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PenelopeWitherspoon

Penelope Witherspoon's Travel Thread

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Great stuff Penelope.  Wife and I did much of the same in southern France a couple years ago.  Looks like you skipped Avignon but we stayed there, from where we hit Pont du Gard.  We're looking at southern Italy (and Sicily) for our next trip.  I was concerned that that it might not be different enough from southern France and northern Italy but your pics have answered that question.

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On 7/14/2018 at 1:37 PM, shakahorn said:

Great stuff Penelope.  Wife and I did much of the same in southern France a couple years ago.  Looks like you skipped Avignon but we stayed there, from where we hit Pont du Gard.  We're looking at southern Italy (and Sicily) for our next trip.  I was concerned that that it might not be different enough from southern France and northern Italy but your pics have answered that question.

My understanding is that Sicily is amazing.  I am thinking that is my trip next year.  Probably only doing one trip next year other than the trips to see my friends and their kids in England.

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Wow, I am still on Naples.  I thought things would slow down a bit, and last week was absolutely nuts, both personally (wreck aftermath, finding out my Uncle is going to have surgery today at MD Anderson (FUCK CANCER), and still unpacking from being gone almost 4 weeks) and professionally (just tons of work stuff on my plate at the moment).  I will get back to it, eventually.

I will do a plug for my website in the interim.  Part of what I have been working on is posts for my website.  I think some of you guys follow me on my instagram (MlleSheTravels), and that has led to a website.  Trying to knock out about 5-6 articles, so I can post about 2 a week.  I plan on going live on August 1.  Right now, there is just an old post announcing the website, and the ability to subscribe.  Feel free to drop by.  www.mlleshetravels.com

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Ok, so Naples continued.  We went to Sorbillo, which is lauded as one of the best pizza places in Naples.  And it did not disappoint.

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There are multiple Sorbillo pizza joints within a few blocks of each other.  Fun fact, these folks are ALL related, and all of them date their recipes back to the original Sorbillo's from 1935.  

Started off with a nice, cold beer.

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We were waiting for our friend who had an appointment with his tailor (not for jerseys, but custom shirts), and shared a Marinara while we waited.

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After having one taste of this, we knew we were in for something special.  We picked the three pizzas we all wanted.  I honestly cannot remember what they were called, but they were all amazing.

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Definitely worth a stop for anyone who is interested.

Afterwards, we found some pretty decent gelato, which we enjoyed while we were waiting for an underground tour of some ancient ruins.

Naples to be continued...

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Sorbillo's will ruin you on pizza for life. Well, any traditional pizza in Italy will. There just isn't anything like it, even when other places try to replicate it. That and lattes on demand anywhere you go make it a great place to be.

You didn't end up in a bar, look around, have some random chick wander up to you and start a conversation, did you? You know, then you casually look around and realize you're in a hooker bar? I can neither confirm nor deny if that may have happened to me and a buddy one night out and about in Naples. Whoops! ha ha ha ha

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Ok, so let's wrap up Naples and then we can skip Day 5 since nothing good happened that day.  

After finishing Gelato, we went to San Lorenzo Maggiore, and bought tickets to go underground and see the old Macellum of Naples.  

Here are some photos of the original Roman streets and the market stalls.

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Here is the front of Church or Gesu Nuovo, and the inside.  

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And then, the front of Castel Nuovo (we saw the back of it earlier).

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And then finally, some Mount Vesuvius from the ferry.

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And thus ends Naples.  We will skip Wednesday, Day 5, and move onto Day 6.

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Day 6, we headed out to Capri.  We had a semi-private boat of 12 people (we were 5 of the 12).  First stop was Positano to pick up a family.

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Then we have the island of capri, and the rocks around it, as well a the water.  It is absolutely stunning.

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And here we are coming into Marina Grande.

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Day 6 Capri to be continued...

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Still trying to get some content ready for my website, so that August 1 date is going to slip a bit.  Having my folks in town caused me not to accomplish as much as I wanted to.

Also, I still have not updated this thread.  I promise I will finish eventually.

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Ok, Day 6 continued.  What can I say about Capri.  I am glad I have visited.  Probably won't ever return, unless I go to actually stay on it.  

It was crowded and full of tourists.  So much of it is the shopping area.  And it does have good shopping.  I do recommend a trip to Canfora to get hand made sandals (women only).  They measure your feet and make them for you within an hour or two.

Here are a few sites from up on top of Capri.

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Here is Canfora.  It is very unassuming.  I am not sure if they do Men's shoes, but it looks like it based on my photos (I was not paying attention).   Here is their website (http://www.canfora.com/en/).

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Street view in Capri.

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Views from my seat at the cafe...

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It is definitely a beautiful island.  And, there is even a view of Vesuvius from Capri.

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And that is the end of Day 6.  Day 7 is another day on a boat.  To be continued...

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So, the boat on Friday, we did a similar route we did on Monday.  This time, we had a slightly bigger boat.  I cannot recommend enough how great it was having a private boat for the day.  The best days we spent in the Amalfi Coast were the days we spent on the boat.

This is Sophia Loren's boat.  And also her house (the white compound going up the hillside).  

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Here are some more sites along the coast.

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Amalfi

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Atrani

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A waterfall we all swam under.

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My favorite super yacht that we saw (and a view of it from my balcony later that evening).

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Lunch that day was at a little restaurant you could only get to by boat.

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The walkway to the restaurant.

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The restaurant itself.

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Interesting fact.  During winter, there are big waves in the Med.  So all these little restaurants, they have to completely take them apart after the season is over in October.  Then they rebuild in time for season start in April.  

Day 7 to be continued..

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More Day 7...

The view from the restaurant...

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We had the local wine, which is served with fresh peaches in it.  What can I say, it was excellent.  Best thing to drink on a hot day.

A couple of us got the local fish.  It comes with pasta.  I ordered the lobster.  Then two of us ordered grilled squid.

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We ordered some grilled zucchini as we felt a vegetable or two might be good.

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Lemoncello was brought out as well.

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And then the desserts started.  Tiramisu, Rhum Babas, and some sort of mousse confection.

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We also had some apple-cello.

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Day 7 to be continued...

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Ok, so Day 7 evening, our last evening in the Amalfi Coast.  We walked down to the Trattoria San Gennaro.  It overlooks the Church of San Gennaro in Praiano.  It serves great comfort food.  Someone got the lasagna and said it was outstanding (no photo).  I got the eggplant parm, which was the best I have ever had.  Someone else got the prawns (yes, there is a boob shot.  You are welcome).  

First, shot of the sun going behind Positano as we walk to dinner.

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Next, San Gennaro Church (2 photos)

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Eggplant parm...

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The prawns (and boobs).

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And the church once the sun set.

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The next day, we picked up our rental car early in the AM, and headed to Rome.  

On the morning of Day 8, we passed through this beautiful village on our way (we went through the mountains).  At some point, they were setting off dynamite.  I am guessing it was some protection for the lemons or vines.  It was amazing.

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Next up, Rome and Day 8.

 

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Ok, Rome and Day 8 (well, really later afternoon and evening Day 8).  Once we dropped off the rental car, we had to meet the rest of our group near the Pantheon (they had gone and found a place for some wine).  Not long after stepping out of our apartment, we came across the Teatro di Marcello, which was inaugurated by Augustus in 12 BC.

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While meandering through side streets, we came upon a church and decided to peek in.  We saw the most amazing alter.  Just stunning.

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We did finally make it to the Pantheon, which was not open by the time we got there.

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Dinner was to be at La Sagrestia.  The owner was our waiter both Saturday and Sunday nights.  Yes, it was THAT good that we went twice.  

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The wine was to be this Nero D'Avola, which was outstanding.  

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And with that, I will update for dinner in my next post.  It was outstanding.  

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The Pantheon, may be the coolest piece of ancient architecture in the western world.

Largest domed space for centuries, 24' hole in the roof of a poured in place concrete dome with a weight reducing coffered roof, with 5 distinct types of concrete as the structure moves skyward.

 

It's section cut image is the tattoo I've planned for a couple years.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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The website for La Sagrestia is here (https://www.lasagrestia.com/).  I cannot recommend it enough.

First, we got a giant order of olives.  The bring you a big plate full of black and green olives.  While the black olives were great, the green olives were absolutely outstanding.  Also, since we needed some vegetables, we got some grilled zucchini. (I will apologize in advance for the blurry photos.  Sorry about that.)

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One of my friends ordered the Fettuccini alla Sagrestana, which is Fettuccini with mushrooms, peas, ham, and cream.  She didn't want to share (the rest of us were doing family style), but she said it was amazing.

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The other 4 of us decided to eat family style.  First, we ordered the Spaghetti alla Carbonara.  This was by far the best Carbonara I have ever had.  Just absolutely amazing.

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We also ordered the Cannolicchi Cacio e Pepe.  While the Carbonara was outstanding, this was life changing.  I doubt I will ever have Cacio e Pepe that is this good until I go back to Rome and go to this restaurant.

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Surprisingly, we were all pretty full after this, but of course it was time for dessert.  We got Tiramisu, a blackberry pie (that was my favorite and one of the best pies I have ever had, also sorry for the bad photo, we were about 7 bottles in at this point), and an apple pie.

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We also ordered a creme caramel.  

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If you only have one night in Rome, go to this place.  Seriously, absolutely amazing.

Here is the Pantheon at night.  We were actually drinking more at a cafe right there.  

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And that concludes Day 8.

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So, Day 9 will be more Rome.  Lots of great photos from around the city.  Also have a visit to a tea room and dinner back at the same restaurant.

Day 10 is morning in the Vatican, evening in Aix-en-Provence.

Day 11 is another day on a boat, this time out of Le Ciotat.  

Day 12 is a day spent in Aix-en-Provence.

Day 13 is driving through the Camargue and Arles.

Day 14 is Pont du Gard and Nimes.

Day 15 is Arles.

Day 16 is Uzes and other sites.

Day 17 is on a boat out of Marseille.

Day 18 is Roussillon, though I was also sick, so not a lot of photos there.

Day 19 was a travel day to Paris, and photos of Paris.

Day 20 is Paris.

Day 21 is Paris.

Day 22 is Paris.

Day 23 was a travel day.  

Just in case anyone wanted to know.  :)

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Day 9 was spent wandering around Rome.  There are a lot of photos here, so I will try and explain them all.  

After a light lunch (it took us that long to get going), we wandered Rome seeing all the major sites.

The ruins of the Forum.

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Capitoline Square

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The Insula Romana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insula_Romana_(Capitoline_Hill), yes, I am linking wikipedia...this is interesting).  I loved this building.  Amazing what the Romans were able to build when they did.  Also, loved the mosaic, which even though it is from a later period, still in pretty good shape.

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Alter of the Fatherland in Piazza Venezia

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Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli

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Day 9 to be continued...

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Ok, more Day 9.  

The Colosseum.  We were originally supposed to have a night tour of the Arena Floor and the underground part, but that got cancelled due to the City of Rome closing monuments on Saturday night (booo), so we just went outside of it.  I guess that is definitely something to do the next time I go to Rome.

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Looking across the Circus Maximus at the Palatine Hill.

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The Circus Maximus

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Tiber River

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Castel Sant'Angelo.  We actually took the time to climb this.  It was absolutely fascinating.  You see the path to the Vatican, and the views from the top are outstanding.  It is amazing that you are basically walking through where Hadrian's funeral procession passed through.

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Here is where they believe Hadrian's tomb actually sat.

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And now views from the top of the Castel Sant'Angelo.  First looking over the Vatican.

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Looking back down on the bridge over the Tiber.

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And back over the City.

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Day 9 to be continued...

 

 

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Ok, our journey around Rome continues...

The Spanish Steps

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After the Spanish Steps, we need some refreshment.  So we stopped in Cafe Greco, and old tea house.  When we got the drink menus, we were taken aback by how expensive things were.  Turns out, it is because you get all this food with every drink order.   So it was a nice afternoon snack/break.  We had a bottle of Nero d'Avola and Aviations.

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Next we headed to the Trevi Fountain.  Just for the sheer number of people milling around here, is a good reason for me to probably make sure my next trip to Rome is during the off-season.  So many people!

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Here is a random ancient wall.  Like Athens, there are reminders of Rome's history everywhere in the city.

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Only Dinner on Day 9 left...

 

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Penelope, thanks for documenting your travels. Amalfi and Capri are on our short list for next year so I definitely appreciate that part.

1 hour ago, PenelopeWitherspoon said:

Here is a random ancient wall.  Like Athens, there are reminders of Rome's history everywhere in the city.

This particular quote jumped out at me because I remember walking around Rome and seeing that exact wall and thinking "Wow, what the hell is this?" Then I looked at our maps and guide book and realized it wasn't considered to be anything of importance. It's amazing they have these incredible ruins at every turn, things that would be considered a major attraction in almost any U.S. city, and yet it's hardly a blip on their radar because it pales in comparison to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, etc. 

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I like prawns.

And boobs.

Great pics, thanks for sharing your travels with us.

Just spent last night listening to my daughter wring her hands about her future (she's applying to college, but of course, is thinking 20 years forward) -- "what if I don't make money?  I want to travel?  What if I can't make it?"  I told her that she should pay attention to the opportunities that come her way -- maybe take the job in Berlin, even if it pays a little less, because you can take great trips from there.  Make enough money so that you have a roof, food, and medical care.  Be good to your family and friends.  Experience the world and make it a better place.  If you do that, you're rich.

Thanks for posting what you do, it's a great lens for us to share.

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Ok, Day 9 continued.  We went back to the same restaurant.  Yes, it was THAT good.  The owner saw us, and was our waiter again.  He also bought us a bottle of wine and drank it with us.  We thought we were very amusing.  

We polished off the Nero D'Avola the night before, so he told us try this.  It was amazing.

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A little bread for the table (i.e. pizza crust).

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Green Olives

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This is the Pizza Alla Sagrestana.  Basically pizza 7 ways.  It was amazing.  Had I known their pizza was that good, we definitely would have gotten one the night before.  It honestly was just as good as the pizza in Naples.

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My friend agreed to share with us all tonight as we did family style, so we ordered the Fettuccini alla Sagrestana.

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Tagliolini al Limone (noodles with lemon, butter, and basil)

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Tagliolini al Cartoccio (noodles cooked with seafood in paper).  This was absolutely amazing.  All the seafood was amazingly fresh.  The noodles were perfectly cooked.

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We struggled to finish the seafood pasta, but we tried valiantly.  As full as we were, we ordered Tiramisu.  

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Seriously, if you are Rome, go to La Sagrestia.  Definitely a must visit.

Heading back to the apartment, we walked past the Parthenon.  

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Day 9 is completed.  Next up, Day 10 which is the Vatican and my first night in France.

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10 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

I like prawns.

And boobs.

Great pics, thanks for sharing your travels with us.

Just spent last night listening to my daughter wring her hands about her future (she's applying to college, but of course, is thinking 20 years forward) -- "what if I don't make money?  I want to travel?  What if I can't make it?"  I told her that she should pay attention to the opportunities that come her way -- maybe take the job in Berlin, even if it pays a little less, because you can take great trips from there.  Make enough money so that you have a roof, food, and medical care.  Be good to your family and friends.  Experience the world and make it a better place.  If you do that, you're rich.

Thanks for posting what you do, it's a great lens for us to share.

Tell her to go work for the airlines for a few years after college.  

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Day 10 started out with an early morning tour of the Vatican.  Because we were there so early, we actually got to spend 20 minutes in the Sistine Chapel before the Vatican was open to the masses.  It was amazing.  Of course, no photos taken inside.  

Here is the Gallery of Maps.  The maps are topographical maps of different areas of Italy commissioned in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII.  This was done by friar and geographer Ignazio Danti.

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Then there is this statue of Bacchus.  Whose fruit is hiding an erection.  Seriously, lots of interesting things in the Vatican.

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This is the statue of Laocoon and His Sons.  It is believed this is the statue that Pliny the Elder loved this statue and at the time of his writing, it was in the palace of Emperor Titus.

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This is the School of Athens in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican.  Of course this fresco is by Raphael.

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The Deliverance of Saint Peter by Raphael.  This is one of the first paintings to really play with the effect of light.

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The Pieta by Michelangelo.

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St. Peter's Baldachin.

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St. Peter's Basilica.

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The Vatican Museum from St. Peter's Square.

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Afterwards, we went back to our apartment and loaded up and headed to the airport.  I was going to France, two folks were going to England, and one was going to Germany.  

Once I got to Marseille, I picked up my rental car (they gave me a bigger SUV, which would prove to be a lot of fun).  I drove to Aix-en-Provence and checked into my AirBnB.  

Then it was time for dinner.  Went to a place called Mitch pretty close to my apartment.

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First course was a deconstructed lemon and mackerel tart.  For some reason, I hate mackerel in the US, but really enjoy it when I am in France.  This was very different.  I enjoyed it.

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Main course was sea bream with seasonal vegetables.

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Dessert was a mango blancmange.

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This restaurant is great.  They offer two menus, one for 39 Euros, one for 49 Euros, three courses each.  I also had a glass of wine, but I was so exhausted, that I just had one glass nad asked the owner (Mitch) to bring me what went best with the first two courses.  

And that wraps up Day 10.

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Day 11 was a day on a sailboat out of La Ciotat.

So just beautiful photos of amazing water and great coastline!

Pulling out of La Ciotat.

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Anse du Sec to the west of La Ciotat.  We stopped and swam here.  The water was magnificent.  

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Anse du Figuerolles

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The Cliffs along the Coast.

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Cap de l'Aigle

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Looking back on the coast

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And that concludes Day 11.  Once I made it back to Aix, I just crashed.  

 

 

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Day 12 started a bit late.  I decided to sleep in, finally catching up on all the missed sleep from the first week and a half of the trip.

Once I finally went out, I went to Place Richelme to walk through the daily food market.  Right off the square, I found Patisserie Weibel.  I grabbed a seat outside and ordered some lunch.  I thought avocado toast would be a nice light lunch.  This is officially the largest avocado toast I have ever had.  It was so good.  Also had a beer from Provence, and for dessert, ordered the house specialty, thought I forget the name.  This is a really cute place to stop and watch people in Aix, with good food and pastries, and good service.

Place Richelme Market

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Lunch at Patisserie Weibel

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Next, just wandered around Aix.  Did some shopping, as the annual end of season sales were on.  For those in the area, hit up Bastide (https://bastide.com/).

After all the shopping, popped into Les Deux Garcons, which was apparently Cezanne's preferred watering hole.

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Les Deux Garcons is on the Cours Mirabeau, which is one of the big streets in Aix.

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The Fontaine des Precheurs and the Eglise de la Madeleine.

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A square nearby with tables outside for nearby cafes and restaurants.

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A French restaurant.

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Best Fucking Cut Shop in Aix.

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Hotel de Ville

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The Square in front of the Hotel de Ville.

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More Aix-en-Provence.

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Dinner that night was at La Tomate Verte

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Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of my main course (pork), but everything here is great.  The food is all prepared with organic ingredients.  Definitely a great little bistro.

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Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful town.  I am already planning a return trip to Provence and the Riviera.  I absolutely adored the South of France.

Next up, Day 12 which is a journey through the Camargue and Arles.

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2 hours ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Are you on a private boat/yacht or charter service ?  Great pics.  We want to do the Amalfi coast soon.......

So the ones in the Amalfi Coast, we did a private charter service.  The first boat was 600 Euros for the day and came with a captain and a bottle of Prosecco.  The second one, for a bigger boat, was 700 Euros for the day, came with a captain (who was great), and came with a ton of booze.  I can give people both companies we used.  The first one has multiple boats.  The second one is one guy and his boat, but his boat is super nice.  

The one out of La Ciotat, I arranged through AirBnB through their experiences.  It is a resident of La Ciotat who does those sails in his spare time with all proceeds going into his environmental not for profit (he is a long time resident who writes laws for the South of France regarding the environment).  On the boat that day was me, a policewoman from Strasbourg, and a couple from Australia who own a men's fashion brand (they were in town for the Jacquemus show).  It was a LOT of fun, and great to meet other folks.  I can give you guys the name of that one too. If I had a group through, I would do a private charter with a captain.

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22 minutes ago, PenelopeWitherspoon said:

So the ones in the Amalfi Coast, we did a private charter service.  The first boat was 600 Euros for the day and came with a captain and a bottle of Prosecco.  The second one, for a bigger boat, was 700 Euros for the day, came with a captain (who was great), and came with a ton of booze.  I can give people both companies we used.  The first one has multiple boats.  The second one is one guy and his boat, but his boat is super nice.  

The one out of La Ciotat, I arranged through AirBnB through their experiences.  It is a resident of La Ciotat who does those sails in his spare time with all proceeds going into his environmental not for profit (he is a long time resident who writes laws for the South of France regarding the environment).  On the boat that day was me, a policewoman from Strasbourg, and a couple from Australia who own a men's fashion brand (they were in town for the Jacquemus show).  It was a LOT of fun, and great to meet other folks.  I can give you guys the name of that one too. If I had a group through, I would do a private charter with a captain.

Much O-bliged.....

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50 minutes ago, Gil Bang said:

I'm headed to Italy in September.  I'm going to take my time going through all of Pen's posts.  Amazing. 

I lingered at the boob food pic................just sayin'.

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Day 12

Woke up early, packed, and hit the road.  Went to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.  This is the capital of the Camargu, and allegedly where Mary Magdalene (and the other Marys) came ashore when they left the holy land via boat.

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Notre Dame de la Mer

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Stopped and had lunch at this cute little place near the church.  

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Went with steak frites and tiramisu served with cold drinking chocolate.  And local wine served in that blue pitcher.

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In driving through the Camargue, I actually got to see some of the wild horses.  And of course, saw some domesticated ones as well.  

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Day 12 to be continued in Arles.

 

 

 

 

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Ok, Day 12 continued, but now in Arles.  I absolutely loved Arles.  Definitely an amazing town.  Will be going back.  

These are just sites from walking around Arles...

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Remnants of an ancient Temple in the Place du Forum (where the Roman Forum used to be locted in Arles, which like Nimes, was a Roman town in the south of France).  The Temple columns are embedded in the wall of the historic Hotel Nord-Pinus.

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Place du Forum

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This cafe should be familiar to fans of Van Gogh.  This the subject of Cafe Terrace at Night.  This was painted by Van Gogh in 1888.

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More city sites...

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The Antique Theater of Arles.  The ancient theater of Arles was built at the end of the 1st century BC, under the reign of Emperor Augustus, just after the founding of the Roman colony. Started around 40/30 BC, it was completed around the year 12 BC.

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Yes, it is still in use.  That night, a dance academy/studio was having their recital.  What a cool place to have your end of year dance recital.

Day 12 and Arles to be continued...

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Dinner that night was a light affair.  I went through this little portico onto the rue du Cloitre, right past the Antique Theater.

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Next to the Hotel du Cloitre is L'Ouvre Boite (also called L'Epicerie du Cloitre), an open air cafe that gives the impression of being in a sort of tree-house.

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First a little wine.  Cousin Oscar from Domaine Zimbert.

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This place does Tapas, but a lot of it is cured and canned.  So I went with olives and squid in its own ink.

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Definitely a great place for a light meal or a quick snack.

Arles Amphitheater, built in 90 AD by teh Romans, is still in use and in great shape.

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Place de la Republique and the Hotel de Ville

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Notre Dame la Major

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More stuff at night.

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The Rhone River.

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Arles streets under moonlight.

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And that wraps up Day 12.  

 

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Day 13 started out in Arles.  I walked around a bit and visited L'Espace Van Gogh, which is housed in the Hotel Dieu where Van Gogh was a patient.  It is now exhibition space with a garden that is tended to look like the garden that Van Gogh painted.

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This is part of the Antique Theater of Arles through the Jardin D'Ete.  The statue/fountain is part of the garden.  The theater complex was actually quite large.

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This day saw me traveling out to Remoulins to visit Pont du Gard.  This is the best remaining part of the acqueduct system built by the Romans to bring water from a spring outside Uzes to Nimes.  It is almost 50 km long, and descends by only 12.6 meters over its length.  Seriously impressive piece of engineering.

The road to Pont du Gard from Remoulins.

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Pont du Gard from Rive Droite.

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Views down river and up river from the pedestrian bridge.

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View from the Rive Gauche.

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While walking to the museum, where I will catch a tour that allows me in the actual aqueduct itself (i.e. the top part), I come across this tree.  This tree is the oldest tree on the site, dating back over 1,000 years.  It is really impressive.

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Here is the view of the back side of the acqueduct from the Rive Gauche. This is all the original Roman Structure.  If I recall right, the bridge that you cross over (called the Pont Moderne) is actually from a later period, built right beside the original arched structure (i.e. design still the same as the original)

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Here are views both down river and up river from the top of the acqueduct before we go through.

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In the acqueduct.  So the Pont du Gard was made of limestone, which is very porous.  So the Romans actually coated the inside with a sealant that is water proof.  In some areas of the acqueduct you can see if behind the mineral deposits. It is a red color.  What you see here is the mineral deposits.  Over the centuries (the acqueduct was still in use as late os the 6th Century), this built up as water went through.  

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View up and down river after crossing through the acqueduct.

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After crossing, there is a little hike down.  I found the scenery very familiar as this looks like the woods (same terrain, and same trees) that I used to tramp around in my Grandparents' back pasture (now my parents' back pasture, what is called the 7 Acre Woods).  Who knew that central Texas and Southern France had that in common.

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After a great day, a glass of Rose with a great view was in order.

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If you are in that part of France, Pont du Gard is a MUST VISIT.  Absolutely stunning.  Day 13 and Nimes coming up.

 

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Ok, Day 13 and Nimes.  Nimes at one point was the Rome of France.  There is a great documentary about it on Curiosity Stream for those who have it.

First is Maison Carree, which was once a Temple dedicated to the grandsons and adopted heirs of Augustus who died young located in the Forum.  It is one of the best preserved Roman Temples to still exist, as it has been in use since then.

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Like Arles, Nimes also has an Amphitheater or Arena.  Like Arles, it is in very good shape and still in use.  

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More sites around Nimes.

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Dinner that night was at a Moroccan restaurant in Nimes, L'Eveil des Sens

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First is a chicken briouate with salad.

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Main course is lamb tangine with prunes and almonds.

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Dessert was an assortment of pastries and traditional mint tea.

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Great little restaurant.  The food was really, really good and the service very attentive.  I really wish we had a great Moroccan restaurant in Houston.

Once back in Nimes, had a nightcap at the Cafe Van Gogh (the one in the painting).

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Then walked home.  Saw this, which is the 13th centuy Palace of the Podestà which served as the seat of power during the Middle Ages.

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And that concludes Day 13.  Day 14 is next, which is just a day wandering around Arles.

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Day 14 was spent just wandering around Arles.  On Saturday, along Boulevard des Lices, is the Arles Market.  I browsed through it, but really had no room for purchases.  They did have some baby goats at a stall that was collecting money for the French equivalent of the Humane Society by selling candy.  Of course I bought some because baby goats are the cutest.

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Lunch was at Le Galoubet, which came highly recommended.  If you are going to go there, definitely get a reservation.  

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I went with the 33 Euro menu.  First course, was the mackerel.

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Since it is summer in the South of France, I went with a Rose.  The Chateau Dalmeran is a winery in Les Baux de Provence, which is not far from Arles.

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Main course was the duck with cherries. Also came with some frites.  

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The dessert was a creamy lemon pudding.

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After lunch, I visited the Cryptoportico.  Dating from 1 BC, this structure is the foundations of the Forum, and currently sits underneath the modern city.  The entrance is in the Hotel de Ville.

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Here is the Place de la Republique during the day.

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The Church of Saint-Triomphe

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That afternoon was the Les Bleus football match, so I popped into a bar to watch it.  After it was over, I was definitely not sober, so decided to grab some dinner.

This little square was right down from my little apartment.

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Dinner was simple, roasted meat and frites.  I cannot remember if this was lamb or pork.

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Dessert was some sort of banana sundae that was great, and of course, coffee.

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Afterwards, I just went back to the house and crashed.  And that wraps up Day 14.  Day 15, I leave Arles and head to Uzes before going to the Luberon.

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During your time in Italy, did you find the crowds to be particularly bad? We are thinking of going next year, and for various reasons, it might need to be in August. We’ve done June and July in the past without much of an issue, just wondering what it’s like in August.

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Day 15 was a day in transit.  Went to Uzes before heading to the Languedoc.  Uzes is the seat of the Dukes of Uzes.  The Duke of Uzes is the premier peer in the Kingdom of France, coming right after Princes of the Blood in rank of importance, so it has that going for it, which is nice.

The town is on a hill, and is as picturesque as you can get.  I actually passed through a number of beautiful little villages on the way there, but was unable to get photos in a lot of them due to lack of space to park.  I did stop in one little village for a coffee though.  The town was Vers-Pont-du-Gard and the cafe was La Grange de Vers.

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Here is the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard

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Once I got to Uzes, it was time for a light lunch.  Stopped at La Fille des Vignes, a little cafe in Uzes, for a light lunch.

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Got the seasonal melon and ham, with olive tapenade.  Dessert was a vegan, gluten free carrott cake.

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Then it was time to walk around Uzes.  It is beautiful.

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Castle of the Dukes of Uzes.

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I don't know if it gets more picturesque than this.

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More sites around Uzes.

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Cute little restaurant in town that I will be sure to stop at next time I am there.

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All over Provence, there are these little fruit and veg stands.  Some of the best produce I have had.

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And that wraps up Day 15.  Day 16, I am on a boat again.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

During your time in Italy, did you find the crowds to be particularly bad? We are thinking of going next year, and for various reasons, it might need to be in August. We’ve done June and July in the past without much of an issue, just wondering what it’s like in August.

We were there in June, and I thought it was crowded.  I have heard that August is absolutely unbearable.  Remember, a lot of Europe takes vacation in August, so you have the normal tourists, plus all of Europe at that time.  Also, since I still get weather updates, it has been hot as hell in August.  If you can put it off until September, I would.  I am planning a trip to Sicily for late September of next year.  

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We did almost the exact same itinerary in Rome.  Walked by Marcellus' Theater almost every day we were there because it was near our apartment.  We walked through it one day and saw some partially exposed graves that still had bones in them.  Randomly running across Roman ruins was always so awesome.

Edited by kevwun

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Thanks to all who talked up the HI - Notre Dame in Paris. 

It’s a great hotel. A hair out of date, but it’s more character than trash. Excellent location, and having the corner room with a long balcony, spiral staircase to an upper sitting area (separated from the bar by a plant wall) and one hell of an amazing fucking view. 

A shame it’s only for 2 nights, but it is what it is. 

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Great stuff Penelope but I'm a little confused.  Earlier in the thread you posted pics of Pont du Gard and surrounding areas and your most recent pics seems like the same area.  Did you post pics out of order or are you revisiting southern France?

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Great stuff Penelope but I'm a little confused.  Earlier in the thread you posted pics of Pont du Gard and surrounding areas and your most recent pics seems like the same area.  Did you post pics out of order or are you revisiting southern France?
That was live posting. This is actually going through and commenting on a day by day piece.

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Day 16 was on a Catamaran out of Marseille.  I really relaxed on the boat that day, so not a ton of photos.

This is the Chateau D'If, which was a location in the Count of Monte Cristo.

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Amazing blue water...

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A beautiful town west of Marseille.

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Marseille from the boat.

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Day 17 was wandering around Roussillon, which is the town I was staying in.  

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My view during a breakfast of coffee and chocolate croissant.

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And now views in the city and around the city.  Very picturesque.

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Day 18 sees me heading into Paris.  As I was still not feeling great, I stayed in the apartment that night, but did take in the views from my terrace, including those while the sun was going down.  My apartment was right next to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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And that wraps up, in one post, Days 16, 17, and 18.  Day 19 and Paris await.

 

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Day 19, woke up and had coffee on the terrace.  The view was, of course, stunning.

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Afterwards, it was time to dress and head out.  First, went to the Musee Galliera for the Martin Margiela exhibit.  When I got out of the metro (Iéna), there is a statue of George Washington on horseback.

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Musee Galliera

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Here is the article in Vogue about the exhibit.  A white carpet lead up the steps to the museum.

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Margiela was known for repurposing and reusing things and materials in his fashion shows. He also played with textures and proportions.

For instance, this "sock" shirt was actually made from army surplus socks to go under some of his clothes in a show.

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Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit.

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This looks like a sequin dress, but it is actually sequins printed on fabric.

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This is incredibly simple, and I want to figure out how to make some myself.

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It was a very interesting exhibit.  I am not sure if it is still on, but I would recommend that if you are in Paris, check out the Palais Galliera and see if anything is on.

The building itself is beautiful, and there is a nice little park that surrounds a part of it.  They are also doing some repais on it, so certain areas were off limits, and wood marks areas being worked.

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After leaving, I headed towards the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which is right around the corner.  On my way, I saw Place Rochambeau, which contained a statue of Rochambeau.  That morning had been like a miniature walk thrugh the American Revolution.

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The new YSL museum is housed in the former couture house of YSL.  As is with many Parisian buildings, the outside is beautiful.   

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Here is the parlor where fashion shows used to be held.  THis is also the main entry way into the museum.  

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And here are my favorite pieces in the museum.

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All in all, a great museum.  Glad to see it in Paris.

Day 19 to be continued.

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Day 19 continued.  After finishing up at the YSL museum, took a walk along the River.  

First, saw the full size, gold leaf colored replica of the Statue of Liberty's torch (Flame of Liberty), which is at Pont de l'Alma.  It is also the unofficial memorial to Princess Diana.

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Next was the Eiffel Tower.

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Golden dinosaur skeleton, becuase why not.

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Lunch that day was light since I knew I was having a big dinner.  Went to Blueberry, which is in Saint Germain.  This is apparently a really well thought of sushi and japanese restaurant.

Went with the lunch combo, which was a salad and some sushi rolls.  Oh, and some sake, of course.

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Rooftops in Paris from my apartment.

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It rained a bit, so it was a good time for a nap.  Then it was time to head over to dinner.  Walked through the Jardin du Luxembourg and headed to dinner.  Was beautiful to see the garden in full bloom.

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Love the statues as well. I feel like everytime I visit I see different ones.

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And possibly my most PERFECT photo I have ever taken in Paris.  An empty champagne bottle on the trash can in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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After, saw the Institute of Art and Archeology which is part of the Sorbonne.  Such a cool building.

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More buildings of the Sorbonne and around the area.

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And then I made it over to Boulevard du Montparnesse, and stopped at Le Dome for a pre-dinner drink.

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After a drink it was time for dinner.  Dinner on Day 19 coming up next.

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