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Who's traveling in France this year? Let's share plans...

jonathan

100+ Posts
Ooh yes, I forgot all about your Forcalquier trip with all those Sicilian posts! Thanks - I'll certainly be round to take notes, and borrow maps, once you're back.

I'm not sure what hiking will be like in mid-July. I know that there are restrictions on access to the massifs forestiers during the high summer - Kathy & Kevin might know more. I've got a Vaucluse 'en forêt je suis prudent' leaflet that I picked up a few years ago; Simiane & Forcalquier are over in the next département (Alpes de H-P), and I'm sure they put out something similar.
 

Tess Armstrong

New Member
We're going back to Provence this summer. We've visited there many times over the last twenty years, usually for three weeks each year. We stayed at Mas Pichony, a Chambre d'Hote near Pernes les Fontaines for a number of years. It was very comfortable and just the place if you want the "in the middle of the vineyards" experience. It's in between the Pernes les Fontaines and St Didier, with very friendly and helpful hosts. The rooms are spacious and well kept. The communal area is beautifully decorated like a large country kitchen/dining room, and the terrace is the quintessential stone terrace shaded by large Plane trees. They also have a nice big pool and a cabana. Their website is http://www.maspichony.com/

One year we happened on Sablet by accident and the following year we rented a small house by the church. Being new to holiday house rentals, we assumed that the house would meet a "normal" standard of size, furnishings and equipment. That was a mistake. It was clean and tidy, but so small and best described as very, very basic.

We liked the village very much and looked around quite a lot. The village is a regular French working village, with people who go to work everyday from their homes there. Since first staying there, we have come to know some of the shop keepers, who remember us and remember the things we like to buy, and even though there have been a lot of changes in the time we have been visiting. Sablet is very central as we like to do a lot of day tripping to our various points of interest.

For the last five years we have rented a house, also next to the church. It is Maison des Pelerins and it was a find. It has lots of space, wonderful views, a charming little garden and a beautiful kitchen that is equipped as well as my kitchen at home. A couple of years ago, the bedrooms were fitted with air conditioners That was nice for hot nights or afternoon naps. This house is always spotless and so well cared for, it is like coming home each time we stay. The owners are very helpful and always want to make sure that we are comfortable. It was easy for us to reserve and we got an arrival package full of information. The website is http://www.sablethome.com/.

Provence has so much to enjoy, we have stayed in a number of towns and villages over the years. There are surprises like finding a "beach" just outside Pernes les Fontianes. We were intrigued and had to take a look. It was a man made lake with a beach, but what an enjoyable hidden away little oasis. It's fun to go exploring.
 

Parigi

100+ Posts
Dear Cameron, we are looking forward to your return. I miss Richard every day. We are referring to our "secret rose garden in the Marais" as Richard's garden now.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Have a lovely trip Cameron. We stayed on the edge of the Marais last time, near the Bastille, and I liked that area. I am sorry to hear about your husband.
 

Cindy R

10+ Posts
Cameron, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope your time in Paris brings you comfort and reminders of the lovely times the two if you spent together.
 

Cameron

500+ Posts
I've been here for almost a week. Although I've had many emotional moments, I'm glad I came.

I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.

Friends here, especially Parigi, have helped so much. I do feel so much more connected to Paris now. Forever.
 

Letha

10+ Posts
Not sure how/why I missed this thread in the interim...did get an alert on my gmail today. Firstly Cameron, sorry about your loss...words are not enough....if any city can help put things in perspective, Paris is probably one of them. My one week stay back in April, was so surreal and emotional I could not talk or write about it for a while...as you know I was meeting up with my roommate from college in Bangalore who had then spent 4 years at Sorbonne on her post doc back in the 80s. She was back for two weeks too and our first meeting in Paris. This was my 4th trip to Paris, but very different...she showed me her Paris, and the Paris of Simone, Satre , Hemmigway etc. Roz I thought of you when we walked around Montparnasse, and Kathy you were on my mind as we spend a lot of time in the Citi Universitaire area. And of course the icing on the cake was that I finally met Parigi. I stayed in a studio at the Adagio Paris Montrouge, two blocks away from the University housing where my friend was staying. The studio was perfect for this kind of a stay. A place of my own when I wanted to be alone, and yet close enough to meet up and spend precious time with my friend...we usually met up at the sparkling new Mairie de Montrouge Metro station. Like Cameron, I now feel so much more connected to Paris at a different level, since my friend showed me things and told me things about her 4 years there that gave me a glimpse of Paris that I would not have seen with my tourist eyes despite all my readings on Paris and its history/literature.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
It is interesting to hear the details of your stay in Paris Letha. When you stay longer, or do a return visit, you see and experience much more than on a first visit. I know that is an obvious thing, but I think spending more time in a place lets you get past those early frustrations of not knowing how to get around, where to eat, where to shop. You find your way in a place, and then you can see things you would not have seen at first.

Some of my Facebook travel friends have been discussing Paris vs. Rome, with most of them connecting more with Rome. I like both cities.

Cameron, I am happy to hear you are feeling good about being in Paris and that you are spending time with friends there. I think this is just the right thing for you to be doing now. If you have time, tell us more about what you are doing in Paris.
 

Roz

500+ Posts
Letha, how nice that you thought of me in Montparnasse. (We had talked about Mike's and my stay in Montparnasse at a get-together last summer.)

I'm so glad you had such a good experience in Paris. I could go back there forever, although we are not going to stop on our next trip to France, which will be to Provence in October. We are spending about 10 days in Vaison-la-Romaine and a week in Nice. I like to have at least a week in Paris, so we're saving that for a future trip.
 

Letha

10+ Posts
Roz, I had read your wonderful report and recognized the Niki sculpture immediately at the cemetery! Then I realized we were walking in the area where you had stayed. I used Maps2Go a lot in Paris and so could take small streets and alleys without worrying about getting lost. That was how we meandered into a small middle eastern cafe where we had one of the best lamb couscous I had ever eaten!

Yes Pauline, return visits are so much more relaxed and not having an agenda each day also helped. I would go for morning walks usually to Parc Montsouris which was such a easy walk from where I was staying while my friend worked on her papers, and then we would meet up late morning and visits different parts of Paris that had special significance to her. Late evening we would head to Sorbonne and meet up with her husband and have dinner somewhere together. I saw so much of Marais and St. Germaine that I had not seen before too. One day we were invited for dinner to one of their colleagues place in the charonne area--another fascinating area.
 

Roz

500+ Posts
Letha is referring to the sculpture by Niki de St Phalle, one of my favorite artists, in the Montparnasse Cemetery. Here are a couple of photos -- one showing the whole statue, and another close-up with the Tour Montparnasse visible.

For anyone who doesn't know Niki, you may have seen some of her work in the fountain outside the Pompidou Museum in Paris. Her sculpture garden in Tuscany is one of the most amazing places I have ever been.

We never did get to the Parc Montsouris, although I wanted to. So much of Paris yet to see!

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