France

     Bonjour!  My wife and I travelled to the south of France with some friends in November, 1999, for a month-long holiday.  

This proved to be a good time to visit this part of France as it was the "off-season" and the weather, although colder than normal, was quite dry and appropriate for hiking in the nearby mountains, and walking through the small towns and villages.

This is a typical narrow street near our apartment in Aix en Provence, our first stop.  

We stayed here for two weeks, sampling the local offerings of wine, cheese, bread, and delicious desserts, traveling through the Rhone-valley wine district, and hiking in the Luberon, north of Aix.

This beautiful fountain is located at one end of magnificent tree-lined Cours Mirabeau, only a few blocks from our apartment. 

While at Aix, Morris and I headed east to the Grand Canyon of Verdon for a day hike with two other friends, Harry and Sandy, who were staying near Cannes at the time.

This is a spectacular canyon approximately 500 metres (1,500 ft) deep.  

There is an excellent walking trail along the bottom of the canyon but it is a real workout just to get there and back.

The Verdon river can be seen here at the base of high, imposing cliffs at one of the many viewpoints along the road.

Another view of our group, this time on the trail leading to the bottom of the canyon.

(From L to R:  Morris, myself, Harry, and Sandy)

Sunrise in Menton, a picturesque little town tucked away on the southeast corner of the French Riviera, next to the border with Italy.

We stayed here for two weeks, also.  The weather was mainly sunny, and warmer than it had been at Aix.  We did a lot of hiking in the hills to the north of Menton.

This is the St. Michel cathedral in Menton, basking in the warm glow of the sunrise over the the Mediterranean.

We attended a free concert here given by the Nice orchestra.

Menton is also close to Monaco.  Here we are outside the casino at Monte Carlo.

Everything was closed as it was a National holiday, but it was a bright sunny day, and just cool enough to make walking around enjoyable.

(From L to R:  myself, Sandy, Morris, Liz, Jocelyn, and Harry)

We took several hiking trips north of Menton, one of which started at the village of Libre (seen at the bottom of the photo).

We walked along a beautiful hiking trail high above the village.  

The tiny village of Piene Haute can be seen high up  at the top left of the photo, on the far side of the Roya river.

One of the most beautiful chapels in the world is the tiny church of Sainte Chapelle, not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris.

It consists of two chapels, one above the other.  The top area is surrounded by stained-glass windows, portraying more than 1000 biblical scenes. 

All good holidays must come to an end.  Ours ended with a fabulous view of the Christmas lights outside "les "Galeries Lafayette" in the heart of the exclusive downtown shopping area of Paris.

Au revoir!

The views and opinions expressed here are entirely those of the author. They are based on a very short exposure to the country, and as such are coloured by personal biases, impressions and subject to potential inaccuracies of interpretation.

This page was last updated on:  03-Jun-2007
Al Robinson, 2007, all rights reserved