Friday, July 7, 2017

Small Town Provence

After a crazy month of traveling in May (Paris, Carcassonne, Geneva, Monaco, Florence, Venice)... we took a little breather in June. It was the first entire month (since I moved to France in October) that we didn't sightsee anywhere. No flights or even road trips. We had a lazy month hanging out at home and enjoying the beach.

I mean, it's not a bad life. This is our "go-to" beach- it's about a 10 minute walk from our apartment. We've been enjoying that every weekend. It's starting to show- I noticed the other day that my legs were very distinctly a different color from our white sheets.

View of downtown Cannes

Beach in Cannes la Bocca

We did make it to Gap twice in June- once to celebrate (belated) Mother's Day/our birthdays, and again for Father's Day/David's mom's birthday. We've gotten pretty used to the scenery between Cannes and Gap, since we generally make it there at least once a month. 

There are several cute towns along the way (we are driving through Provence, one of the most famously picturesque regions of France). Now that it stays light out so much later, we've tried to start stopping and seeing more.

We walked around Rians in the beginning of June. Population: 4,289. I've admired their church from the road for months. 

Unfortunately, as is often the case in small towns, the church was closed when we got there. So we didn't get to see the inside. But it was still nice to see the outside, along with lots of colorful houses and quaint little streets.

Church in Rians

Houses in Rians, Provence

A few weeks later we took a different route to Gap that took us more through the mountains (by way of lots of scary cliff roads haha).

We made a quick stop in Castellane. Population: 1,579. 

Castellane town sign


I loved the combination of the pastel houses and the mountain surroundings. Notice the church way up on top of the mountain!

On the first day of July, we finally broke our no-sightseeing spell. As in, we drove somewhere specifically to sightsee (vs. just stopping somewhere along the way). 

Saint-Paul-de-Vence (population: 3,477) is one of the oldest medieval towns on the Riviera. Besides the cute stone buildings and views of the surrounding hills, it is known for being an artist hangout. I lost count of how many art galleries we saw. If I had been there alone, I probably would have spent a while browsing in the little jewelry and clothing boutiques. But since David was already not as enchanted as I was with the adorableness of the town (jaded European...), I was nice and didn't indulge.

View of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
View as we were driving up to the city.
Entering through the medieval walls.
St. Paul de Vence

Church in St. Paul de Vence
Inside a 12th century church. 
Church in St. Paul de Vence

Flowers and stone buildings in St. Paul de Vence

I love the purple flowers!
Well in St. Paul de Vence

Cemetery in St. Paul de Vence, France.
A cemetery with a view.
St. Paul de Vence

St. Paul de Vence

St. Paul de Vence

For you Wisconsin people, this town gives me Cedarburg vibes because of all the little shops! That's my favorite town to visit in Wisconsin, by the way.

We also found some authentic Italian food for lunch. I'm spoiled living so close to Italy. Going back to American pizza next year will be a struggle. First world problem right there.

So that's a little bit of what we've been up to in the last month or so! Do I have you convinced yet that France is a beautiful place? I don't think I quite have David convinced ;)

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