My partner and I are going on holiday to Aix-en-Provence, France, and we’ll be back on August 28th.
It’s my third trip to France, the first being a two week family holiday to one of the most beautiful villages in France, Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (which is situated in the south Charente); about 50 miles northeast of Bordeaux. This was in 1989, when I was only 15 years old, which happened to be the bicentenary of the French Revolution, so there were lots of battle re-enactments in local parks.
My second French trip was to Paris in April 2004. I went alone, for a long weekend, and had a great time exploring the centre, though I don’t recommend Paris as the place to go to practice your French! You’ll be haughtily answered in English by almost everyone - it’s awful.
On this third trip, we’re staying with my partner’s former colleague, a dentist, in her family home in the small village of Le Tholonet, about a mile or two east of Aix. To get a feel for the area and its culture, we recently watched Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, which were both filmed in Provence and together are a fabulous two-part movie (starring the recently disgraced Gerard Depardieu).
Whilst there, we’ll also be heading further east to spend a day in Grasse, the world renowned perfume making district, featured in the excellent movie Perfume (you must watch if you haven’t seen it), and then heading further east still to Nice to visit a former colleague of mine who I worked with for seven years in London and who later met a lovely French girl and now they are expecting a baby girl at any minute, and yet more friends in Tourettes-sur-Loup who are out there on their honeymoon (we have been invited, we’re not gate crashing!).
As we’re then so close to the Italian border, if we can possibly manage it we’ll hop over for an Italian coffee in Ventimiglia - but we might be overstretching ourselves a bit on this!
One of the fantastic things about living in London is that it’s so easy, and relatively affordable, to fly into mainland Europe. I am intending to see a lot more of our continent in the future - perhaps I should start a new blog for all my holiday photography?