Southern France, an introduction

If we set aside the French towns bordering Spain, when I say Southern France, I refer to the Mediterranean coast side Côte d’Azur and the inner region Provence. Even though each region deserves at least a week on its own, it is also possible to visit the highlights of both regions in a week if you plan your itinerary carefully. You do not even need to have a car for that. Almost all parts of both regions are accessible by train except for the mountain villages of Provence. You can even start...

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Aix-en-Provence: the city of Cézanne

I hold such great degree of prejudice against cities and this prejudice almost cost me to miss my - now - one of the favorite cities in the World – Aix-en-Provence. During my trip to Southern France focused on the mountain villages, my bus that took off from Marseille and passed through Aix-en-Provence. I remember falling immediately in love with the city and could barely control myself to not get off the bus and change my entire plans. I that day managed to stay in the bus and travel up to...

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Villages of Provence: From Marquis de Sade to Albert Camus

When you hear the mountain villages of Provence, what comes to your mind first? The movie “A Good Year” featuring Russel Crowe and Marion Cotillard? Maybe Villebelin where the famous author Albert Camus lost his life during a car accident? Or some of you may think of the chateau of Marquis de Sade, who is associated with the concept of sadism, located in Lacoste. I hope I did not hurt your pretty image of Provence with these last two anecdotes. Our road trip, which starts at Aix-en-Provence,...

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Arles: The City of Van Gogh and Photography

You are probably familiar with the famous Dutch painter Van Gogh`s infamous story of cutting off his ear. Did you however know that the event took place in the city of Arles in Southern France? Van Gogh decides to leave the busy Paris behind and head down to Southern France, which he finds to be more colorful compared to Paris. The Southern town of Arles becomes his first stop during his move. It sadly in some way also becomes Van Gogh`s final stop. His first nervous breakdown leading him to...

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From Menton to Nice

During many years, I feel slightly irritated whenever I hear a reference to Cote d`Azur. Cote d`Azur feels like such a distant place only shown in movies and which can only be visited by Hollywood stars. Years pass by and I at some point gather my courage and finally decide to visit Cote d`Azur. During my research, I happily find out that my earlier prejudice about Cote d`Azur is not fully founded when I discover many alternative destinations which are more budget friendly. I set my Cote...

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The Old City of Popes – Avignon

“Sur le Pont d’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse tous en rond” – even if you do not speak French, you may have still heard of this French kids song concerning the Bridge of Avignon. This bridge, which was built during the 12the century, constituted one of the important phases along the pilgrimage road between Italy and France during the Middle Age. The bridge which is supposed to cross over the Rhone River is today only half alive giving rise to very interesting views. Even though this half...

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Paris, Maison Européenne de la Photographie

Even though it is no longer as much of a favorite district for me in Paris as it used to be, the Europan House of Photography is a place which still makes me visit Marais each time that I am in Paris. This wonderful photography home is originally called Maison Européenne de la Photographie and is sure a heaven for photography lovers both with its historical building and more importantly with its amazing permanent and temporary photography collections. Be careful though, the museum is closed...

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