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A constantly curious and melancholic wanderer...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Holiday Planning - Part 1

You will be happy to know that I have indeed made some progress with my boring sorting-out-my-laptop task. (I won't mention that I am leaving my music and photos folders for last which will probably take the longest...).  Between that and spring-cleaning before my mother-in-law comes for a visit, I also need to do some holiday planning.  So I have decided to do a quick post about my planning so far :)

Me and my husband have decided on the itinerary and we are getting very excited for our get-away.  It has been a while since our last overseas-adventures and we are ready to put our travelling boots back on.  The itinerary is probably the easiest part and yes we haven't booked tickets, accommodation, transport or any of those important things, but at least we are sure of where we want to go and what we want to do. 

Here follows our 16-17 day itinerary.

Day 1:  Arrive in Paris.  I just recently finished my Paris blogs and you can have a look at the lovely photos we took over here. We are not yet sure how our flights will work and just how much time we will have to explore the city of lights, but I think since we did a lot of the touristy things the previous time, we will maybe just go sit in a street café and drink in the Parisian atmosphere (and some café off course).  I need to practise my French (okay no, rather do a crash course into a few basic communication lines) before we go and also remember to rather start speaking to them in Afrikaans first - even if they won't understand them to hopefully get a bit of a warmer welcome than before. 


Day 2 + 3:  Off to Burgundy and the wine estates.  We are very excited about this part as we both miss the Cape and the wonderful wine tastings you can have there.  I am sure this will be a different and wonderful experience.   So far, we are going to sleep in Beaune for the two nights.  I still need to work out the specific things we are going to do, but hopefully we can do some biking in and around the vineyards , taste lots of wine and maybe do some mustard-shopping in Dijon and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Everything depends on our budget off course.  We might just have to look at the vineyards and imagine what the wine tastes like...


Cute little restaurant

 A portrait of life in Beaune

I love how Dijon looks. 
Some interesting facts about Dijon.  It is the old capital of Burgundy.  Its mustard and cassis (black currant liqueur) are famous, and Dijon is also an important shipper of Burgundy wine. It is at least equally noteworthy for its art treasures. *


The Owl Trail in Dijon
*There is a lot to see and do in Dijon and it’s easy to find your own way around town.   Just follow the Owl’s Trail or “Le Parcours de la Chouette“.  The trail is named after the stone owl at the Notre-Dame church.  Look for the tiny owl on the facade of the church and don’t forget to stroke it for good luck and to ensure you will return!

Day 4 + 5:  Moving on swiftly to Provence.  We will be staying in Avignon for the two nights, but with lots of visits to other places like Saint Remy de Provence and an ancient stone village called Les Baux.
Something interesting that I have learned while planning our holiday is that Provence actually has a big Roman history and influence. 
*The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. It was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France.[2] While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, particularly in the interior of the region.[3]
I am not so sure if we will still be able to see the lavender fields in bloom as I think that they are actually at their most beautiful at the moment.  But I am sure there are lots of other beautiful things to see in the country side.


Some beautiful buildings to go discover in Avignon.

Apparently this carousel is in the middle of the town and will I have to go and  find it... Carousels make me extremely happy.  Not as much as lamps, but close.  :)  

Beautiful photo opportunities in Saint Remy de Provence. 
*Saint Remy is a small, sleepy town with a whole lot of history. Not only was it once the site of a Roman city, it was also where Van Gogh was housed at the Monastery de Mausole when he was being treated (unsuccessfully) for his many psychiatric problems.

 Luckily the olive theory works for me and Jaco, so I will get to eat all the yummy olives that we buy.
I can live with these things...
We will explore St Remy and the surrounding country side on bikes again,  as this is the cheapest mode of transport except walking off-course.  I found a website to hire electrical bikes which can be quite an adventure. 
Day 6 + 7.  The French Riviera.  We are not exactly sure of our plans here yet, but we will probably be based in Nice.  And we are thinking of hiring a car for two days and just driving along the coast (not so sure if you will be as close as we get here in Mauritius), and stopping wherever we want and stay for as long as we feel like.  We do however first have to find out whether we will be able to drive there or what you need to do to get an international licence.  Seeing that it will be on the opposite side of the road.  Eeeek.
Some possible places that are on the list include: 
  • Monacco (I'm not so sure about all the hype over Monacco.  I am actually pretty sure it is not my cup of tea, but Jaco really wants to go, so I will join him as a good wife).
  • Menton (this one is for me and you will see why in the picture below).
  • Antibes (where apparently there is a lot of Picasso's paintings).
  • Vence (where there is a lot of Matisse paintings).
  • Cannes (where they have that film festival).
  • St Tropez ( The inhabitants of Saint Tropez are called Tropéziens and the town is familiarly called St-Trop). 
Nice, where we will be based.

Monacco - it does look very exciting at night time. 

Apparently is this a good dress code in Monacco. 


Menton - I love love love how this place looks. 


Look at this cute street in Antibes. 
A side street in Vence.
 Saint Tropez - this looks familiar :)
A picture of the women in Saint Tropez who apparently live by the motto:  "Do a little and do it always".  He he
Delicious macaroons in Cannes.

 Some street art in Cannes.   

Stay tuned for Holiday Planning Part 2 - Italy :)

 * Encyclopaedia.com
*  Travel Signposts
*  Wikipedia
*  Why Go France