Monaco

You know you are in a place full of stinking rich people when your photo of the Lamborghini and Ferrari is almost photo-bombed by a Bugatti passing in front. Monaco is surreal, clean, packed with people and cars, vertical, over-signed, pretty, and, unfortunately for us today, wet, because it rained almost all of the time […]

Nimes

Having viewed the Pont du Gard and watched the movie in the museum, showing the path of the water from its source, we naturally wanted to see its destination, the ancient city of Nimes. After rubbing the nose of the crocodile for luck, we took in the many sites, including the Roman Arena, the Maison […]

Pont du Gard

As the “must see” tourist destination in southern France, the Pont du Gard lived up to the hype. Even though we arrived on a day featuring thousands of school children and some type of band performing environmental songs (over and over), the majesty of the site drown out most of the distractions. This aqueduct, completed […]

Cassis

Due south and sea-side of where we are staying in Jouques, the confident hamlet of Cassis can’t decide if it is part of Provence or the Riviera. Or maybe it is happy existing in both worlds. Kath and I enjoyed a lovely sea-themed meal beside the docks, watching the people on their evening stroll and […]

Arles

After a couple of hours birdwatching in the salt marshes of the Carmague, we slipped into Arles at sunset, later than we hoped to be but still hoping for a decent meal on a quiet Monday night. We didn’t ever find the meal (oven-cooked pizza made-to-order in a van, anyone?) , but we did discover […]

Les Baux

Maybe it was the inability to find a parking space anywhere near the town, or the hundreds of tourists disgourging from tour buses and clogging the tiny streets, but I found Les Beux, a medieval fortress and town north of Arles, disappointing. Once we wandered back into the surrounding countryside, the magic of Provence returned, […]

Riams

Just down the road from Jouques, where we are staying, we stumbled into Rians, a picturesque village featuring a majestic church (almost a mini-cathedral) and two 12-century towers. There is nothing about it in our guidebooks, and we appeared to be the only outsiders there on a sleepy Sunday. We got to experience that increasing […]

The Castles of Southwestern France

Katherine and I took the good advice from a friend and spent the day exploring various châteaus in the Hautes-Corbieres region of southwestern France. There are châteaus spread throughout the mountainous area south of Carcassonne, which gained fame in the time of the Cathar religious sect of the 13th century and were fortified by French […]

Carcassonne!

After three flights, a long drive, and about 24 of constant travel, Katherine and I arrived in Carcassonne this afternoon, relatively unphased. A jewel of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Carcassonne features beautiful architecture and a well-trodden tourist trail through the old, recreated La Cite.