Sunday, 3 August 2014

Touring Provence at Christmas, 2013

When we started thinking about going on a trip at Christmas this year, we thought of a few places to go, and then thought back to last year's trip to Nice. We had such an incredible trip last time that we couldn't think of a better place to go this year, and so we booked another trip to the beautiful French Riviera.

Last year, we spent our entire trip close to Nice, visiting only places we could access by train, but this time we decided to rent a car and see more of Provence.

The first stop was Aix-en-Provence, which is a quaint university town which was incredibly quiet on a rainy afternoon. We strolled through the long Christmas market on the main street and then wandered through the old town. Many of the shops were closed up, and hardly any people were out in the streets, but the town looked fabulous in the overcast afternoon. Our favourite street was this long pedestrian road. More photos from Aix-en-Provence:

We drove through the rain to Avignon, where we got to Pont d'Avignon just as the light was fading. We took some photos from the bridge and then walked into town through the square surrounding le Palais des Papes, which looks amazing lit up in the darkness. More photos from Avignon:

The next morning, we woke up very early and our made our way through the fog to the amazing mountain-town of Gordes. Once the fog cleared, the town overlooking the valley offered the most amazing view I'd ever seen. More photos from Gordes:

From Gordes we travelled to Pont du Gard, the old aqueduct in a national park. The shear size of this thing was incredible. More photos of Pont du Gard:

We drove to Nimes after seeing Pont du Gard. We didn't stay in Nimes very long; just long enough to see the amazing Roman arena that is still in great condition, and to this day holds concerts and plays. More photos from Nimes:

The next morning we went to see the Roman arena in Arles. Arles was a neat town with a very clear Roman influence. The arena in Arles isn't in the same shape as the one in Nimes, but it is still pretty cool to see the old architecture. More photos from Arles:

After Arles, we made our way back toward Nice, and stopped in Marseille along the way. It was a hot day, so we just walked around the huge Port for a while, and then left again for Nice in the late afternoon. More photos from Marseille:

Once back in Nice, we made a couple train trips to nearby towns. We travelled to the furthest stop on the French train, just across the Italian border, to the town of Ventimiglia. On Fridays there is a market that spreads all along the waterfront. More photos from Ventimiglia:

We went to Menton on a rainy afternoon to see the cemetery, which sits high above the town, overlooking the ocean. Menton is a great town known for its lemons and oranges. More photos from Menton:

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