Postcards from the South of France

August 16, 2016

Rooftops of Chateaurenard

Ever since I first stepped foot in France when I was 16 years old, I felt all my Francophile dreams come true. I loved the lyrical sound of their language, the slower pace of life and an emphasis on enjoyment of all things: wine, cheese, love. After all, who couldn't deal with a little more of that in their lives? So even with apprehension about how I could eat well as a celiac in this land of croissants and crusty bread, I couldn't say no to what would become my seventh trip to this beautiful country.

In late April, we enjoyed a truly lovely Airbnb within the walls of Avignon's old town, perfectly located for exploring the city on foot. After an unfortunate start with my first day there spent in bed with a raging fever, we explored the city and took several day trips out to the surrounding areas. We saw Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Malemort-du-Comtat, Roussillon, Gourdes, the beach at Carnon, Montpellier and Lyon. There was stereotypical Provence dreaminess everywhere - great cheese and wine, charming crumbling architecture and rolling vineyards - but also many thing that surprised me, like my first-ever sighting of flamingos in the wild, the incredible, 100% gluten-free Montpellier café and Avignon risotto spot we found, and Roussillon's stunning Ochre Trail (more on that in a later blog post). The saying may be 'Paris is always a good idea', but really you can't go wrong anywhere in France. Ahh, la belle vie...

Pigeon taking flight from Avignon windowsill
Avignon Airbnb window with curtains Building with shutters in Avignon
Les Halles market exterior greenery Avignon Rue Peyrollerie Avignon
Doors of Avignon Ornate door knocker in Avignon
Overlooking city of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
VIneyard gate above Châteauneuf-du-Pape Spice shop in Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Dramatic archway in Châteauneuf-du-Pape Road to tasting room at Château Unang winery in Malemort-du-Comtat
Vines at Château Unang vineyard in Malemort-du-Comtat Dog at Château Unang vineyard in Malemort-du-Comtat
Horses at Château Unang vineyard in Malemort-du-Comtat Hillside town of Gordes, France
Carnon-Plage beach Mauguio Beach blanket supplies Carnon-Plage Mauguio
Flamingos in Palavas-les-Flots at French coast
Montpellier lit alleyway at night Montpellier building at night
Pont d'Avignon bridge on the Rhône river Spiral staircase in Avignon Architecture in Rocher des Doms Avignon
Lookout over Rhône River in Avignon Statue and church in Avignon
Place du Palais scrollwork gate in front of Musée Du Petit Palais Avignon City of Lyon along the Saône River
Passerelle Paul Couturier Bridge over Saône River in Lyon, France Church in Lyon, France
Light post in sunset along Rhône River in Avignon

Want more? See my Provence album on Flickr.

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