Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

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  • Day3

    Euro5000 - Finestre (I) - d'Izoard (F)

    September 9, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    European5000 - Stage 3: Dusty roads, sunny weather & funny challenges... and some great food 👍 🚗 🚗 🍕 #European5000 #PetitBateau #ColleDelleFinestre #ColDIzoard #Challenging #E38 #728 #NextStopLucBoule

  • Day15

    Les Carrieres de Lumieres

    September 4, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    We always expected that today was going to be a hard day at the office, and that is exactly how it turned out to be. Ever since we arrived in Provence about 12 days ago, we have been subjected to an unbroken run of hot weather. Considering we had arrived directly from the middle of a cold Melbourne winter, the weather has certainly been our biggest challenge.

    To make matters even worse, the forecast keeps changing every day. After our hot stay in Caumont Sur Durance, we were led to believe that the hot weather would cease as soon as we begun the bike and boat section. It didn't. In fact the sequence keeps being extended every time we read a new forecast. It is now appearing that we will not get any real relief until we travel up to Nevers next Monday.

    Today's ride was not only going to be the longest day so far, but it also had the toughest climb of the entire week. Our cycling guide had tried to encourage us by telling us that he once had a 92 year old complete the climb, however he failed to mention what sort of weather conditions the cycling Methuselah had completed his epic ride in. He also did not say exactly how long it took them,

    Of course, before we reached the climb we stopped at the town of St Remy de Provence. To our delight, we arrived right in the middle of an enormous market. The women in particular squealed with delight at the prospect of being able to buy even more stuff that they didn't need. I bought a leather belt for 5 Euro. The vendor truthfully told me that it "was not made in France". "Ce n'est pas possible" he explained.

    The market spread out over a huge area, and we never did manage to fully explore it. I managed to lose Maggie in the first 3 minutes, but I was happy to find an ice cream seller and a fruit vendor selling punnets of wonderful raspberries and blackberries. That meant that lunch was taken care of.

    Although it was only shortly after noon, the sun was already beating down relentlessly and the temperature was soaring back into the 30s. I should also be honest in pointing out that I am not a climber. In fact I am not precisely sure of exactly what I am, but climbing does not come naturally for me. It may be due to the fact that I am a rolly polly sort of guy who has to work about 60% harder that the tiny fly weight riders like Russell, Vicki and Kay.

    As we began the much anticipated climb I could feel the sun beating on my face. I slid the gear selector down to the lowest ratio and hoped I could find some lower ones. The sweat started flowing and my breath started huffing. I tried not to look at the road ahead and to just keep the pedals turning.

    I thought I was doing all right until a tiny shadow flew past on my left. At first I thought that it might have been just a speck on my glasses or a little dragonfly, but that would not have explained where the singing was coming from. It turned out to be Russell - apparently a tiny puff of wind had collected him and blown him straight to the top of the mountain,

    At the half way point the group assembled to decide whether or not to take the option of a lift to the summit. I am sure that several were sorely tempted, but the Ghostriders are built of exceptional stuff and the entire group decided to keep pedalling. The expectant van driver had to leave without a single fare. We later were told by the guide that this was the first time that had happened.

    About a kilometre further on I became aware that my nose had started bleeding. This is something that I have suffered intermittently from for over 40 years, but the timing could not have been worse. I had no choice but to pull over and wait for the bleeding to stop. The rest of the group left me haemorrhaging and continued their slow grind to the top.

    I won't labour over the rest of the details of the climb, suffice to say that I did finally make the top. The crest of the mountain is marked by the medieval village of Les Beaux de Provence. This has now become a huge tourist mecca, complete with a succession of tour buses and thousands of tourists. Not exactly my type of place.

    The main reason we had chosen to ride to this spot was not to see the thousands of tourists cramming in the village, but to experience Les Carrieres de Lumieres. This is an amazing sound and light display that has been set up in an unused Bauxite mine. I was just glad that it was cool inside. I took a seat and pressed my back against the cold rock. It turned out to be a bad idea. The sudden change of temperature caused my back to spasm and left me in agony. It took all my resolve to hobble to the cafetaria to get a coffee (actually two). The young assistant took pity on me and filled my drink bottle with ice and water. There are some advantages to looking about 92 years of age after all.

    We still had a long and hot ride of around 30 km to get to our boat at Arles. The final few km through the busy centre of the city were particularly stressful. By the time we arrived, we were all exhausted and spent the first twenty minutes rehydrating and trying to recover from the heat. Fortunately the evening meal was easily the best of the cruise so far. That was a popular end to a very tiring day.
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  • Day12

    On Our Bikes at Last

    September 1, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    Although it has been wonderful to spend a restful week recovering from our long flight from Australia, the real reason we cam to France was to cycle, not to rest. For the next 5 weeks that is what we will be doing almost every day. Of course it is neither fun (or very smart) to cycle in extremely hot weather. When I planned this trip I was counting on the fact that the start of September would herald the end of the long hot days of the Provencal summer. It almost worked.

    The local weather experts had been predicting that today would be the final of the almost endless sequence of hot days. From tomorrow onwards they are promising that the temperatures will hover around the mid 20s - absolutely perfect for riding. Unfortunately our first day on the bikes would also be the final day in the mid 30s. It was going to be a challenge, but that is what the life of a cyclist is all about.

    Maggie and I awoke at 6 am to the impatient sound of my phone alarm. Our first night in the confines of our cabin had been a bit of a challenge. It is not easy to sort your gear in a room the size of a small shoebox. It was one of those rooms where you had to go outside into the corridor in order to change your mind, let alone turn around to face the other way.

    The secret of survival is to find a place for everything and then pack away everything you will not be using. It is also a huge test of how well you really get along with your roomate. After all, there is absolutely no place to hide. You even have to take turns in taking a deep breath. Such is life on a river barge.

    After donning our cycling gear and enjoying a lovely breakfast, we each packed our lunch of baguettes, meat and salad. The bikes were unloaded unto the quai, ready for us to get them set up for each rider. Our cycling guy is a retired Dutchman called Arie. He is a 66 year old who has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a lawyer, journalist and diplomat. He now spends 10 weeks a year leading cycling groups in different parts of Europe.

    Arie began with a briefing explaining how the system of pointing the directions at each road junction would work. We then assembled outside for the obligatory group photo. Finally we headed off along the Rhone - our ride had begun.

    The early parts of the ride were along lovely, shaded pathways. The traffic was almost non existent and the temperature was comfortable. It was the perfect way for us to regain our cycling legs. We quickly found that the bikes were ideal for this type of riding. I was intrigued with the infinitely variable gearing. I had never ridden a bike like this before and it was absolutely amazing.

    The first 15 km or so was mostly flat and then we hit the hills. Arie explained that every other cycling group avoided this section, but they had heard that the Ghostriders were no ordinary group and thought that we would enjoy the challenge. They were partly correct. The seven riders on ebikes certainly had fun, myself - not so much.

    As the road headed up to the skies the ebike riders sailed past with huge smiles on their faces. The rest of us suffered in the hot sun. Soon I was off the bike and walking (and so was just about everyone else). In spite of this, we were all having huge fun. This was what we had come so far to do. Life can not get any better than this.

    At Pujaut we stopped to enjoy our baguettes and have a coffee. The afternoon tea stop was at the even more delightful town of Villeneuve les Avignon. This place was the home of the cardinals when the Popes were ruling from Avignon. The narrow streets and stone buildings were breathtakingly beautiful, as were the cakes from the boulangerie. It was a shame that the iced coffee was dreadful, but maybe you can't have everything.

    We completed the day's ride by about 4 pm and discovered that the group of American riders on our sister boat had only ridden about half the distance we had. That was the icing on a most delicious first day. Australians One - Americans - zero.
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  • Day11

    A Roman Sendoff from Caumont

    August 31, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Our week long stay in Caumont has all too quickly drawn to a close. It only seems such a short time ago that all we crowded into the taxi for our ride from Avignon. Now our week has flown by and it is time to bid farewell to this funny little community that has been our temporary home in Provence. Unfortunately the run of scorching weather has shown no sign of abating and that has somewhat restricted what we could actually do while we were here.

    On this, our final morning, we decided to forego our daily walk and just meet at the coffee shop instead. We had been aware that the village was planning to conduct its first ever Roman festival and we all wanted to see just what happened. While we enjoyed our coffees, the villagers gradually emerged from their homes dressed in a varied assortment of togas, bedsheets and improvised armour. It was a bit like a primary school pantomime, but we were really touched at the simple way they were enjoying themselves in such a harmless and unsophisticated way.

    At first they seemed a little reticent to emerge. I suspect each person was waiting to see if anyone actually turned up, before they potentially made a fool of themselves. Gradually the trickle of people became a stream as the assembly was swollen by whole family groups. Some had really gone overboard with their efforts, producing elaborate costumes, swords, helmets and such. One small guy came bedecked with a red beard, sword and shield. I thought they he looked like he had stepped straight out of the Lord of the Rings as he looked more like a hobbit than a fearsome Roman soldier.

    The real highlight of the morning came when a few horses were added into the mix. Two of these had been dressed in Roman type trappings and the proud riders were happy to ride back and forth. Apart from the cigarette hanging from the mouth of one of the riders, they could have almost looked genuine. It was an incredible finish to our stay in this town and we would have liked to stayed longer. Unfortunately we had to pack up and be ready for our taxi to take us back to Avignon.

    When we returned to the house we found that our landlady had already arrived and was busy toting up our bill. By the time she calculated the final total it was evident that a few more “extras” must have been added. We could have been upset, but we had really had such a great time here that it was just not worth fussing about the details.

    Our taxi arrived only ten minutes later than it was ordered and the driver somehow managed to crush all our luggage into the rear compartment, without resorting to crushing Gordon’s knee caps. About 30 minutes later we were back in Avignon and unloading our luggage onto the L’Estello. Although it was too early for us to board, they were happy for us to drop our luggage and return later in the afternoon. We asked the taxi driver to take us into the centre of the city so that we could have some lunch.

    We found ourselves back at the same café that we had eaten at when we were in Avignon a week earlier. Since we were right outside the Hotel de Ville we were entertained by a regular succession of newly married couples emerging from their civil ceremonies. A group of African drummers and ululating women made sure that the newlyweds were met with a noisy welcome. It was another fascinating insight into the local culture.

    As other team members joined us in the city the group grew steadily and by 5.30 pm we were ready to make our way to the boat. To our enormous relief we discovered that the boat was extremely well air conditioned and it was deliciously cool inside. It was the first time we had felt comfortably cool since leaving Australia. Not so welcome was the diminutive size of our cabins. Apart from Carol and Sam’s luxurious room, the rest of us were allocated rooms about the size of small dog kennels. It will be an interesting time, but that is all part of the challenge. We also found that there will be three Americans sharing the boat with 17 Ghostriders. We could only imagine how difficult that will be for them.

    Tomorrow morning we finally begin our cycling. We can’t wait to get underway.
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  • Day14

    Vallabregues Loop Ride

    September 3, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    I awoke this morning to a quite astounding sight. At first I thought that I must have been delirious, but the image persisted, even after I opened and closed my eyes several times. Over the first few days of the cruise I had been used to being the first one to climb the stairs and reach the lounge room. Over the next hour or so I am gradually joined by a sleepy assortment of other Ghostriders as they are attracted by the prospect of breakfast.

    There is one person that I NEVER would have expected to be in the lounge before me. Carol has already established herself as the undisputed sleeping champion. She has perfected the art of falling asleep in seconds and at every available opportunity. And yet, here she was, the very first person awake. My reputation was in tatters.

    After the hot and windy ride of the previous day, we were pleased to be looking forward to a more modest day today. After an initial sail to Vallabegues, we unloaded the bikes and then rode back along the river bank to Aramon. Our first stop of the day was at the lovely village of Barbentane. When I spied a shop selling "Delices", I just had to see what these delices actually were. A short time later I was sitting under a shady tree, drinking coffee and eating my very first vanilla slice of the trip so far. Life really can be good some times.

    We then began a sustained climb up to the extensive Abbaye Saint Michel de Frigolet. The morning cool had been replaced with hot sunshine and I could feel it burning my face as I slowly worked my up to the summit. I discovered that the abbaye contained a cafe and decided to order a proper lunch instead of eating the sandwich that was squashed in my pannier. It was a wise decision and the French fries were glorious.

    We then enjoyed an exhilerating descent to the medieval village of Boulbon. Maggie and I climbed up part way to the castle to look down on the town, but the heat was becoming oppressive and we decided to return and rest in the shade instead. The centre of the town was dominated by a large cafe/bar. It was an ideal place to relax while some of the others joined a guided tour of the old city.

    The final section of the ride was assisted by a gentle tail wind and it was a welcome contrast to the challenging conditions of the previous day. Around 5 pm we were back at the Estello. In most respects it had been the best day so far.
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  • Day36

    Salt and sweat

    July 22, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    With Scot out of action due to the possible bug going around Nick, Megs and I headed to Cassis for a beach day. Arriving in Cassis we treated ourselves to a nice gelato! We then had a long walk to get to got first beach and thought it couldn't get any better swimming in beautiful blue waters and jumping off the rocks. We then hiked up and down a mountain on the more difficult path walking on slippery rocks. I thought I was going to turn into puddle of sweat! But we made it and it was a beautiful spot. There was also a cute well behaved dog practicing his moves. We then hiked it back up and down the mountain back into town for some dinner. We then realised that the busses up to the train station finish at 8 15 and it was 8 30! So we attempted to get an Uber or taxi however failed. Exhausted we hiked up another big hill turning a 45min walk into a 30min one just so we could make the train. Big day!Read more

  • Day16

    Beachtime... und Prüfung

    August 21, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Ich liege gerade am "Sandstrand" von Nizza und büffle fleißig. Der heutige Strandtag kommt mir ganz recht, da heute Abend eine wichtige Safety-Prüfung ansteht. Sollte ich die nicht bestehen, darf ich schneller zurück nach Dtl. als mir lieb ist. Also bitte fleißig die Daumen drücken!Read more

  • Day66

    Bonjour Französische Republik :)

    August 27, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    😁😃😉😂🤣🙃 c'bon Croissant ...
    Nicky ist das erste Mal in Frankreich, Oli auch 😉

    Gleich nach der "kurzen" Nacht geht's auf in Richtung Verdonschlucht.
    Danach weht uns der Wind wieder mehr westlich nach Marseille und Montepellier.

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  • Day66

    très bien :)

    August 27, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Mammmmpf 😆👶

    Hier gibt's Baquettes in Hülle und Fülle...und Oli 😂 stürzt sich drauf!!!
    Schon ein richtiger kleiner Franzose mit seinen 10 Monaten.

    Wir haben uns auch gleich ordentlich eingedeckt, denn wir haben noch Olivenöl aus Slowenien, Tomaten und Mozzarella aus Italien sowie Wein aus Albanien.
    Das wird ein sehr leckeres 😋 Abendbrot heute.

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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Provenza-Alpes-Costa Azul, Прованс-Алпи-Лазурен бряг, Provença – Alps – Costa Blava, Provenco-Alpoj-Bordo Lazura, Proventza-Alpeak-Cote d'Azur, Provence-Arpes-Couta d’Azur, פרובאנס-אלפ-קוט ד'אזור, Provansa-Alpe-Azurna obala, Provenco Alpi Azur-Rivo, Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra, プロヴァンス=アルプ=コート・ダジュール地域圏, პროვანსი-ალპები-ლაჟვარდოვანი ნაპირი, 프로방스알프코트다쥐르, Provansas-Alpės-Žydrasis Krantas, Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur, Prowansja-Alpy-Lazurowe Wybrzeże, Provença-Alpes-Costa Azul, Provența-Alpi-Coasta de Azur, Прованс — Альпы — Лазурный Берег, Pruvenza-Alpi-Costa Azzola, Прованса-Алпи-Азурна обала, 普罗旺斯-阿尔卑斯-蓝色海岸