A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about scenery

It's time to turn east . . .

Pont du Gard, the Roman Aqueduct

Pont du Gard, the Roman Aqueduct

We were trying to get a feel for the entire country in a month . . . an impossible feat, but we didn't know it then. Any experience in France must include Provence so we left our campground and headed east to Grasse in Provence.

The Roman Arena in Arles

The Roman Arena in Arles

This was our first experience on the AutoRoute of France as we had been avoiding it because of the tolls. Today we wanted to get to Grasse quickly so decided to use the AutoRoute. It's an excellent highway but they drive very fast! We zipped along, stopping in Arles for lunch and some sightseeing. We fell in love with Arles and have returned many times. There is history, scenery, friendly townspeople and great shopping. I always plan to do major gift shopping in Arles.

The Molinard Perfumerie in Grasse

The Molinard Perfumerie in Grasse

We arrived in Grasse on Bastille Day weekend and a warning light went on in the car. We took a wrong turn, fortunately, and ended up in a gas station. Ed opened the hood and discovered our oil cap completely gone and oil covering the engine . . . and dripping onto the very clean pavement of the station. The people at the station were very nice, even telephoning the Peugeot 24-hour assistance line and telling them the problem. I was still looking for the word for oil cap in my dictionary. Within 30 minutes, the man from Peugeot arrived with a new oil cap and several liters of oil. He fixed everything, cleaned up the engine and we were on our way. Good experience with Peugeot and we've used them ever since.

We splurged and spent a night at a pension run by an order of nuns. It was up on a hill and you could see all the way to the Mediterranean. We ate with the nuns and other guests. It was the priest's birthday so we joined the celebration. One of the waitresses spoke a bit of English so we knew what was happening. The birthday cake would have been a good hint though.

The Fragonard Perfume Museum

The Fragonard Perfume Museum

The next morning we visited the marvelous street market in Grasse and then the Fragonard perfume factory to which I have become addicted. It is another great place for gifts. There is expensive perfume but there are lots of inexpensive soaps and novelty items too.

We had a week at a timeshare in Jausiers in the French Alps and so left Grasse to head up into the mountains. The scenery that had been lovely became spectacular.

The Mercantour National Park

The Mercantour National Park

We easily found Jausiers and spent a wonderful dry week there visiting the Mercantour National Park, the Italian Alps, the Citadelle in Sisteron, the Penitants at Les Mées, taking long walks along the Ubaye River beside our timeshare and finally had to leave this idyllic place. Great week!

This is a very old photo but I love it. The Mercantour is an amazing place. You see all kinds of wildflowers, strange little animals, stunning vistas and even charming villages. Highly recommended.

Posted by Beausoleil 15:39 Archived in France Tagged landscapes mountains churches castles scenery Comments (0)

Headed back north through the Alps

Jausiers in the Alps

Jausiers in the Alps

Our nice dry, warm week in the Alps came to an end and it was back to the tent. Bastille Day was over and French vacations had begun so we had lots of company in the campgrounds. Our next stop was a campground near Grenoble and we managed to drive into a bicycle race while driving there. It was very interesting! I'm not sure my husband saw much of the alpine scenery while dodging bicycles.

The Alps

The Alps

We arrived in Bourg d'Oisans and set up our tent by a rushing mountain stream. Drove into Bourg and found a fabulous restaurant where we sat beside the stream and had a lovely leisurely lunch as trout frolicked in the stream below. I did not feel guilty eating one of their friends.

Grenoble

Grenoble

The next day we drove into Grenoble, parked in the world's most beautiful parking lot and walked all over town. We visited the Musée Stendahl and the Musée de Grenoble. The art museum in Grenoble is really excellent. The works are diverse and very well lighted and displayed. Afterwards, we continued our walk around town. It's a clean lovely city with cafes along the river.

An Artist in Annecy

An Artist in Annecy

We bade farewell to Bourg d'Oisans the next morning and headed on to Annecy where we planned to camp by the lake. We arrived to discover the campground overflowing with humanity. We got in line without much hope but when we got to the head of the line, a couple tenters had just pulled out and we got their site. Hooray!

Old Town Annecy by the river

Old Town Annecy by the river

We quickly put up our tent and headed into Annecy where we found parking by the lake in a huge underground lot. That was where we learned about paying at the automatic caisse. We loved the town of Annecy and the beautiful park on the lake, did some gift shopping and had a fondue at Beau Soleil (our family name so a GREAT name for a restaurant). When we went back to parking, we drove to the exit and couldn't get out. A man came running over and saw our dilemma. He walked my husband back to the pay station where he paid and then came back to rescue me waiting in the trapped car. No one honked or seemed the least upset during the entire process. We put our now-paid-for ticket in the machine and were free . . . and much smarter. Live and learn . . .

Château d'Annecy

Château d'Annecy

While in Annecy, we drove around the lake, visited La Clusaz and a neat Museum of Savoy Folk Life in Thônes. Had a great lunch beside a ski run. The next day we drove to Geneva, Switzerland and walked around looking and got some chocolate for our son. We made a pilgrimage to Evian on the way back to Annecy. It is lovely and we have returned.

Posted by Beausoleil 21:43 Archived in France Tagged landscapes mountains lakes buildings people castles scenery chateaux Comments (0)

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