I’m writing from Aix-en-Provence this morning. I finally have a reliable internet connection so I am making the most of the opportunity to get in another message. We’ve covered a lot of ground on this trip. It was always going to be a touring holiday once we left Paris as we had a lot of ground to cover. But, we’ve also seen so much and am glad for the opportunity to take a week to cover these beautiful areas.
From the west coast we headed inland to Perigueux – an area which I have to say has the best food in France (in my humble opinion!). The region (Dordogne and Lot) luch and green, hilly and interesting, virtually littered with chateaux and fine dining. We spent a night at Sarlat – a town which boasts the highest concentration of medieval buildings in France. It’s true! So many cobbled streets of wonky houses; most are beautifully restored.
We explored winding back roads and drove along winding river tracks…just amazing!
From there we headed to the south coast near the Spanish border. We stopped at Carcassonne; a well-restored (albiet quite touristy) medieval town. Despite the heaving crowds it is a sight to behold.
We drove towards Perpignan and spent a night at a rather quiet beach resort town called Canet Plage. Only after an ordinary meal on the main street did we find a street of tapas and paella restaurants on the walk back to the hotel. I hate when that happens.
From there we drove to Arles which is a somewhat raffish but ancient town with a 1st century Roman ampitheatre, still used today for bullfights and horse shows. The wind coming off the mountains and into the town was immensly strong, I’ve never felt wind like that before.
From Arles we went into the Luberon region (made famous by Peter Mayle’s book ‘A Year in Provence’. Went to Gordes, Bonnieux and Lacoste. Lacoste still has at its peak the ruins of the castle of the notorious Marquis de Sade.
We ended the day quite late at Aix-en-Provence – where there is a market today – reportedly with lots of antiques and goodies to discover. NExt stop – St. Tropez!!