Long weekend on the 5th October holiday, meeting Wolfi, Zé and Luisa in France. Happy days! ❤️
  • Day3

    Marseille

    October 7, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Marseille is wonderful! We spent most of our time around the Vieux Port. The MuCem, the Chateâu d’If, the Fort de Saint Jean and the Cathedral are all around and it is amazing to feel the perfect combination of modern and old buildings, the cruise boats in the big harbour and all the fancy surroundings with expensive shops and restaurants to receive the hundreds of tourists that leave the cruises everyday.
    As for us, we preferred going to the old harbour where seafood restaurants are lined and we could taste a specialty that seems awkward but it definitely works: fried mussels with french fries... delicious! Also a salad with cheese and meat that seems funny at first but is totally delish! And the rest of the afternoon, supposedly to know a bit more about the city, was to rush into nice places when the thunderstorm decided to play some tricks on us. A nice bar for a coffee, a réplica of the Galleries Lafayette, a nice biscuit shop and, last but not least, a soap shop to buy the famous Soap of Marseille! After all we really ended up soaked by the late afternoon rain before going to the airport... loved it all anyway!
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  • Day2

    Arles - Avignon - Aix-en-Provence

    October 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Arles is a World Heritage city with a lot of Roman remains, namely a small colosseum and an amphitheater. The city is on the left bank of the river Rhône and there is a long promenade alongside. It was nice to eat in a small creperie in the city centre, feeling the flavour of ripe tomato, chèvre cheese and Provence olive oil to relax for a while. The day is beautiful and it’s difficult to see the autumn coming...
    Avignon, the city of the Popes, reminds me immensely of Évora. The city wall is huge and the old city spreads inside. From the Palais des Papes and the cathedral to its side to the bridge of Avignon - only half, by the way - all is very beautiful and well preserved. The view from the gardens is amazing.
    We end up the day in Aix-en-Provence. Maybe because my expectations were high the feeling of delusion also strikes me. The whole city is under construction and it is not so nice as I expected. Nevertheless, the city centre is pleasant enough to have dinner and go back to the country house we stayed in to spend the night.
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  • Day2

    Carcassonne - Bézier - Montpellier

    October 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    6.10.2018
    Carcassonne - Bézier - Montpellier

    After having breakfast with Zé and Luisa we went to the food market in the city centre of Carcassonne. I was never in France before. This is my first time but what the eyes can see and the nose can smell takes me back to the imaginary of Joanne Harris and her books about France. Although we’ve just had breakfast I feel like eating all the nuts and olives. The fruits and veggies were so fresh and the flowers incredibly beautiful and scented. Afterwards we went back to the Gare de Carcassonne, just to take a look at the Canal du Midi during the day. Throughout the day we passed by it many times and on Béziers we made long stop to visit the nine dams that are ready to get the boats up and down the canal. It is amazing that so many years ago they had the knowledge to build such a great art of engineering. The city centre of Béziers is also very nice with its catedral showing its grandiosity as a skyscraper of the past! But before getting there we still had time to go to the citadel of the castle in Carcassone with a short stop to taste the Cassoulet, which is like our “feijoada” in Portugal.
    In the evening Montpellier almost gets me crazy. It is not easy to park a car in French cities and when finally we can do it, because a car is leaving, but the driver gets mad at your position in the park and he decides to put the car back in the parking place and start shouting at me... then I caught myself shouting back and saying a bunch of “truths” to the man like: “Vous êtes trés gentile. C’est à cause de personnes comme vous que j’aime lá France!!!” It seemed that suddenly I could speak French!!! Eheheh! In the end he left and we had a perfect spot! Dinner was perfect too. The city centre of Marseille is very lively and the food was special! Once again, but under a heavy rain and crazy thunderstorm, we slept in the van in a place out of Montpellier called Carnon-Plage - a small stripe of land facing the salty lagoons and the Mediterranean Sea.
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  • Day1

    Lloret del Mar - Figueres - Carcassone

    October 5, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    After dinner in Praça Real in Barcelona and a stroll through La Rambla we headed to the ocean to sleep in the van, directly at the beach. The sound of the ocean is always the perfect song for deep sleep. The sun was shining when we got up and the Mediterranean was like a pond! Fishermen were around and some metres away was the picnic area where we had breakfast facing the deep blue of the sea. In Loret del Mar the beach was silent without children. Europe is back to school and only retired people spend relaxed holidays by the seaside. It was possible to take a nap after a short dip in the chilly water. Refreshing and beautiful with big fish swimming relaxed like around me but to cold to swim.
    But our target is Carcassone and after this relaxing hours, we decided to stop only at Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. It was a small town with a surprisingly beautiful city centre full of art, as one should expect. The feeling of being near France strikes me for the first time when we get into a Patisserie and Spanish bocadillos mix with choux and nougat.
    Carcassone welcomes us at sunset and the castle is splendid at this time with this special light. Zé and Luisa are late because the TGV has a delay, so we take a stroll to the city centre where a lot of people are still having dinner. Carcassone is not an expensive city to have dinner out, as we will find out in other french cities. We end the day meeting them at the Gare de Carcassone and spend the rest of the evening with them.
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