The second in a series of beautiful towns I visited in France:
8. L’Isle sur la Sorgue
The first stop on my moped trip in Provence was L’Isle sur la Sorgue. On weekends this town is full of antique markets. My timing was not in 🙂 But still a beautiful place.
9. Fontain de Vaucluse
Fontain de Vaucluse was one of the reasons why I wanted to do this day-trip. The town is built around the source of this stunning river, a spring in the valley at the foot of the Vaucluse moutains.
This hill town in Provence may be one of the best well-known towns in this region. There are many winding streets to get lost in. I did not have the time, had to get to see Roussillon too!
And then there was colourful Roussillon! One of the best finds of the day.
Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments found in the clay near the village. Therefore the colourful display in town. The quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930. Now mining of ochre is prohibited here, to protect the sites from degradation and complete destruction. I visited the site, but found the town really beautiful and lingered as long as I could, before heading back to Avignon.
Arles facsinated me. I remember there were hundreds of swallows swirling around an empty square. It was beautiful. Lots of reference to Vincent van Gogh was also special for me. My favourite artist. If you are a fan too, please watch this video… The architecture of Arles is quite unique. Would love to go back!
13. Menton (French Riviera)
The train trip from Arles to Menton (nearly on the border with Italy, on the French Riviera) was quite exhaustive again and I had to change trains somewhere along the way. I had two quick trips to Nice and St Paul de Vence from here. I stayed at the hostel right at the top of the hill and got a lot of exercise walking…
I decided to spend one day on the beach, without any travelling. Pure bliss! I loved the real Italian cuppuccinos served at bars, since Menton is so close to the Italian border…
14. Villafranche sur Mer
On one of my excursions from Menton, I stumbled on Villafranche sur Mer. It was such a beautiful place, I decided to get off the train and go for a swim. One of the best swims I had at sunset! Next time I will try to find a place to stay right here, but it seems it could be quite expensive 🙂
15. St Paul de Vence
The outing to St Paul de Vence was interesting. I took the train to Nice (where I quickly walked around in the old town) and from there got a bus to visit this small hill town. A very relaxing day.
16. Annecy (Haute-Savoie)
The last stop is always the best. Again it took nearly a day to get from Menton all the way to Annecy. The regions changed quite dramatically in scenery, while watching from the train… Annecy is close to Lake Geneva, so you will see gradually more mountains and a total different landscape.
Annecy felt like out of a fairy tail. I also enjoyed the place where I stayed. A very old couple were the hosts, they could not speak a word of English, but were so friendly and kind that I bought them flowers at the market. I was served in the mornings with a huge cup of coffee, a dry piece of baguette, and the newspaper in French!
Lake Annecy is beautiful and I also spend about half a day swimming here. They warn you about the duck flees in the water and although I did shower after swimming, two weeks later, already back in South Africa, I still itched! 🙂