Bon week-end, everyone! It’s my weekly check-in. I’m happy to report that the weight I picked up during my family reunion/vacation is gone gone gone, and then some. Now is when it gets serious --- over the past years since the regain after reaching goal, I’ve been at approximately this weight several times but haven’t gone much below it.
Apart from that news – spoiler alert – the rest of this blog is a bunch of photos from my trip to Provence. I left a piece of my heart behind there. Even though it was just a few days, and I’ve been back for a week, the experience is on my mind, and I enjoy looking at the pix. Hope you do, too.
Took the TGV, superfast train to Paris, and only had 90 minutes to change trains there, so took a taxi from Gar d'Est to Gar de Lyon. This is the tower of the Gar de Lyon. The pix I tried to snap from the taxi were terrible!
Spent the night in Aix-en-Provence, a lively, pretty, interesting city. I'd like to go back sometime when it's not so HOT. Evening light made for some nice photos of Place de la Rotunde and the Hotel de Ville (City Hall):
Next day, the bus to Cadenet where we stayed in a country estate/hotel called the Grand Lauron. I think I posted a pic of the "Gites" apartment but here's one of the main building.
First full day included a visit to Cucuron. Wonderful market with local specialties, fun and not too-too touristy. Some scenes from the movie "A Good Year" with Russell Crowe were filmed here, evidently, and much of the film was shot in this part of Provence. After the market, we walked around a bit and saw lots of cats trying to beat the heat in the shaded walkways.
Then we took a spontaneous walk/side-trip to a tower above the town center and got this great view. There was also an art exhibit going on in the tower and one of my cousins bought a couple of pieces as souvenirs.
The next day, more visits to surrounding villages and more cats keeping cool. These two were in Lauris. Ingenious!
I didn't take a lot of photos in Lourmarin, rated one of the most beautiful villages in France, because my cousins were taking tons. Sorry about that! Here's a link, though:
Posting just one pic of the cousins. Most of them I had never met before! It was a delight getting to know them, especially this charming lady and her family. We all got little sacks of lavender as a memento of the reunion.
Most of the cousins left on Thursday to explore other parts of France and Europe, but I stayed an extra day at the Grand Lauron and explored the village where we were actually staying during the reunion, Cadenet. I had lunch (see last week's blog), then climbed up to the ruins of the chateau. (Every village has either a chateau or ruins of one.)
Did I say it was HOT? Several times I asked myself if I was crazy, but when I set my mind to something...I took it slow, drank lots of water, my knee behaved and I was rewarded with those lovely views of Cadenet and other little towns in the distance. Seldom so happy to see a fountain with "potable" water! You can kind of get an idea of how hot and dry the landscape at the top of the hill actually was.
Yes, I was up there at high noon! Not a great photo, just bragging on myself. :)
Made my way down, then, on the way back to the hotel (another long, 40ish minutes, hot walk, by the way) I thought I might visit a couple of shops. I'm actually glad they close for a long midday break, because I might have spent too much money at this shop. In the window, a little print of Cadenet that would have fit nicely in my suitcase or backpack. Oh well, next time.
My next reward was a dunk in the pool back at the hotel, sans cousins for a change!
The next day was dedicated to the long train ride back home - a taxi, two buses, and three trains. But another reward was waiting - a glorious summer sunset from my balcony at home.
Thanks for traveling with me and have a good Spark week!