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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, France

May 26, 2018 - Avignon

Day 8. Avignon. (Arles to Avignon) 26/5/18. Saturday. Cloudy, light rain morning; sunny, hot afternoon. 15-30 degrees We are given weather predictions daily, and after receiving todays, I changed into summer dress to suit the weather. Wrong....we had light rain and a breeze and it was quite cool, maybe even 18-20 degrees, and most people felt cold, but it was too late to change again, as we had left the boat and were on our walking tour of Avignon. First we passed le Pont d’Avignon - you all know that song from school days - and then went...

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May 25, 2018 - Arles

Day 7. Arles 25/5/18. Friday. Hot & sunny, some slight breeze. 17-28 degrees Hot and cold during the night - on and off with the doona. We’ve asked for a top sheet, which is the way we like to sleep. Showers and breakfast, and we decided to miss the mornings excursion to a castle fort with lots of steps and olive farm. We both felt very tired, and this is the first time we’ve not done an excursion. Ian got a book out of the library and sat in the lounge reading and chatting, and I stayed in our cabin reading through all the bits of paper...

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May 24, 2018 - Monte Carlo to Arles

Day 6. Monte Carlo to Arles. 24/5/18. Thursday. Sunny, hot. Early start today after ports out last night; breakfast at 6.30. Because the F1 race track is right in front of the hotel, the hotel is totally blocked and we had to leave by the back way, up the adjoining walk to the Casino, across a temporary overhead bridge which goes over the track - and a F1 car roared past right under us - what a buzz, (well, I thought it was a F1 car, but Ian said it was just a medic car, but it made a heck of a noise and was going fast)- up steep streets to...

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May 23, 2018 - Beaux Arts to Brutalism: Marvellous Marseilles

Brutalism: Le Corbusier's first Unité d'Habitation is arguably the most influential Brutalist building of all time. With its human proportions, chunky pilotis and interior "streets", it redefined high-density housing by reimagining a city inside an 18-storey slab block.

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Helen in Europe

May 22, 2018 - Cirque de Navacelles, Pont du Gard

Yesterday we drove from just south of Bordeaux to Brive le Gaillard on the autoroute. From here we turned south leaving the motorways at D802 to go to Rodex and on to Millau. We drove from coastal plain through foothills to the Mediterranean Pyrenees. In the distance we could see medieval villages. Rodex was a modern town with perhaps an 17th - 18th century center. Millau was a red-roofed beige blocked building town with a medieval center. We saw a small white train tourimg people aroumd. Just north and west we had seen unusual rock...

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May 22, 2018 - Made it to Marseilles

Arrived in Marseilles via train to a terrific airbnb with our delightful host Gérard apologising for his lack of English and doing an excellent meet and greet. Only one flight of stairs, plenty of space, no plumbing problems and a large room all to myself! One important skill I have adopted, necessary for getting a good night's sleep in Europe is wearing an eye mask - you know, one of those ones they give you for overnight flights. I now have two as Emirates gave out a colourful orange kit from our recent flight. Many of the European rooms...

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Helen in Europe

May 21, 2018 - Van Gogh, Vasarely and Vendôme (or Arles to Aix-en-Provence)

After checking out of our delightful Arles Airbnb we took one last cultural visit to Espace Van Gogh, the hospital where Vincent apparently had his ear stitched back on after that infamous incident. You can definitely see the inspiration for his paintings of the gardens there. For those of you not in the VG know, Vincent lived in Arles in the South of France for more than a year. He experienced great productivity there before suffering from a mental breakdown and produced many renowned paintings of the area such as the Yellow House, which...

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Helen in Europe

May 20, 2018 - Arles Ambience

From our arrival in Arles last night onwards we have been immersed in a rich blend of charming 18th century laneway architecture, massive and mindboggling Roman remains and marvellous museums. My ICOM (International council of museums) pass was burning hot as i flashed it to gain free entry to the Musee Reattu, which cleverly blended artworks from the past and present in historic rooms; Musee Departemental Arles Antique, which for me the highlight was the massive the longboat found in the mud of the Rhone River with a great doco video on...

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Helen in Europe

May 20, 2018 - Hong Kong to Nice via Munich 20/5/18

Day 2. Hong Kong to Nice via Munich 20/5/2018. Sunday. Munich 8 degrees, foggy, rain; Nice hot, sunny, blue sky. The plane was loaded, backed out a bit, and sat for about 20 minutes before finally departing. We had a drink on board, and decided to skip the dinner meal, as nothing seemed to be happening in a hurry, and we were both very tired - it was after 1am Brisbane time. Ian had a couple of good, long sleeps, and I had more shorter ones. 12 hours in one stretch is a long time! Finally, there was movement at the station, as the word had...

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May 19, 2018 - Carcasonne, Chateaus and coffee

It was with a mixture of sadness and anticipation with which we bade farewell to Lapradelle. The day before included another 'quick' visit to see Jean-Jacques and Dominique who live literally around the corner and with their insistence, we drank Suz and Muscat aperitifs before we departed and they headed off for their own dinner invitation. Things really hot up in Lapradelle on Friday nights and that includes a mobile pizza van on the corner and at least five patrons braving the local pub. After viewing the state of the floor and slightly...

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Helen in Europe

Apr 29, 2018 - Why do Dutch men on holiday look like raisins?

We are back in our beloved camper van for another European adventure, and this time plan to take in southern France, the lakes in northern Italy and with the bulk of our time in Slovenia. We picked up our camper in the UK, and unlike last year we did not flail around in the swampland that was northern Europe, but drove directly south to Vaison la Romaine in Provence, starting this trip in the same place we ended last fall. Vaison is truly one of our favourite places with Roman ruins, wonderful modern and Medieval town, great campsite and...

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Apr 25, 2018 - 36 hours in Lyon

Extra time in Avignon meant less time in Lyon. Our bus was an hour late picking us up from Avignon, it was 9pm by the time we checked into our motel. Luckily we found a bouchon close by for a delicious dinner. Rabbit terrine entree with veal and mushrooms for me. Hot sausage with potato for Lil. We were happy to find a real bouchon, there are only about 20 in Lyon. There are many fake ones, you can tell the real ones as they have the bouchon puppet plate at the front. We rose early for our full day in Lyon, it was a comedy of errors. We...

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