can stay cool if you close the heavy metal outside blinds to keep the heat out, but we are here and the Mediterranean is calling so we venture outside to drive around. First we decided to go to Beaulieu Sur Mer to see if we can get some court time at the tennis club. We have traveled the short distance from Villefranche to Beaulieu many times but between last year and this year someone apparently decided to make some of our familiar streets one way. We couldn't get down to the beach and port ... read more
Villefranche Harbor
Good Mood Cafe

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon July 25th 2019

We did some travelling by car towards a castle that is about 50 k.m away. It was build on top of a mountain and is called Chateau de Baix. A nice trip going through those small French villages that look so nice as you see on TV looking at the Tour de France. It has something friendly about them that gives that special feeling that only those places can give you. We arrived there fairly early but still to late for we could not find a parking place. It was all full and you had to go back down the mountain to find a place. We stopped so we could take some photos from what we could see was just a heap of rubble but that was from a distance. We knew there was ,more to ... read more

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice July 25th 2019

We spent a week in Nice, France as a family. Another cheap/short flight from Geneva. We then caught the tram into Nice town and found our apartment in the old town of Nice. It was crowded which we were expecting and still experiencing the heat wave, but luckily it wasn't as hot as other parts of Europe. We walked up Castle Hill near our house, we wanted to catch the elevator but we thought it opened at 10am not 9am. Murray and the girls went later in the week to go on the ancient lift. It was beautiful up the top, with sweeping views of Nice old town and the beach. There is a beautiful waterfall at the top, which we figured out we could actually see from near our apartment. We enjoyed swimming at the ... read more
Working out the least crowded place to swim, Nice
Castle hill, Nice

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon July 18th 2019

We were a few more days in Tarragona,there is lots to see in this lovely place. The Romans in there days spent a lot of time making this a strong basis for their troops to come from or going to Rome. It was a save place for them. You can see this by the many Roman historical sides. We visited a few of them but in the end they all look the same. We found lot of explanations were in French and difficult to figure out what it all meant. It is amazing what those people in their days established. Whole underground tunnels from one side to the other. Some of the places we visited were close by so not that much walking but we had days that 10 kilometers was a small walk. We will ... read more

The Apartment Airbnb has been getting a lot of negative press lately about its shift to corporate listings and away from its owner-operated roots. Well, this apartment was probably the best place we have stayed in all our European trips. Roomy, well equipped, bright, quiet. Tastefully decorated and run by the nicest couple who met us on arrival and explained everything about the apartment and discussed opportunities in Arles. Made us feel like we should have stayed longer. There are many sites to visit in the area if you have a car (and time), The Pont du Gard and Avignon are two places within easy reach from Arles (we had been to both from Montpellier) but there are lots of smaller attractions we couldn’t get to because of not having time or a car. The closest ... read more
The Rhône
Les Alyscamps

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