Well, we did it. We went back to France this year. I think it’s starting to become an addiction.
We stayed in the south of France, mainly Provence. I hadn’t really been to this part of the world before, so it was a real adventure and we covered a lot of territory. To the left is Isle sur la Sorgue, where they have a ‘brocante’ or flea market every Sunday. The items for sale on one side of the river are nice antiques, silverware, linens and the like while the vendors on the other side sell inexpensive clothing, bags, food, and basically cheap stuff.
One place I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area is Les Baux. Plan to spend most of the day exploring this historic site, then catch the Carrières de Lumières afterward in the nearby quarry. ‘Klimt and Vienna’ and ‘Invisibles Cities’ were playing when we were there.
We went to the outdoor markets in several towns and they sell the most amazing local fruits and vegetables, olives, soaps, hats, clothing, and lavender. The sights, smells, and sounds are so inviting. The French really know how to live. They would gather around little tables at lunchtime for a glass of wine and share some food. Very friendly and warm.
Then there were the many castles, vineyards, lavender fields, and roads with circles just about every time you blink. And the food. Oh, the food… We stopped to get gas one afternoon and found a place serving food. Really good food. At a gas station. And espressos. Really good espresso, not your 7–11 crap. How great is that?
We were happy to be able to stay with some friends, which was the real highlight. We also stayed several places that we found through Airbnb. It was an opportunity to meet some new friends. We even stayed on a barge one night and met some real characters who we hope will come visit us one day.
We made a road trip, which by California standards isn’t a big deal. It was only about three hours. We drove to Nice and met an online friend who has a music studio he built there. It was great to finally meet up in person. The ocean off the coast of Nice is an amazing shade of aqua. It was a windy day, and watching those waves crashing and the palm trees blowing was a memorable experience.