After breakfast we drove down to the scenic bridge overlooking the gorge. Unfortunately the kayaks aren’t available until May so we didn’t get to paddle down the gorge. We drove around the lake before a delicious lunch at La Bastide de Moustiers. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the town above the lake.
Leaving bright and early we drove west through agricultural fields to Roussillon where we visited the Ocre Center. We took a short hike through the ochre landscape with its brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. After buying some watercolors we drove to L’Isle sur la sorgue and caught the tail end of the Sunday market. This town is known for its antiques and we wandered through some antique shops. It was an interesting mix of French country style and mid-century modern furniture. We finished the day driving to Chateauneuf du Pape where we were staying for the next two nights.
We headed to Avignon at midday and visited the Palace of the Popes. The frescos were stunning! After wandering around Avignon for the afternoon we drove over to the Pont du Gard to see some Roman ruins.
After checking out of our hotel we drove south to Arles. Did you know it has the second largest surviving Roman arena after the colosseum? It also has an amphitheatre and the remains of a bathing complex. After a day spent in Arles we continued south to our final destination in the Camargue.
Today we rode some Camargue horses around the place we are staying where they farm Camargue cattle. We then drove over to the small town on the opposite side of the marshlands, but didn’t stay too long as there as there was an event happening in the arena. We finished the day with a local wine tasting before returning to the hotel for dinner.
We left rainy London early in the morning, taking a bus to get to Heathrow, forgetting it was a bank holiday and the trains weren’t running that early. Arriving in Marseille it was sunny and warm. We drove around the St Victoire mountain stopping in Puyloubier for a bite to eat and to take in the gorgeous views. We ended the day at Le St Esteve for a delicious Michelin starred meal.
After the requisite french pastries for breakfast at our hotel, we drove to Aix to check out the market. Aix is known for Cezanne living in the town and his works of the nearby St Victoire. We visited the Granet museum which has lots of Cezanne, Picasso, and Giacometti, and an exhibition on David Hockney. After stopping for lunch we ended the day visiting Cezanne’s atelier just up the hill from the town center.
Today was a travel day. We stopped at Plage de Jean Blanc to see our first taste of the Mediterranean. The water is turquoise blue, the sun bright in the sky. We drove on to Chateau de la Napoule. The hardscaping in this garden was amazing. We then finished the day by driving to our airbnb outside of Nice.
After picking Madeline up at the airport bright and early, we went to Menton and visited the Serre de la Madonne garden. As we were there early there was practically no one there and it was a verdant paradise. The hardscaping and fountains were amazing. We ate lunch by the beach and spent some time afterwards searching for seaglass along the beach. After an afternoon nap we had dinner in Nice at Le Negresco, an old sea side hotel.
We got up early to visit Castle Hill before we left for the mountains. We drove up as far as we could and managed to get a parking spot. The views are fabulous! After a lunch along the Promenade des Anglais we drove north to the Verdon Gorge. The drive through the mountains was amazing, taking us over woods, fields, and through scenic vistas.