I have the last bunch of photos from our trip and I have to admit - France was my favorite over Spain. I was smitten by the charming villages, the markets, the food and scenery. We were on a budget (see my 10 Best Budget Travel Tips) so I didn't buy too much but it was so much fun to just wander the cobblestone streets, eat lunch at outdoor cafes, buy our dinner at the markets and explore different towns each day. These were some of the stores in Aix (sounds like X) were we rented a house for a week for far less than a hotel.
Look at these cool mannequins in this boutique clothing store
Located in the southeastern area of France, Provence has captured people’s hearts for centuries including the roman’s who ruled it until 1481, as well as renowned artists like Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and Van Gogh. Famous today for it’s fields of lavender and sunflowers, olives and wine, sunny weather and charming medieval villages stretching from the French Alps to the Mediterranean Sea and French Riviera, it's easy to see why people fall in love with the area.
Driving along the country roads there is a little village about every 10 minutes so we used this handy site and planned our daily trips to towns on their Market Day This was the flower market in the town of Aix which also has over 1,000 fountains!
Each town is known for various specialties and markets themes can vary but most include fresh local food. One day in Aix we came across one on Cours Mirabeau Avenue full of fashionable clothes and shoes at great prices and I got a beautiful sweater and scarf.
The seafood Paella and roast chicken were delicious and sold at most markets.
A roast chicken, baguette, some cheese and fruit make a great lunch in a park.
I'm hooked on spices and got some great curries, sea salt and herb mixes.
I had hoped to find more antique (brocante) markets like in Paris like I wrote about 2 years ago. I did score these items at the market in Aix. What do you think of a printable download kit with scripty papers and cool French ephemera?
We went to L'Islesur-la-Sorgue which has the most brocante markets and stores but I didn't find much of my passion - old paper and books. The market was huge and runs along one of the pretty canals.
I would pack lighter next time so I would have more room to take stuff home.
I also loved Carpentras and the town was filled with colorful flags created from all sorts of art while we were there. My fave was this cat and dog flag!
One day we took an hour drive to the seaside town of Cassis and ate crepes at an outdoor cafe. Below I'm with my dear friend Mariana (on right) who I've known since we were teenagers. It was a trip of a lifetime for both of us and her first time in Europe.
We also drove along the coast and spent an afternoon in Nice which was nice! The old part of town was filled with great shops and restaurants and is close to the beach. Terrace cafes are popular spots to enjoy tapas, sip a glass of wine or coffee. If you want coffee like home, order Cafe Americano with milk or you will get a tiny cup of thick black coffee.
We continued along the coast through the French Riviera from Monaco down to Cannes. You can smell the money! We didn't bump into anyone famous but saw a lot of large yachts.
Our farthest trip was 2 hours to a little town just inside Italy called Ventimiglia. I LOVE Italy and we hope to go back one day and travel the entire length enjoying yummy cheese, italian bread and wine! The cheese prices below at 10 to 15.90 Euros is per kilo so not bad for 2.2 pounds of great parmagiano!
Lastly, here are a few doors I took photos of. I have 100's more photos of other towns and doors but no more space and time. I hope this post gave you more of an idea of what you can experience in Provence France. We didn't stay in any fancy hotels or spend a great deal of money and had such a great time. It was a great 35th anniversary gift - thanks to my sweetheart! You can also read my 10 Best Budget Travel Tips if interested and 2 previous posts on Barcelona and Coasta Brava Spain (also has Halloween and Fall samples).
I also started a Travel Board on Pintrest for anyone interested.
Please come back and join us this Monday, Oct 7/13 for our October Linky Party and DT Challenge! Anyone can enter and post a sample during the week they've created using any Crafty Secrets product and get a $6.00 gift card for our CraftyVintageGirl.com Store, plus a random.org winner will receive a $50.00 CS Gift Card.
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