In the Travel with me series I am going to take you with me to some of my favourite places so far. With the weather in Rotterdam being heavenly the whole week I got inspired to write about on of my favourite trips I took probably ever.
Last year at the end of July it was time to head off to the Southern part of France, I am not talking about Cannes or Saint Tropez, but Avignon, Nîmes and the whole area around it. Me being a food and wine lover, France is never a bad idea. But let’s start with the estate, I am not exaggerating here, we stayed at. It is called Domaine de Blacons and a piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere next to the river Drome. I mean if I was planning to get married to a rich french person I reckon this would be my go to option. We had the whole place for us and therefore more than enough space and rooms. The interior is so well picked I can´t even put into words how beautifully Béatrice and Cedric, the owners, made it. The view from the pool is equally as good as from the rooms and basically a place you do not want to leave, ever. Another reason to never leave it the amazing selection of fresh herbs straight from the majestic garden. Rosemary, Mint, Verbena, Thyme you name it, it is in there. A dream for foodies and garden lovers to a similar extent.
But well I was not only there to stay at the same place the whole week. First things first we got sporty and started the week with a bit of Kayaking on the river. Which was great fun and with temperatures peaking at 37°C a bit of refreshment when falling out of the boat was more than welcome. Also the evening strolls to the river for a cool down after a long day can be totally recommended. After a day of fun the next day was dedicated to sightseeing in Avignon. It’s an two hour drive but so worth it, with all its little streets and artsy vibe, just the right place to experience the french savoir-vivre in it’s utter beauty. Please do not forget to sing “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” while being there, I mean you need to pay some tribute to the most famous sight of the city. If you need a break treat yourself in one of the many cafés or check out Les Halles an indoor market with bakeries and other delicious goodies for a short coffee break. Once being down there in PACA (in French class I got told that was a thing) we headed to the Pont du Gard. Which is truly breathtaking and a nice spot to go for a dip. The water is as clear as it gets and swimming there definitely on the more spectacular side of natural pools. Just like Pont d’Arc which is a natural stone bridge spanning over the Ardèche, where we headed later in the week. So two truly unique spots to cool down all in the same are what more could you want?
Well maybe another city and some nice food? I got you covered! We went to Nîmes to check out the little cute town for a morning, before starting a pool session in the afternoon. I mean you saw the pictures, one dedicated dip there was inevitable. But back to Nîmes. With an arena more intact than the worlds famous Colloseum in Roma, even more little independent shops to go through it is a fun thing to stroll through the little alleys for a morning, hiding from the brutal sun and waling up the famous Quai de la Fontaine. If you are into acient roman architecture this is your hotspot in the South of France.
You might be wondering why this post is all about travel and not about food…well fear no more I will at least give you a little insight in my foodie life while being down there. What can I say if there is something French people are capable of it is desserts and vine, not necessarily in that order. (much rather together at the same time) So trust me when I say i had my fair share of red wine, baguette, pain au chocolat and any kind of pâtisserie. Standard for the mornings is a french as it gets a pain au chocolat et café au lait, but as I was on pick up duty for the bakery, which happened to be excellent at all other kinds of pastries, not a day went by without me indulging in macarons, tarte au citron meringuée, éclairs or what ever you can dream of. Talking about sinning, as I was dedicated to embrace the french way of living as good as possible there was no night without me not trying one of the delicious red wines from the little shop down the road and eventually bringing my favourites back home.
Talking about back home, that´s where I am currently, dreaming of lasts years vacation and already considering going to Bordeaux in order to get some french food and lifestyle in me this year. Until that is decided I will just dream about it and make everyone else wanting to go there as well.