Yes, yes. I know this is beyond ‘late’ and irrelevant to our current location. BUT I don’t like to leave things unfinished where possible, so we shall resume the blog, and that means PARIS. We couldn’t have our travel postings not include the ‘icing on the cake’ of our European adventures. Unfortunately, in the time that has lapsed, the site updates have deleted the near-complete draft of this, which means the memories may be a little hazier than intended. So…
We originally only planned for a few days in Paris, but after finding an apartment to rent at a great price and our travels being cut short for a move to Asia, we decided to enjoy a week there to have a special finish to our trip.
Our little Paris apartment overlooking a small park
It was now October 19 and we had just finished an incredible day of driving around the Gorges du Verdon, with a feeling of having the roads around Provence mostly to ourselves. We filled up the gas tank with many euros and continued the drive.
Sadly, we found fewer of the stunning winding roads we had found the day before, but it was still great scenery. The first real stop was for a late lunch in Moustiers. Unfortunately lunchtime is strictly 12 to 1:30 in these parts, and after trying a dozen potential cafes we retired to the car, opened a packet of dry crackers, and continued our journey a little grumpy. Given the whole town is on a 45 degree slope, walking around it to find food was actually quite frustrating work.
Alex had two boxes he wanted to tick during our three weeks through France: eat some great French food, and drive some awesome roads. He’d covered both after our first day in the car. It seemed France wasn’t going to let us down on any aspect. That was confirmed again when we had one of the best days of the trip…
Provence seems to have been brushed under the carpet in favour of people waxing lyrical about Tuscany. Whilst we loved Tuscany, I cannot wax enough lyrics about driving through Provence. It completely blew both of us away.
We set off from St Tropez bidding farewell to the coast after stopping off at the endless stretch of beach not far from the town. Hitting the countryside was gorgeous. We stayed off the A roads as we had done in Italy, and the scenery was very rewarding.
I think I had the inkling that I would fall in love with France from the first glimpse of the French Riviera through the train window. This was despite the fact that our initial train from Ventimiglia was cancelled, delaying us an hour to meet our apartment owner in Cannes.
Fortunately when we arrived she was very forgiving, and showed us all the ins and outs of what would be one of the top accommodation picks of the trip – and only confirmed two days prior. It was close to the beach and main street, and came with balcony, comfy living space, great bed, two bathrooms, washing machine and fully equipped kitchen – right down to a Nespresso machine. Not to mention the wireless sound system for playing music from our numerous Apple devices. We were set.
I managed to pick up a cold in Rome which seemed to hit its peak once the pace slowed in Cannes. With a little time up our sleeves, we took a couple of days at the apartment to catch up on some admin (multiple loads of washing and research) and get healthy again. Unfortunately those sorts of days take you away from potential exploring. We made ourselves familiar with the nearby supermarket and did some (I have to say) awesome home cooked dinners. Not very French, but burgers made on baguette were damn tasty and took us right back home for the night. Another home cooked highlight came after a visit to the excellent Cannes produce market. From that we made a wicked ratatouille from great fresh veges costing a mere €3. I thought it was pretty up there with the French restaurant version.