Notre-Dame de la Garde (literally Our Lady of the Guard), is a Catholic basilica in Marseille, France. The basilica was build on the foundations of an ancient fort. The fort was located at the highest natural elevation in Marseille, a 149 m (490 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port of Marseille. The basilica […]
Marseille is the oldest continuously inhabited city in France, it is a second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon. Humans have inhabited Marseille and its region for almost 30,000 years, it was the first Greek settlement in France. It is […]
After the city folk found their way of the forest, we immediately stopped in the first available town to have some well earned gelato. Lourmarin is a small village of 1000 people which has been settled for at least a thousand years, and was probably a Neolithic campsite before that. A dominating fortress was first […]
On the outskirts of Bonnieux village is a massive cedar forest that began with trees imported from North Africa during the Napoleonic era. It sits opposite Mont Ventoux, know as the windy mountain where winds in the summer reach 320km/h but on average over 240 days out of the year go at 90+ km/h. We decided to […]
The original bridge on this road was built in 3BC and it was a wooden structure which was swept in one of the floods. The bridge was part of the Via Domitian road which was a quick way to connected Rome with the southern France. The bridge was eventually replaced with an arched stone bridged with two […]
Roussillon is a tiny but a picturesque village of about 1300 residents. It is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments, mostly red, yellow and orange, found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930. Roussillon is located within the […]
Today, after lazing around after breakfast, and then lounging by the pool for a couple of hours, we decided to take a little lavender drive through Provence. As it turns out we are a bit late to the lavender party as the first harvest has already been taken and the new flowers are not going to […]
The cathedral is located on the route of the Roman road, the Via Aurelia. A fragment of a Roman wall and the columns of the baptistery seem to be the origin of the legend that the church was built on top of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo. According to the Christian tradition, the first […]
Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town. There are great many sights to see here. The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]
The origin of this town dates back to 800 BC. More importantly though the town was taken by Romans in 123 BC and as Romans do they build a lot of cool buildings. The Gallo-Roman theatre, the arena or amphitheatre, necropolis, Arles Obelisk and Barbegal aqueduct and mill to name few. Most of the old Roman buildings are being […]
Chances are that if you have ever seen a picture of a lavender field in France with a large building in the back ground it most likely was Senanque Abbey. The abbey was funded in 1148 and rose to an enormous prominence and wealth in the 13 to 14th century then lost it all when […]
Second stop on the way to the Abbey is the village of Gordes. We really happened upon it simply because of its spectacular and dominating hill-top presence. Like most villages in this region, it has strong ties to the Roman empire. First castle here was built in 1031 and the first abbey in 1148. The […]
Today we are taking easy after a long drive yesterday. After a late start and a lazy morning breakfast we are out for a short drive. First stop, Bonnieux, a small hill-top village dating back to the 6th century.
Our last night in Paris ended with a fabulous dinner at La cocotte et la marmite, and I mean fabulous, most likely the best dinner we had in Paris ever. Absolutely loved it! Our trip around Paris, if you believe the step counter on the phone, totalled 71.62km – I am afraid not one of us […]
Musee d’Orsay is located in an old converted railway station right across the river from the Louvre. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, […]
So another busy day in Paris. A bit of shopping, a lot of walking, a lots of snacking but generally relaxing. Today we climbed 24 floors, mostly getting up to the Pantheon and walking up the hill by Sorbonne, and walked about 23,600 steps which is about 13.6km. Good workout!
The Luxembourg Garden and Palace was created at the beginning of 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, who at the time was building a new home that was to mimic her home in Florence. Today the gardens are owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace. It covers 23 […]
The Pantheon, roughly translated from Greek means “to all gods”. Originally intended as a church to the saint patron of Paris, it was later converted to a mausoleum to honour the great men and women that brought honour and respect to the nation. The motto on the Pantheon reads ” To great men, the grateful homeland” […]
The Sainte-Chapelle or “Holy Chapel” was constructed to house Louis IX’s collection of relics of Christ, the crown of thorns, a piece of the cross and others. At the time the king paid 135,00 livres for the relicts, which were put in an ornate silver chest that cost further 100,000 livres. The entire chapel in 1238 […]
First order of the day and the highlight of the day for the kids was a Rihanna pop up store – at Colette. Super cool store with just about something for everyone. Needless to say we showed up early, in fact we beat almost the entire Paris and ended up 4th in line. Score. […]
I think everyone knows Eiffel Tower. It is the tallest building in Paris, it is a global cultural icon of France, and it is the most paid visited monument in the world. It symbolizes freedom and beauty and everything that is French and Parisian. Today, surrounded by a fence, and an army of security guards […]
One of the largest buildings you can see from Centre Pompidou is the church of St. Eustache. The building actually dates back to the 13th century. The current church, a gothic masterpiece, was built between 1532 and 1632. St. Eustache was prominent enough in Paris to have Louis XIV take his first communion there and Mozart has […]
Centre Pompidou is an interesting building – it is sort of inside out building. We visited Pompidou in Metz a while back which looked like a giant tent. From the roof top you can almost see all the major landmarks in Paris. A very nice Passion women pointed out all of them to us, all […]
Today is an easy and relaxing day. First, we sleep in, so we were off to a great start. Once we got organized and managed to get to the centre we decided to go shopping. First stop at the Louvre then to one of favourite stores BHV then a stroll through Marais for some sweets […]
Today is our first day out after a long day of travel yesterday. On the agenda for today is what started of as a little village in the 11th century then became a hunting lodge with a bit of forest to what today is simply know as the Palace of Versailles. When you are the […]
Finally we are setting off on our summer vacation. It has been a long time coming.
The two young ladies are taking the zip line at the end of the challenging obstacle course adventure, or as they see it, Hunger Games obstacle course.
Here are two more videos from the Sound and Light Show at the Rouen Cathedral. Simply amazing.
While visiting some of these splendid structures, on a number of occasions, we were treated to the sound of roaring organs. Rouen Cathedral was also a nice treat. Someone was taking the organs for a spin and they sounded mighty.
The first known settlement is Samarobriva (“Somme bridge”), the central settlement of the Ambiani, one of the principal tribes of Gaul. The town was given the name Ambianum by the Romans, meaning settlement of the Ambiani people. The town has been much fought over, being attacked by barbarian tribes, and later by the Normans. In […]
Amiens Cathedral is situated on a ridge overlooking the River Somme in Amiens and it is the 19th largest church in the world. Medieval cathedral builders were trying to maximize the internal dimensions in order to reach for the heavens and bring in more light. In that regard, the Amiens cathedral is the tallest complete […]
While I am trying to catch up on all the updates, we are off to Bruges for two nights. It is not a long drive and we are going to be stoping in Amiens on the way there.
Today we are saying goodbye to our fantastic little cottage in Omonville. Despite the weather, we had absolutely fabulous time here. I would say one of the best stays on this trip. Don’t get fooled by this picture, it rained 30 min later, exactly when we were checking out…
This habit we picked up in Paris 3 years ago. I can’t put my tiger on it but this is the best yogurt we found and it is only sold in France and it comes in a glass jar. Absolutely delightful – so we gorged ourselves on it.
For a treat, after climbing some trees and stopping to smell the hydrangeas we drove back to Dieppe to have crepes, exactly at the same spot where we had them on the first day. A couple stops at a chocolate shop and a bakery too were on the agenda. Crepes are great but nothing beats […]
Tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the Dieppe Raid of 1942. Dieppe is dressed up and down with Canadian flags – it looks very heartwarming. The Canadian War Cemetery located 5km from Dieppe is unique in that it was created by the occupying Germans, as the Allied raid was a disaster and many dead were […]
Continuing with our fun theme for the day after Tree Top Adventure we set off for Hydrangea Gardens. The gardens which are about 2ha in size claim to have the largest collection of hydrangeas from around the world, with hundreds of flowers and millions of blooms. I am not sure if this qualified as fun […]
This morning the kids asked what we are doing today? Having fun was the reply and fun we were going to have. In the old days you could either climb a tree or you did not, today they made that into a sport, which I think is a lot more fun. First stop for today is a Tree […]
Behind the bunkers and the radar ruins left from WWII is this lovely chapel which can be seen from the city. Perched hight up on the top of the cliff and originally built in the eleventh century as the story goes, by Count Baldwin, this chapel was rebuilt in the thirteenth century. It takes the […]
Cape Fagnet is the highest point of the Alabaster Coast, it offers a breathtaking panorama of the sea, the cliffs, the harbor and the town of Fecamp. It peaks at 105 m and was once called the “Slam Fécamp.” It is currently occupied by a navy radar installation. Cape Fagnet was part of the German Atlantic […]
About 20 min drive from Etretat is the fishing town of Fecamp. During WWII Fecamp was part of Atlantic Wall fortification project run by Nazis. It was the third best fortified city in Normandy in WWII which was held by the Germans until 1944. Fecamp is an ancient fishing village and it shows signs of habitation dating […]
In the middle of Normandy, in the middle of farmland with cows and sheep everywhere a rather displaced act of civil disobedience and protest. If , like us, you support PETA ( People Eating Tasty Animals) then this is just a bit of whimsical fun!
Yesterday in Rouen we had amazing weather – read no rain and even some sunshine. Today’s forecast is somewhat similar. Cloudy, with light wind, occasional sunshine and guaranteed downpour or five. I think that by now we all got used to the idea that the beach towels we brought with us will go back home […]
Etretat is a small town of about 1500 people located about 100 km from where we are staying. Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in […]
While I am trying to find some time to catch up on the last two days of posts here is a quick update from Rouen. Our last thing to do in Rouen today was to see the great Cathedral Light and Sound Show. It is similar to what we saw at the Quarries of Light […]
Rouen is a very cool city, well worth a good visit or two. We loved Metz, but Rouen I think is going to be a bit more special to us. This is a wonderful city with a lot of great places to visit and explore. The city has a great atmosphere, it has great shops […]
First thing this morning we made online dinner reservations at a very nice little bistro in Rouen. Made in Normandy Bistro is in the old town and we were quite happy to be able to get a table there. In a typical French style we are celebrating our 17th Wedding Anniversary today with foie gras […]
Another one of predominant landmarks in Rouen are the timber houses. The entire old town it seems is dotted with them. Some in better shape than others, some looking like they were just built and some so skewed they look like they are falling over. All of them however, absolutely charming and beautiful. Most of these […]
In the park behind the Church of St. Ouen church is where all the action is. Great church, beautiful park, a fountain, a pond, a tennis table, a playground for kids, bachelorette party meeting place and an exercise park. Since this trip is all about collection experiences, we thought we would give it a try. We entered the […]
On the other side of the Church of St. Ouen park is a beginning of rowdy to be bachelorette party. It starting slow but I bet it will be a barrel of fun.