Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can you offer any Advice?

An interlude for Wednesday's in France
Looking at our diary for the next post of Wednesday's in France, I felt a little daunted. It was going to be another HUGE day with a visit to another two Loire Chateaux and arriving home late tonight, I didn't think I could do justice to the great day we had.

So, I thought I might let you know more about our impending trip in May to France for Sue's 60th Birthday.
I was actually hoping that we might get some advice from readers about places we might visit along the route we are about to take. This will be our fifth trip back to France and it seems to be taking on a bit of a "Hello there - we're back" theme. - visiting familiar places and meeting friends.

First of all we hop on a Singapore Airlines flight and at Singapore we catch up with my daughter Carly and her partner Sharn who live on the Gold Coast Queensland. We all seem to live near water, don't we?

So we arrive in Paris as a foursome - stop, there's more; our son Andrew now living in Leeds and his partner Ashley are booked into the same hotel and we become six. Hopefully our other son Mitchell will fly over from Montreal and we will all go out to dinner on May 5 for Sue's birthday dinner. First question:
Where do we book for a nice family birthday dinner in Paris for seven.
(remember, Dad is paying)
After two nights in Paris, just the two of us jump on the TGV to Marseilles for another two nights - not been before.
What should we see?
After picking up the rental car, we take the wiggly road along the coast to Frejus for an overnight stay before another night at Vence inland from Nice. The reason for travelling down the Cote d'Azur was to go inland from Vence to drive through the Gorges du Verdon. I've read and researched the Canyon Verdon and it seems quite exciting. We stay overnight near the start of the Verdon at Castellane to the east.
Has anyone been there?
The next overnight takes us to Aix au Provence before taking on the whole week at St Remy de Provence at the same cottage as we stayed on a previous trip. We love St Remy and we meet up with Carly and Sharn with the intention of sharing our past memories with them. We also plan to make an overnight stay in the Languedoc to visit Narbonne, Carccassone, Minerve and Pezenas. While in St Remy, places such as the Luberon, Les Baux, Avignon, Arles and maybe the Camargue where Sue really wants to go.
Maybe someone could suggest some nice cafes along the way or a place to enjoy a light lunch.
Now just quickly as it is getting past my bed time, just Sue and I take off alone and head towards the Loire - but not before we traverse half of France, with overnight stops at St Etienne, Moulins and Bellac. We are hoping to see the WWII ruins of the village, Oradour Sur Glane. I'm sure it will be quite emotional.

Next stop is Chinon staying at the same B & B we stayed previously with great hosts, Helene and Jean Michell. We mentioned this B & B before and they have some great eating places in Chinon. After two nights we join our friends Carole and Michael further to the east on the Cher not far from Bloggers, Ken and Walt.
We are currently posting Wednesday's in France during the time when we met Carole and Michael. they own a great cottage in Thenay. It was so central to all the fantastic Chateaux of the Loire.

After leaving the Loire, we travel back to Paris for five nights in an apartment where we catch up with another two couples we know living there - AND the boys just happen to be cyclists.

I expect that our Wednesday's in France for the month of May will become "Everyday in France".

Sue and I are hoping that readers (We know you are out there somewhere) will offer some advice, maybe places you have enjoyed on your travels through these regions. Its so easy to miss something and when you return home, someone says, "but didn't you see such and such when you were in such and such".

Wednesday's in France returns next Wednesday with Chambord and Cheverny Chateaux, some great food and a new handbag for Sue.

And also a daily picture of France at http://frenchtravelswithmywife.blogspot.com.au/
For a long message - you might like to email me leons@australianclothingcompany.com.au


  1. We really do not know France very well. We just drive as fast as possible from the chunnel to house in the Charente. We did tour one route home with friends, via Reims and Dijon but this is not on your route. The cathedral in Reims is amazing.
    Other than all our local places, that is pretty much where our knowledge ends. Oradour-Sur-Glane you know about. Also not far away are the exceptional Roman ruins at Chassenon which are growing daily as more and more finds are made. I think this is also well worth a visit.
    As for Paris I have spent 3 days there so what do I know!! Still hoping to meet up with you. Sorry not much help. Diane

  2. Wow, France seems to be your second home. Wonderful!
    We enjoyed Carcassonne. My husband toured the castle while I stayed on the terrace of a little restaurant partway down, and watched a big yellow dog who seems to live there. I love big yellow dogs!
    We were in Marseille for a day and saw very little because the city was having a multi-neighbourhood parade and party down at the waterfront, with most of the people in costume, vying to outdo one another. It was fun but it didn't really give us a feel for the city.
    Sounds like you're going to have a wonderful time for Sue's birthday, with everyone there.

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  4. Diane - We'll check out Chassenon on the internet but I think you did a post a little while back didn't you? Love Dijon and it comes up in Wednesdays in France soon.
    I can't believe that being so close to all these marvelous sites that many people from across the channel don't take full advantage of being so close. Looking forward to the possibility of buying you both a coffee soon.

    1. Leon since I did the post on Chassenon it has grown twofold. I did take some more photos when I went again last year but I did not think that another post was really needed. Maybe I am wrong but I would like Nigel to see it again, he has not been there for at least 4 years so he has much to see. Diane

      P.S. One of the best preserved Gallo Roman sites in the world with remains of temple, amphitheatre and baths. Open every day except Saturday from 16th September to 14th May at 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 17:30 and from 15th May to 15th September from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00

  5. And Kaye, great to hear from you. I think that by watching the movement of Carcassonne from a cafe might be on the cards for our second visit there. It's almost like walking thru a Harry Potter set. We'll tell you more about Marseille then in May.
    Thanks for your comments

  6. Leon & Sue ... There is a little restaurant on the Ille St Louis... Which was highly recommended to me .... My sister and I went there one night and it was a reservation only place ...so unfortunately we missed out on the dining experience ...if I can find the name I will let you know.
    Where are you staying in Vence?

  7. Ille St Louis would be nice. What a hoot to request a reservation from Australia. We also had a nice meal with friends at a restaurant next to Shakespeare and Company in 2010.
    Staying at La Victoire in Vence on Place Du Grand Jardin.


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