Monthly Archives: June 2011

Day 23 – 25: Gordes, Village des Bories, Toulon & Le Castellet (France)

On our way back to Marseille from the Southern Rhone region, we decided to stop in Gordes (a medieval town). But just before we made our way into the town, we stopped at the “Village des Bories” about 1.5km west of Gordes. Village des Bories is made up of about 20 stone huts that go back to the 18th century. What’s impressive about the huts is that limestone and a hammer were the only items utilized to construct them (no mortar). Continue reading

Day 22: Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras & Gigondas (France)

The day I’ve been anxiously awaiting had finally arrived (a day of meandering through wine country and tasting some of France’s finest). We planned for a full day with a morning visit of Avignon followed by tastings in Chateauneuf-du-Pape (a 5-star wine region in my book), Vacquerays and Gigondas. (We actually arrived in Avignon the night before and took a few night pictures of this beautiful city). Continue reading

Day 21: Arles, Les Baux-de-Provence & Saint-Rémy-en-Provence (France)

Today we set out for a 3-day expedition around Provence (in the departments of Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhone). We’ve been hearing quite a bit about the town of Arles (about an hour drive from Marseille) so this was our first stop. This ancient town dates back to 800 BC but it was the Romans who really left their mark here and this is still evident today. Continue reading

Day 20: Marseille (France)

After relaxing in Toulon for a long weekend we decided to see more of Marseille on Day 20. The dilemma confronting us was figuring out which part of this city’s splendors we would tackle. Luckily the super hot weather aided our decision – we set out to see the corniche (the road that runs along the coast and faces the Mediterranean Sea). Continue reading

Day 16 – 19: Marseille, Toulon, Bandol & Cassis (France)

Marseille

We arrived in Marseille on Day 15 after a long travel day from Dakar via Madrid. Our layover in Spain was 5 hours (4am – 9am).. we had a few hours to kill and hoped to pass out before the early morning rush hit the airport. We passed out on the floor for about an hour and at around 6:30am the airport came to life with travelers, airport personnel and routine security announcement in every language imaginable (not cool when you’re running on only 3 hours of sleep – a few silent moments can be so precious). Continue reading

Day 13 – 14: Ngor Island and Dakar (Senegal)

Our last couple of days in Dakar were fairly mellow and served as a nice way close out our trip. On day 13, we took a half-day trip to another island off Dakar’s northern coastline. Ile de Ngor was our destination and a motorized pirogue took us there (5 min ride – 400 meters off the mainland for 500CFA). The island’s main features are its Surf Camp and numerous restaurants.  Continue reading

Day 10 – 12: Lompoul Dunes, Gandiol and Saint-Louis (Senegal)

Lompoul Dunes

On Saturday morning we set out for a weekend long adventure planned by our friends Philippe and Charlotte. On the itinerary were Lompoul’s Sand Dunes, a pit stop on the water near Gandiol and the northernmost city of St Louis – which all sounded fascinating. We left fairly early due to traffic and made it to Lompoul about 4 hours later. Getting out of Dakar and its immediate suburbs was an adventure in it of itself. Once again the road was buzzing with commerce, all types of vehicles (overloaded buses, cars, motorbikes and street vendors). Bumper to bumper traffic for the first hour is putting it lightly. Continue reading

Beautiful cobblestone streets section of town

Day 6: Lausanne (Switzerland)

Lausanne, now here’s a city that knows how to pack a punch full of character! We took a day trip to this wonderful Swiss town by taking the Ferry from Evian. It’s a 35 minute ride that would take your breath away on a sunny day. We were not as fortunate but decided to make the best of our day’s visit. Lausanne is Switzerland’s 4th largest city (pop 135,000), and it is located within the “French” part of the country. Continue reading

Day 5: Évian-les-Bains (France)

Evian, so much more than just a pretentious water brand. Today we finally tackled this old town via a historic tour and found it to be a gem nestled along Lake Geneva’s waterfront. This medieval town dates back to the 12th century and it’s also the birthplace of Evian natural mineral water which trickles down from the Alps. The wild thing is that the original source/well is still an open tourist site and anyone can just drink from it or fill up a few bottles. Continue reading