Monday, November 6, 2017

Provence Addict

The first step is admitting you have a problem. I've lived in this part of France for over a year now, and I can't stop obsessing over all of the tiny, quaint, charming villages. Give me some old stone houses, ivy on the walls, and narrow cobblestone streets- and I'm sold.

Happily, David didn't have to work last Wednesday (due to All Saint's Day- a Catholic holiday). We took the opportunity to visit the Haut-de-Cagnes, a medieval village overlooking the beach town Cagnes-sur-Mer.  

Side note- it's a little confusing that in this one small area we have Cannes, Cannes la Bocca, Le Cannet, Haut-de-Cagnes, and Cagnes-sur-Mer. The originality is lacking.

We were glad we took the advice I read online to park in the modern town below and ride the free shuttle up to the medieval streets. Everyone on the little bus was holding on for dear life around the hairpin turns and tiny one-way streets.

The shuttle dropped us off at the Ch√Ęteau Grimaldi, a castle built by ancestors of the ruling family of Monaco.

We wandered for about an hour and especially enjoyed the views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains.

Since seeing the old village didn't take long, we decided to spend some time reliving David's childhood. His grandparents had an apartment in Cagnes-sur-Mer, and he and his family used to stay there every summer for a beach vacation. We managed to find the apartment, and visited the beach they always went to. He had a lot of fun reminiscing. 

That child is not young David. He is a random stranger that wandered into my picture.

Our original Saturday plans got changed at the last minute. I still wanted to get out, so we decided to go for a short drive and see some of the villages near Grasse.

I was so surprised that this beautiful place, Auribeau-sur-Siagne, was only about 15 minutes away from our apartment! I had no idea it existed. 

Our GPS couldn't find the road to drive up the hill, so we contented ourselves with checking it out from below. My pointy-toed sequin shoes didn't want to make the hike up.

In the next town, Cabris, I was surprised again. Number one, because the temperature dropped significantly as we went up in altitude. Number two, because there were changing leaves and evidence of fall (not ONE leaf has changed colors where I live). And lastly, because of the views.

Who knew that I could see fall and feel chilly fall weather if we only drove 30 minutes away from home? I was on such a fall high that I wanted to keep exploring. We decided to check out one more village- St. Vallier de Thiey. 

It ended up being a great afternoon, especially for something completely unplanned. I have no idea how long we'll be living in France (I'm looking at you, American immigration), but I do know that as long as we're here I'll be making the most of my time.

For more small-town Provence, click here or here. I swear, it's a real addiction!

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