A Travellerspoint blog

Avignon Carcassone and St Emillon

Southwest France - Medieval Cities, Foie Gras and Vineyards


I have been sick last 2 days. Cough and runny nose caught up with me last night and neither of us got much sleep. I made up for it on the bus today after I got some Actifed tablets for the Rheum. Yesterday we travelled to Carcasonne - walled city featured in the movies Name of the Rose and The Lion in Winter. What a wonder -our hotel was right next to the Cathedral which has magnificent stained glass windows dating to the 12th Century. We ate in the Hotel Restaurant after wandering the steep narrow streets and shopping. Carcasonne has 2 sets of City Walls and a castle within the castle. I will place some photos when well enough.

Posted by acudoc 08:31 Archived in France Tagged luxury_travel Comments (2)

Monte Carlo Monaco to Avignon

Wet weather finds us at Avignon

rain 18 °C

Day 8 of our 14 day tour of France brought us from Monaco to Avignon in the Cote D'Azur of France to Provence which is supposed to be sun-drenched at this time of year. A long day on the road but arrived in Avignon, the seat of the French Popes from 13th to 15th Centuries, late in the afternoon. On the way we visited the City of Aix en Provence - Roman town which is little gem. It was Market day and oh if we had the ability such wonders in the form of antiques we could have brought back with us. We had an hour long stroll down the main thoroughfare then back on the coach. Our Hotel in Avignon is at least 200 years old but very comfortable with large rooms and modern conveniences - particularly after a long day on the road. After arrival we decided to eat in an out-door cafe next to the Hotel and near to the ancient city wall which protected the city and its Popes from harm. Unfortunately the rain started and and resulting waterfalls from the large umbrellas wet a number of the patrons - but not us. Everyone took this with great humour and we proceeded to taste the local cuisine. An enormous Salad Nicoise for Celina and Smoked Salmon for me.

We are very close the the famous bridge at Avignon which has only 4 spans across the Rhone river left out of its original 12 or 15 spans - the rest were washed away in one of the Rhone's frequent floods several centuries ago.Sur Le Pont d'Avignon June 2010

Sur Le Pont d'Avignon June 2010

After this we trudged in the rain to the Palace of the PopesPalace of the Popes, Avignon, France

Palace of the Popes, Avignon, France

Palais de Papes Avignon

Palais de Papes Avignon

- home for the 7 French popes of the 14th Century during the great schism of the Catholic Church made famous recently as the background to the story of the Name of the Rose. Unfortunately the French Revolution lead to the destruction of much of the decoration of the Palace but we still enjoyed our tour. In the afternoon we visited the hill-top town of Les Baux and its ruined Fortress and enjoyed wandering the medieval streets.Celina at La Baux de Provence

Celina at La Baux de Provence

Celina at Les Baux de Provence

Celina at Les Baux de Provence

Tonight we dine at the Hotel then its off tomorrow for Carcasonne - a walled city founded by the Romans.

The Tourists Prayer (?Anon)

Heavenly Father, Look down on us your humble, obedient tourist servants who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, sending postcards and buying souvenirs. We beseech you, O Lord to see that our plane is not hijacked, our luggage is not lost and our overweight baggage is not noticed. Give us this day divine guidance in our selection of hotels. We pray the telephones work and the operators speak our language.

Lead us to good, inexpensive restaurants where the wine is included in the price of the meal. Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Make the natives love us for what we are and not for what we can contribute to their worldly goods. Grant us the strength to visit the museums, cathedrals, palaces and if we skip an historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is weak.

Dear God protect our wives from bargains they don’t need or can’t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in nightclubs. Above all do not forgive them from their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

And when our voyage is over, grant us the favour of finding someone who will look at our holiday snaps and listen to our stories so our lives as tourists will not have been in vain.

Posted by acudoc 09:40 Archived in France Comments (2)

Chamonix to Monte Carlo June 12-13th

From the French Alps to the Cote D'Azur

semi-overcast 22 °C

Wow! It just keeps getting better and better. we started at 9am yesterday 12th June and drove to Northern Italy via the 11Km Mont Blanc road tunnel which traverses the mountain from France to Italy. We then drove through the Italian Alpine areas down to Aoste travelling through mountain tunnels and over dizzying Viaducts and eventually passed by Turin. We passed numerous castlesRoadside Castle Ruins

Roadside Castle Ruins

of 12th -15th Century vintage and passed colourful and picturesque mountain villages. We only stopped to take on fuel and stretch our legs. Many slept for long streches but eventually we reached the Tyrennian Sea and headed West to Monte Carlo. What a fabulous and exciting placeMonaco


this is for the Rich and Shameless not including us of course. It sparkles and spangles with Bling by the metre. We are situated in one of the most fabulous Hotels in Monte Carlo Celina and New Friend

Celina and New Friend

overlooking the most famous corner in road racing history. As I look out our 5th floor window I can the numerous groups of tourists streaming past with cameras ready.Monaco Grand Prix Circuit

Monaco Grand Prix Circuit

This is part of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit and all night the local Ferrari and Maserati owners streamed past and many parked in front of the Hotel. A fabulous meal last night overlooking the Marina with its fantastic Super Yachts. Most are fully crewed ocean going vessels some of which are for sale. As we walked past the Marina today we passed up the oportunity to enquire the price. Today we walked back from the Royal Palace of the Grimaldi family who have ruled here for over 700 years. We had toured the Palace as part of our tour but decided to avoid the Cathedral and the tombs of Princess Grace and Prince rainier. We walked through the local motor show with its current and vintage carsCIMG2619




and arrived here at the hotel exhausted but ready for our highlight meal and visit to the Casino tonight.

Posted by acudoc 08:30 Archived in France Comments (2)

Chamonix to Annecy

French Alps

22 °C

Another wonderful day thanks to our local guide Christoph who yodelled to us and whose manic energy helped the whole group of 38 persons from disparate backgrounds enjoy each other and the experiences. This morning we drove along the Alpine route to the pleasant French town of Annecy which is located on the largest freshwater lake in Europe - Lake Geneva. It was Market day and before we took our afternnon cruise on the Green lake we took a partially guided tour through the narrow streets during market day. Surrounded by wonderful local food and the aromas it created we were encouraged by the local traders to sample the cheeses breads local vegetables. The Market closed precisely at 1pm and all traces were gone in a half hour. Celina and I had a very reasonably priced meal in an open air restaurant including our first French Onion Soup and Risotto. Back to the Hotel with the job of packing for the next 2 days of our Hotel in Monaco. Tomorrow we travel Napoleon's route as he escaped from Elba.Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

French Alps

French Alps

Posted by acudoc 09:14 Archived in France Comments (0)

Dijon to Chamonix

From Burgundy to the French Alps

sunny 22 °C

Today was a long but exhilarating day starting from Dijon of mustard fame and our first stop was the Medieval City of Beaune where we stepped back in time. Medieval Hotel Dieu at Beaune

Medieval Hotel Dieu at Beaune

Tapestry Hotel Dieu, Beaune

Tapestry Hotel Dieu, Beaune

We wandered through the narrow cobbled streets past lovely restaurants and souvenir shops and had another wine tasting. The 12 century Hotel Dieu was built to act as a hospital for the poor and has wonderful multi-coloured porcelain patterned tiles which were created by artisans from Flanders. We had a lovely meal and then off to Chamonix which is a ski resort in the French Alps below Mt Blanc. Comfortablebeds abound and a roaring snow-melt river below us and so .to bed to put our swollen feet up

Posted by acudoc 09:00 Archived in France Comments (0)

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