Summer escape to France and Italy – Part 1 Vaucluse, Provence, France.
I recently returned from a quick trip to France and Italy with my daughter. You would have heard that parts of Europe, including where we traveled, were in the midst of a heat wave, while Melbourne at the moment is completely the opposite. It’s taking a bit to get used to.
We had the most wonderful moments and some challenging ones . . . running to catch trains, dragging suitcases up and down ancient steps at ancient railway stations and trying to anticipate what the other road drivers were going to do!
We flew, via Doha where we stopped a night, on to beautiful Milan before training it to Lyon then Avignon where we picked up the hire car. After a few minor payment hiccups my daughter did a brilliant job of getting us to Mazan, Vaucluse, Provence where we stayed in a stunning apartment which we used as a base to visit nearby and further- away villages. In Mazan the bells rang and the swallows flew constantly.
Although this was a holiday trip I had times where I needed to attend to work things, all on my iphone, also a bit of a challenge. The only writing I did was a daily diary, very useful right now.
Over the next week we visited the Papal Palace in Avignon and the villages of Venasque, Roussillon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Gordes, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Baux-de-Provence where we visited Carrieres de Lumieres – a former quarry which projects famous artwork (Immersive Exhibition – we saw Van Gogh) on to the walls, accompanied by beautiful classical music. It was stunning and one of the most emotional experiences of my life. On the final day we visited L’Isle-sur-la-sorgue – all beautiful villages but our favourite was Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.
We left Mazan and our beautiful apartment, dropped the car at Avignon before training it down to Nice where we stayed overnight and in between made a quick afternoon visit to Monaco. The last time I was in Monaco I was 22, carried a back-pack and my friend and I ate baguettes & cheese and drank chocolate milk on the waterfront. We did it differently this time.
The following day we traveled on the Train Des Merveilles from Nice to Tende, a journey which was off the tourist track but highly recommended. We headed toward Cuneo, crossing the French/Italian border some time in the afternoon bound for Arona.
To be continued next week – Piedmonte, Italy