Our visit to Provence & Marseille: Day 1 in Lubéron

We moved around Europe quite a bit since last year, so for this summer, we decided to stay here in France. This was an opportunity for me to discover the Provence region and I wasn’t disappointed at all! The region which is called Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (PACA) in French has so many things to offer ; the Southern Alps, gorgeous beaches on the Mediterranean shore, lavender fields, olive groves, pine forests, one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe, the Verdon Gorge,  cute little villages across Luberon and much more…

We decided to visit the region because my husband’s uncle lives in Aix en Provence and we hadn’t visited him since I moved here. We also have friends living in Marseille, and we had lots of fun on our previous visit and couldn’t wait to do it again.

On our first day, we visited the Lubéron region. There are many hill villages around the valley to visit but we just had one day so we stopped to see only three.

Our first stop was Bonnieux, a little and pretty village at 425 meters overlooking the valley. We spent around an hour just walking around admiring the architecture.

Our next stop was Gordes, who has been listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France.

By the time we reached there, it was already lunch time so we decided to eat before our visit. We decided to enter the first restaurant that we could find a place as it was so crowded every where. We found Casa Rosario, an Italian restaurant not really far away from the castle. They have a variety of Italian dishes at reasonable prices and a very cute terrace so I would recommend this place if you are craving Italian food 🙂 We went for pizzas and wasn’t disappointed at all!

We walked around, getting lost in the tiny streets, and once again admiring our surroundings. Near Gordes, you can visit village des Bories, where you can see little round stone huts used by shepherds.

Another sight not to miss near Gordes is the Senanque Abbey, surrounded by lavender fields. Unlike us, you can visit the inside of the abbey for 7,5 euros.

We ended the day at Roussillon; another cute little village famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments found in the clay nearby. You can walk in the “Sentier des Ochres” (Ochres path) which guarantees spectacular, dreamy sights. The entrance to the Sentier is 5 euros and you have two options; long or short tour. They told us that the long tour takes around 45 minutes and the short one 20. However, we managed to finish the long tour in around 30 minutes at an easy pace so, be aware that you might find it kind of short 🙂

As you can see we managed to see lots of wonderful sights in one day, but I will surely go back to see everything that we couldn’t see! If you are visiting the Provence region of France Lubéron is definitely a must see.

Update: I’m finally back

I am back after a busy year away and I promise (mostly to myself) this time for good! Since my last post on this blog, I have been to Austria, Sweden, Finland, Turkey, back to Barcelona, Pyrénées for skiing, Provence region and many more. I will try to summarize these trips in one post. There are many new things happening in my life and I am hoping to document them regularly from now on. Until my new post (which will appear here very shortly!), see you later and bisous from Provence!

Weekend Away: Barcelona!

I haven’t been able to write for a long time, but here I am back! Last Thursday was a bank holiday in France and most people took off their Fridays as well to have a mini holiday. My husband went away to the north of France with his friends for a “boys only” weekend, and I took the advantage to go and visit one of my best friends (and my once flatmate) Lea, who lives in Barcelona right now.

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My friend Lea and me being silly

 

I will be honest you from the beginning, we didn’t go through all of the tourist landmarks (except the REAALLLLY important ones) because we didn’t see each other for a year so we needed some catching up to do! By catching up I mean drinking “cava” and shopping, of course :p As the years go by ( I have the right to say this, I just turned 28!!) you start to realize the importance of just taking your time to be with friends, especially if you are away from most of your friends like me. So I think I need to go to Barcelona again in the near future, this time as a tourist! 🙂

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View from Lea’s appartement!

Also, because I don’t have any chance, it rained all the time while I was there. It rained for four days. In Barcelona. According to people who live there, it’s like the most improbable thing to happen, especially in May, and it happened while I was visiting. Lovely. Meanwhile, it was 27 degrees and sun all over France. This is not fair 😦

Even though I couldn’t visit everywhere I wanted, I was really impressed with what I managed to see. Even residential buildings were super pretty, with a unique style of architecture.

Although it feels a bit crowded after Bordeaux, it’s not annoyingly overcrowded. The people and their attitudes made me think a bit of my home country Turkey, I think it might be a Mediterranean thing.

Local food is cheaper when compared to France, obviously if you try to avoid super touristic places. 3-4 plates of tapas and glass of cava cost us around 15 euros in general (so 30 in total for 2).

All in all, although it rained every day and the weather was chilly I enjoyed my time in Barcelona a lot. I already started to plan my next visit, wishing it will be under the sun this time!

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Very Touristy Paris Trip

Last week of January my mother and sister came to visit us. This is their third time visiting me in France but the first 2 times everyone was so busy with our wedding  that we didn’t have the time to show around a lot, except Bordeaux -which is where we live- and Nantes-where my husband’s family lives, also the wedding was there-. People usually do it the other way around, most first time visitors usually prefer going to Paris. Which is understandable, because I mean, it’s Paris! However, I think if you have the chance and time, visiting other cities in France before Paris is a better idea.

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Notre Dame de Paris

Nearly everyone who visits Paris for the first time says something between the lines of “people were so rude”, “you can see that they understand English but didn’t respond to us” etc. Let’s face it, Paris is always filled with huge amount of tourists and it might be annoying sometimes if you are a local trying to get on with your day. I’m not saying that this justifies being rude but it’s the same case nearly in every big city in the world. So I would suggest first visiting other cities if you tend to succumb to your prejudices easily :p

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Nativity scene from Poland was on display in Notre Dame. Super cute!

The last time my mother visited Paris was in the 90’s and it was a first time for my little sister. So we tried to do all the Paris basics (as fast as we can since we had just 2 days!) inevitably. Notre Dame, Conciergerie, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Sacré Coeur and Montmartre then finally, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysée. We had such a great time! Hope you like my not so professional photos 🙂

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My sister&I

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Venus de Milo
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Sacré Coeur
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Place de la République
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Place de la République
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“Tossed but not sunk” Place de la République. This was made after the November attacks.
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View from Sacré Coeur

Around me

I have been living in Bordeaux since October 2014. It’s a very pretty and organised city, and as most of you may know, is famous for its wines.

Local food in Bordeaux is heavily influenced by South Western French cuisine,  because, well it is in the South West of France. You can find good quality patés, confits, terrines, magret and many products linked to poultry. Foie gras, which is fattened duck or goose liver is produced a lot in this region (although I’m not a big fan of this as I hate the taste of liver.) You can also taste some world famous oysters -huitres- in Arcachon, which is like 45 minutes drive from Bordeaux, by the Atlantic Ocean.

Another local delicacy is “canelé” which is a “small French pastry with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust” according to Wikipedia. When first heard its name I thought it would have a cinnamony taste (because cinnamon is “canelle” in French) however I was surprised to find out that it has a taste like nothing else. Like seriously if you would ask me to describe how it tastes I could probably just tell you “surprising”. The texture is nothing like I imagined and it has a very distinct taste. I am planning on finding a recipe to try and do it at home, will make a post about it if I do. You can see what they look like on the picture below.

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©phalenebdlv/Flickr

The area that I live is called Talence, imagine it like another town (has its own post code) but it’s like 10 minutes away from Bordeaux city center, just next to it. There isn’t much that goes on in here, besides the fact that University Of Bordeaux has its campus here. There is also a private business school. So there are a lot of students as you can imagine, but it’s usually pretty calm. That’s why I love here, it’s not noisy, there’s a big park next to our building and we are so close to city center!

I guess this is it for my first post! I will try to update this with new pictures of Bordeaux when I can. Ciao for now!