{Cobb Voyage} Let’s Go: Provence!

Let’s escape the bitter cold and explore Provence today…

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The southeastern region of France extends from the left bank of the lower Rhone River on the west to the Italian border on the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the south.

I think I could spend a lot of time in the South of France…

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It is laid-back, history-rich, and the food is truly superb.

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“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”
{Julia Child}

If you’re a foodie, France is paradise.

I got distracted by the food. That happens a lot in France.
But that’s okay. The French want you to get lost in the food.

That means you’re doing something right!

~

Christmas in the region is beautiful and bustling in certain areas…

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Although you will not see every square inch draped in Christmas like you do in the States,
you will see lots of lights, Christmas markets, and a tree here and there.

{AVIGNON}

We decided to make Avignon our first home base for the region.

We stayed a couple of nights in downtown Avignon at a boutique hotel–

Hotel Boquier

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It was a quaint, no frills, perfectly French hotel,
and we could walk to everything in the city from its location.

Avignon is a bigger city for the region, but it still has that Provencal charm…

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The restaurants were some of the best we had in France,
and we enjoyed ordering in French, too!

In the South, you’re much more likely to encounter places that speak little to no English…

but we loved it.

People were patient with us, and they loved helping us discover the language.

After a long dinner, we would take night walks
and they became one of the best parts of a long travel day.

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Avignon has some beautiful landmarks,
but my favorite was Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes).

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The Pope’s Palace is the largest Gothic palace in all of Europe
and was built in the 14th Century as the brief home to the Pope before it moved back to Italy.

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The attention to detail and grandeur blew my mind…

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And the light just seemed to place itself perfectly.

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All together, 9 Popes lived in Avignon and it seemed that each one
had to add on to the Palace because it wasn’t quite grand enough.

It’s a must-see in this city!

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From Avignon, you can travel easily to

{Arles}

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Sadly, we did not travel to Arles in this beautiful Beetle.

But I saw it and thought that it was perfectly posed next to the river,
so I had to snap a shot.

Arles was quiet and lovely.

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I can see why Van Gogh loved it here so much.

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We enjoyed the walking easel tour of landmarks where the artist painted…

this was the exact spot where “Starry Night Over the Rhone” was created.

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And recognize this place?

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You probably don’t, but it was the building behind the “yellow house,”
and it was pretty cool to see it in person!

Oh!
And in Arles, you can find Roman ruins…

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I was in complete awe.

The Arles Amphitheatre…

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And the breathtaking view from the top:

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I felt like I was in a painting here.

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Put on your boggan, cause it gets windy up at the top.

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The Arles Roman Theater is a hop and a skip (almost literally) from the Amphitheatre…

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The theater was built during the reign of Augustus (31 BC-41 AD).
I couldn’t believe we were visiting a place that was built before Jesus was born.

Yes, it was a beautiful day in Arles,
and we enjoyed the ease of this city.

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After a couple of days in Avignon and Arles, we hopped a train
and traveled a few minutes further East.

I    L  O  V   E  the TGV, by the way.

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Enter
{Aix en Provence}

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Aix en Provence was one of my favorite stops.

It’s less touristy and known for its ease and quaint, high-end shops.

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I fell in love with this ballet store and had to go in for a drink of beautiful shoes and ballet wear.

In Aix, be like the French.
Slow down and stroll.

And enjoy Eclairs eu choclat from your favorite Artisan Boulanger…

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Because when you stroll in France, you find little gems everywhere…

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I was particularly fond of the Tapestry Museum.

We couldn’t take pictures inside, but if you find yourself in Aix,
stop in and admire the time it must have taken to put one square of a tapestry together.
These people were true artisans!

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Enjoy a boutique hotel in the middle of the city.

We stayed at the Hotel Cardinal.
It was a lovely (and old) French boutique.

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And whatever you do, definitely say yes to a baguette
and a bottle of wine from the region.

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You won’t be sorry.

Hope you enjoyed this tour through Provence!

One day I hope to spend a few weeks in the summer in this region…
it’s the perfect place to practice your French, slow down, and savor life,
as well as the Provencal flavors, of course!

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Au revoir for now!

We’ll head to the Riviera next, where it’s warm and colorful even in the winter. ;)

xoxo

6 Comments

  1. laurel 01/23/2014 / 2:18 pm

    LOVE!!! Can’t wait for the next stop! :)

    • sbpcobb 01/28/2014 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks for joining us, Lovely Bee! The next stop will be much warmer than the conditions we’re currently experiencing! ;)

  2. rebekah childers 01/24/2014 / 1:41 pm

    These pictures are beautiful. i’m aching for days of living out of a suitcase.

    • sbpcobb 01/28/2014 / 12:49 pm

      Thanks, Bekah! And you’re right. There’s nothing better than living out of one suitcase with just a few items and the world at your fingertips. How I love the simplicity and the adventure! I feel a Cobb/Childers European trip in the works down the road…

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