Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday 13


13 days of hols
a quick revision
click on pics to enlarge

Day 1: Getting ready to go hiking in the French Alps for a week, followed by wining, dining and sightseeing (the latter includes window shopping as well, of course!) in Rapallo and Genova (Italy) plus Marseille (France)

Day 2: Off around 8 am, first stop in Perpignan, which is the first French town after the Spanish border. Lunch in Montpellier. Heat wave didn't stay in Spain, it came along with us...

Day 3: First hiking day, found small, tasty wild strawberries along the road! and a local festival in the next village, 5 minutes by foot. They had a menu for 10 euro/ 12.7 USD which included a kir , my very favorite before dinner drink when in France, half a cantaloupe filled with port wine, a very tasty tartiflette with a pretty, very thin slice of cold, smoked ham and a wonderful floating island for dessert. Plus wine, of course! (click to enlarge)

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Day 4: Visited a cheese farm (La Chasse), specialized in producing beaufort cheese, so they had Tarantise cows, the brown ones (!). It used to be a refuge for hunters , so the name of it "La Chasse", The Hunt. Had a small guided tour of the area surrounding the farm, which happens to be in our snow ski paradise . It was a very different perspective this time! and we got to walk down the slopes. I must admit it is a lot more fun on skis, but that is a very personal opinion!

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Day 5: Four hours of hiking , walking through small villages, taking pics of the beautiful scenery, plants, alpine flowers and the like. While the mountains are absolutely quiet in the winter time when they are covered by snow, there is so much "noise" and wild activity in the summer: water falls from the mountains, bugs, animals, it was just wonderful. Remember I am a city person easily impressed by Mother Nature, never lived in the country side! The other next village had a biking festival and we couldn't possibly miss the fun . They had a simpler menu than the one on Day 3: spaghetti bolognese, crunchy slice of fresh bread, a peach and a glass of wine. For 6 euros/ 7.7 USD.

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Day 6: Highlight of the day was to see a small fox early in the morning right in front of our window, but it took me long seconds to get my camera ready and I could only get his back... Use your imagination, click to enlarge and maybe you can see him too!

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Day 7: Hiking to Lac (lake) de Lou. Handycraft festival in the afternoon, which had an early end due to a thunder storm.
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Day 8. Hiking!! wanted to visit an old mill but took a short walk instead due to a very dark sky and high risk of thunder storms again. So we took the car in the afternoon to visit a near by ski center which is not connected to "ours" in the winter time: Valmorel. Temperature dropped from 27ºC/80ºF to 12ºC/53ºF on our short way back!

Day 9: left the mountains heading to Italy. There is a tunnel connecting the ski stations in France with Turin, Italy, but we took the Col de L'Iseran (2,770 m/9,090 ft, the second highest pass of the Alps, my source of information is Mr Mar but he doesn't remember which one is the highest ...) and enjoyed the beautiful scenery! Watched all those bikers work hard their way up the mountain and enjoy the way down... Arrival in Rapallo, Italian Riviera, beautiful place, many tourists, excellent ice cream!

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Day 10: Walk through Rapallo and another ice cream for Mr Mar before leaving to Genova. His very favorite: hazelnuts and lemon. Dinner at a great terrace right next to the Med. Great atmosphere is just too little to say, it was wonderful! Couldn't take my digital cam along since it was a rather formal event (the blogger in me suffered through the whole thing because I wanted to photograph everything! but the party lady enjoyed the evening very much!)

Day 11: Walking in Genova. I took many pictures which I will share shortly! and then off to Marseille, driving along the Cote d'Azur with the fancy exits: Monaco, Nice, Cannes...

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Day 12: Marseille, oh la la! Wonderful dinner overlooking the Vieux Port (old port) and a beautiful sunset as the prettiest decorative element.
Day 13: lunch with this beautiful view of the old port in Marseille (right picture) speaking French ( I tried my best) and back home in a little over 5 hours, traffic wasn't bad at all! Stay tuned for more pics !

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45 comments:

  1. what a wonderful vacation to be had! includes all of my favourite activities: hiking, dining with wine (por supuesto!), eating gelato, and spending time in nature, not to mention the shopping possibilities in north Italy (the epicenter of European fashion!) The pictures look gorgeous!! Looking forward to seeing more.

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  2. ::::sigh:::::
    wish i was there!
    thanks for sharing.
    my tt is up.

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  3. Oh my what a wonderful vacation. I am envious of all the wonderful sights and tastes and everything else.
    Welcome home bella we missed you !!

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  4. You have done way more than I have lately! Sounds like an excellent trip!

    My Thursday Thirteen is up!

    Happy Thursday!

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  5. Aside from all that hiking ;) it sounds like you had a wonderful time. that's the great thing about living in Europe, other countries and places are close by!

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  6. It sounds wonderful. You should have taken me! I need the exercise! The only area I've hiked was down in Garmisch.
    BTW: As of September 1, I have my official German Kennel name of Dackel Princess!

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  7. What a great trip you had. Really something special to look back on!

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  8. It looked like our honeymoon. The berry pictures in particular.

    My TT is up.

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  9. Sounds like a great time!
    We toured Europe for a month during the summer I was 7 in a yellow volkswagen bug with Massachusetts plates. I loved the food, the people, the shops, just everything!!
    Ah... the memories your trip evokes...
    xo
    LBC

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  10. Sounds wonderful! The pictures are very nice, I love all the different looks for each place. The fountain looks very inviting! Thanks for sharing your trip!
    MY T13 is up. Happy Thursday!

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  11. Those are wonderful lists. I love all your holidays from Day 1 to 13 and such lovely pictures taken. Not everyone gets this kind of a chance.
    My TT13 is up too.

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  12. Thanks for sharing!

    Makes me want to travel and travel some more!

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  13. Wow, how wonderful and fun. Always love your pictures too. Thanks for the mini vacation that I was able to take in my mind.

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  14. You are making me jealous! That was surely a very enjoyable vacation.

    Have a great day!

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  15. I can't believe the life you lead! I love the mix of hiking and dining...fox and berries!

    I have corn and Aretha at my place.

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  16. Mar - your vacation looks incredible. Thanks for sharing all of the lovely pics...

    And well although I wish I would get my lazy butt in the pool, I've been walking, getting a t-shirt tan and having fun with photography.

    I guess I could with 2.5 hrs of time, but I haven't... lol

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  17. I was going to say "ooh great list, mine is up".

    But instead I'd just like to say:

    I hate you. Seriously.

    (Sorry, I don't handle envy well)

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  18. Happy TT. mine are up with pics too!

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  19. I wanna be there!!! What outstanding travels! Thanks for sharing - and for visiting my TT!

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  20. OK...I've decided that if I can ever afford it, I'm flying over to see you so that I can get one of these awesome tours in person!

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  21. What a wonderful vacation you had! Loved the beautiful pictures! The one of the house on day four, is so charming, makes my mind wonder who lives there, how long it's been there, etc....I love to know the "story" behind such places.

    Beautiful photos Mar, looking forward to seeing more!! Happy Thursday!

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  22. Welcome back Mar! Sounds like you had a thouroughly wonderful time with lots of hiking! Loved your little pics of your hols. The scenery looks stunning.

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  23. Okay, that is IT! I HAVE to read through your blog more to learn about your trip. HOW COOL! Was this on your own or by tour? Do you travel like this often?

    I hate to be selfish, but I would love to do something like this someday, W/O my kids. How awesome! ;)

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  24. Awwwwwwww Man! I want your vacation Mar! It sounds wonderful!
    Just wonderful.

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  25. Wow, I really enjoyed your TT list! What incredible pictures. Thanks for sharing your trip!

    My TT is up. :)

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  26. Oh My!!! What a lovely trip, so far, my dear Mar...You & Mr. Mar are wonderfully adventurous! And I LOVE all the pictures...I did see that Fox...I think you did very very well getting anything of him!
    Can't wait to see more...!

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  27. Great post!
    Thank you for sharing your vacation with us!
    That was really nice..
    Great pictures...

    My TT is up

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  28. The trip sounds wonderful. Would love to visit some of those places.

    My TT is up.

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  29. Great list!! Thanks for dropping by my TT!!

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  30. I feel like I was along for the trip.
    Beautiful post with great pics.
    Always enjoy visiting.
    Take care,
    Frances

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  31. I LOVE YOUR POST!!! I have lived in France, and Germany, and summered in Italy, and your post made me so hungry to go back. Not only for the food, and as you say, Italian gelati or French bread or any European coffee, but for the breathtaking landscapes! Aren't they are miracle? Well, I'm very glad you visited my blog, and I look forward to visiting yours again too. Happy travels!

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  32. Sounds like a great vacation! Happy TT!

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  33. You're home!

    What a wonderful 13, my dear.....

    Yet another fabulous trip by the Mar family........

    280 photos??????

    :-)

    cq

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  34. What a lovely holiday--and you must be in great shape!

    Thanks for visiting my TT.

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  35. I'm jealous!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  36. wow I haven't been in Italy or France for many years.. (been too many times since I'm from Greece)
    so you went right next to my country huh?? Why didnt you take meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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  37. Sounds like you had a great vacation. What a nice way to spend the summer. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

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  38. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. I feel like I was there, so rich are your words and images!

    I popped in from Michele's this morning. She wishes you a lovely Friday; as do I.

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  39. Lovely - sounds like a great active and cultured vacation you had! I'd be jealous but it's a sin! I've only been to France, England and Ireland (small bit of Germany). Some day! Have a good one!

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  40. Oooohhh what an adventure!! You make me want to live in Europe. One of these days....

    Hugs!!

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  41. That trip sounded just awesome, I'm green of envy....

    Italy..... *dreaming*

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  42. Welcome home, Mar! What a great vacation you had - wish I was there too!

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  43. Wow! You really had an awesome time on your vacation & I loved hearing about it/seeing the wonderful photos. Thank you so much for sharing them! *s*

    Have a great weekend!

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  44. Aren't vacations wonderful! It looks like this will be remembered as a favorite and the photos will always be there to remind you of all the good times.

    I am just back from a week in Oregon which is one of my favorite places for hiking. . . although my hiking is very limited now.

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