France · 7 Days · 32 Moments · July 2016

Al Bates

Fabulous France

18 July 2016

The street of many horrors.
What a moving afternoon. Jon and I wandered the promenade that just three days earlier over 80 innocent people were brutally murdered. It doesn't seem real. We both shed tears and joined the locals in their mourning. Such a scar on such a beautiful place.
What an extraordinary city/country place. It clings to the rocks edge and is such a tiny municipality it's bizarre it's still independent. Incredible place to visit mind. We walked back to the station and decided to make a stop off on the way back to Cannes to Nice. So very much a change in tempo for the day.
Pretending to be loaded in Monte Carlo casino.
Even the casino is stunning!
It was basically compulsory for us to work out where the formula one track runs like nerds. I pretended to drive down a section.
Anyone for some property?! Jeeeeezzzz...!
Lots of wandering about - what a beautiful place!
The beautiful cathedral where all the Monacan royalty have been married and crowned. Today it's lit in the French tri-colour. A tribute to the victims in Nice.
This place is crazy... Like is it real? It's basically Vegas but organic.
Our first stop was the castle. Having heard that the changing of the guard happens at 11am we marched from the station up the hill in the morning heat. Only to be told it wasn't happening today. However... What was happening was a special memorial service for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack. Dignitaries lined up and it was a very sobering affair.
Day trip to a new country today... Monaco! Here we are on the train to Monte Carlo. I've decided against a whole new Journi blog just for one day!

17 July 2016

The glamour never ends. Another famous French city. We cycled into Cannes from our campsite and pretended to be celebs outside the film festival site. We spent the rest of the afternoon lapping up the rays on the beach... With quite a few others!
Ready to hit the road. Next stop... Cannes!
Up and early to hit the Port Grimaud market. A few cheeky pieces picked up but the prices aren't cheap!

16 July 2016

Opposite us is a suspiciously small caravan. Pretty sure Mr Frodo is in town.
We enjoyed dinner whilst the northerners opposite spent a good hour trying to tune their satellite television. TV circa 1998. All the essentials.
After a cycle back it was time for an evening swim. Ahh getting back into the travelling now!
I think we blended in fairly well. Cheeky glass of Rose!
Oh hi... You caught me casually about to go shopping in Chanel.
I think I look the part? We oogled at the posh boats and pretended we were loaded.
We arrived just before lunch to St Tropez. We briefly repeated yesterday's campsite finding fun - the first site was full. We drove around the bay to Port Grimaud and found a busy but with space campsite right on the seafront. Beautiful! We had lunch and got ready to cycle into St Tropez to explore ☀️
Onwards further south and not so far today ... Thankfully! Another one of JBs urgent wee stops was quite scenic as the landscape gets rather Mediterranean!

15 July 2016

With yesterday's news still unfolding we left Lyon to travel south. Having read that Avignon would be a great stop - a lovely medieval city - we headed that way. With two inner city campsites it sounded great... Apart from there was a festival on and both campsites were full to the brim... 😕 After a long day of driving this wasn't ideal! I found another campsite outside Avignon and we headed there. Yep... Full. We kept going further out until we found a nice campsite that had room! Exhausted all we did was cycle to Lidl so no photos...!

14 July 2016

At 10.30 we wandered down to the promenade where lots of locals were gathered listening to live music ready for the fireworks. The impressive display lasted 20 minutes - Lyon's main promenade was packed with families all cheering and celebrating Bastille Day.
The fireworks display ended with a projection of the French flag on the main buildings. There was jubilation and then a mad dash for the trains. We joined the busy crowds filing into the metro - lots of fireworks being let off in random places and a lot of police with guns around. I had a feeling of not quite being safe. What we didn't know was at this exact time, not too far away in Nice, a terrorist attack of horrific nature was taking place at an identical event. My phone started buzzing probably 10 minutes after the attacks from worried friends and family in case we had been in Nice. I have no words as to how we felt. Numb and shocked. How could someone have so much evil in them? Just awful. What a way to taint such a celebration.
After an afternoon getting lost in Lyon and a few torrential down pours we found this cute little side restaurant for a meal and some local wine! The restaurant cat decided to clean itself next to me. Don't be fooled though it was a vicious thing..!
We had lunch up on the hill sat inside the Roman amphitheater in the sun - great spot for people watching and views over the city. Beautiful!
The sun's out and time to explore Lyon! Although... It did rain earlier so a precautionary poncho has been packed! The city is beautiful and French and perfect for a wander. It's also a public holiday - Bastille day!

13 July 2016

Another long day of driving towards Lyon using a mix of back roads and toll roads. New tyres helping! We reached our campsite and pitched up using JBs GCSE French. We then proceeded with boring tasks such as fixing this fancy new fly screen for the door - with magnet closing... Oooooooh.

12 July 2016

After a lovely 10day trip to the UK to see our fabulous new niece Jessica and to attend cheer competition... It's time to head back out on the road. And as I'm writing this two weeks later ... It's been pretty good! Apologise for the blog delay. Our ferry was a little late but we manage to power on to Reims - fighting the tiredness as we went. I had a nasty cold all day, bit rubbish.