The drive back over the French Boarder is amazing. It is one of the best coastal drives you can do in Europe. The road hugs the coast all the way from Genoa at the heart of the Italian Riviera to just past Nice in the heart of the French Riviera. We couldn’t believe that the road hasn’t been closed off or re-routed to make way for resorts and houses. The scenery is amazing and it’s not hard to see why this area is often rated as one of the best views in the world. As the road is narrow there aren’t many stopping places so unfortunately it was hard to get any good photos.
After crossing the border back into France at Menton, just near Monaco, we virtually re-traced our steps from our last visit here in 2007. We drove past Monaco, Aze & Nice….who would have thought that 5 years later we would have thrown caution to the wind and be driving wher’dmadaygo’ down Promenade des Anglais in Nice on our 2 year gaunt of Europe? We didn’t stop in these places as “been there, done that”, but it did bring back some great memories of our 2007 trip.
Antibes is a great fortified town and being on the Riviera has an equally impressive marina. The annual Antibes Boat Show was on when we were in town and decided to rub shoulders with the rich & famous for an afternoon. If you have a cool 400million Euro to spend then you can pick yourself up a very nice boat, which comes with a matching helicopter, Ferrari & “James Bond” speed boat. We couldn’t find anything we like that matched where’dmadaygo so decided to not place an order….lol
The drive to Avignon was not the prettiest in our opinion. TOM-TOM took us via a very windy National Park which reminded us of the S.A. scrub, some might love it, but we didn’t think much of it. Our reward when arriving in Avignon was a great campsite, right opposite Pont d’Avignon and the Papal Palace – awesome view. On our journey further south our lunch stop was Arles, this is where Van Gough lived for a few years and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time here.
In true Rose and Paul style we never really know where we are going to spend the night and often do little research, we kinda just hit the road with a rough plan and see how we feel and how far we get. So we ended up in Agde, which also happens to be a naturist seaside resort (i.e. nudist resort) and hence is nicknamed the “Naked City”…… GULP! It’s totally acceptable to wear just your birthday suit to lunch, dinner, shopping, getting your hair done, riding a bike – oh can you just imagine??? Where would you put your keys & wallet? I was a little afraid to get of my bicycle as I didn’t know where to sit! Thank goodness the weather was coldish so we luckily didn’t see any “francs and beans” or “oranges in footy socks”.
Cather Country was our next stop for a few days and again we had a great campsite in Carcassonne with a Million Dollar view of the ‘Cité de Carcassonne’ from our pitch. It’s a “Disneyland Fairy Tale“ type fortified old city with a castle and was used as a strong defense on the French frontier in 1247 against the Kingdom of Aragon (now Spanish) and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The real highlight of our time here was finding a winery called Rose & Paul. We of cause did the obligatory taste test and purchased as much as we could fit onto the motorbike. It’s a family run winery and has an interesting history. Paul (the grandfather) went off to the war and Rose (the grandmother) had to attend to the vineyard all by herself for years. Paul returned from the war and they eventually increased the size & quality of the vines.
It’s a great love story and business story here’s there website if you want to know more about their wines.
Domaine Rose & Paul
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