So the kids and I had a two week holiday in April and we pestered the husband so much that he finally took a week off to spend with us and go on vacation.
However, deciding on a destination is not easy with a family of five strong willed people and the only thing that we could all agree on was that we were sick and tired of the cold, wet, dreary weather here in Paris.
So at the last minute, we jumped in the car and took off for the south of France, in search of the sun and warmer temperatures.
First stop – Dijon
Yes, the city of mustard – lol. But it’s much more than that – the city actually dates back to the Roman period. It was an economic and political powerhouse from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and still is home to the University of Burgundy’s main campus.
The city has wonderful medieval architecture and the streets are charming, narrow and paved with cobblestones.
We were able to stay in a cute apartment that we booked through the Home Away website – it was only a few blocks from the city center and even had private parking for our car.
Unfortunately we did not find better weather. This is a definite place to return to when summer finally arrives! We want to go back and explore the city in greater detail – and of course sit on the inviting terraces and people watch.
So back in the car we went. And once we passed Lyon the temperature changed, went up 10 degrees (Celsius of course) and the sun came out! Everyone’s mood improved drastically – so much so that we began loudly singing in the car, much to Manu’s dismay. LOL
Next stop – Arles
This city was fascinating. It dates back to the Roman times and still has several remnants of that era, such as an amphitheatre similar to the one in Rome. This one too was built for chariot races and hand to hand combat.
Crazy but the small coliseum is smack in the middle of the city – just walk right up the street and there it is!
We were rather awed to be walking where gladiators and ancient Romans trod – and the site is still in use today for special events such as bull fights and concerts.
We spent a couple of hours just in the amphitheatre – exploring and imagining what it must have been like in ancient times.
It was a little creepy, but in a cool sort of way, to walk where gladiators went to their deaths. Hey, we have a little morbid streak ….. sorry.
Even my jaded teenagers were impressed – and agreed that we needed to go see the coliseum in Rome one day. But now they were ready to move on to the next stop.
And onward to the Pont du Gard
My husband had visited this site some 30 years ago and couldn’t believe how much and yet how little things had changed. The biggest change is that access to the top tier is no longer available – he once walked along the aquaduct without railings! No thank you for me!!
It was built as part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50-kilometer system built in the first century AD to carry water from a spring to a Roman colony. It is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts, and one of the best preserved.
It is an amazing feat of engineering and I am impressed with how the Romans built this without modern technology. And it is still standing, strong and sturdy.
The girls enjoyed splashing in the water and sun bathing on the rocks – a nice break from the car.
We definitely want to return to canoe down the river and swim. The water was a little too cold for that on this trip. But the whole area was so beautiful and peaceful –
And then we went to Aix-en-Provence ………