Exploring France

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I’ve been neglecting this blog of mine! Is traveling around France a decent enough excuse to have fallen silent? I was lucky to have family visit for a total of five weeks which made for lovely company and the opportunity to see much more of the country than I would have otherwise. Please allow me to share with you some of the highlights over the next few posts.

My parents and I spent a week in the quaint little town of St. Remy du Provence. It served as a perfect base for multiple day trips including one to Les Baux de Provence where we saw the most incredible art installation. The exhibit projected works by the likes of Monet and Chagall onto the walls, ceiling and floor of a former quarry. We hadn’t know what to expect. In fact, we almost didn’t go but it honestly blew is away. Our camera couldn’t capture it but you can find more information here:

Carrieres de Lumieres
On our way home I was able to snap a picture of the incredible view outside of Les Baux.

Our time in St. Remy was complemented by its very popular Wednesday market where I (with slowly but surely improving French) purchased delicious olives, crepe eating and lots of people watching in some of France’s many town squares.

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The French lifestyle

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Oh the French lifestyle is appealing! They just know how to live so well. As we all know, one of the best ways to experience a place is to indulge in its cuisine. How convenient for me!

I’ve found that plenty of the French stereotypes are, happily, true. I’ve long given up counting how many people I’ve spotted carrying baguettes because I simply couldn’t keep up. Most businesses close from 12 until 2 for a leisurely lunch. Dinners start late and are lingered over. And, of course, wine is always present.

One of my absolute favourite things here in France is Cafe Gourmand, an espresso served alongside a selection of small desserts. Believed to have started in Paris in 2005, I’m happy to have found it further south. Thank you Wikipedia Its original purpose was actually to speed up the dining process but I love it because it offers a variety of sweets and an element of surprise as you don’t know what it’ll be until it’s set in front of you.

It seems to be more popular in Provence, where I’m traveling now, than the Menton area so I’ve only had it twice thus far. Most recently I ordered it at a cafe in Gordes and it was lovely, a peach tart, a honey and date square and caramel gelato topped with whipped cream. Just as I’d hoped!

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One week today…

paris

One week today…

And I’ll be en route to Paris! As I start the daunting task of packing, I’m recalling previous trips I’ve been on. I wrote about my travels to Chicago & Suchitoto, El Salvador on the new Rickshaw Magazine. Check out my recounting of these two amazing cities here:

http://rickshawmag.com/2013/chicago-getaway/

http://rickshawmag.com/2012/el-salvador-a-friendly-affordable-destination/