Our first glimpse of France was as we drove through the Alps from Italy to Spain. The region was a riot of Autumn colours and was breathtakingly beautiful. Crisp mornings with lots of sunshine…. I didn’t want to leave.
Aside from beautiful towns such as the fairytale Carcassone (below) we also got to see the Roman’s Pont du Gard which I remember learning about in Year 13 Classical Studies.
Back in France, after Spain, and another beautiful area were the neighbouring Quercy and Dordogne regions. Small villages, food markets and a more relaxed way of life that makes France one of our favourite countries. The biggest highlight of this area was going to the incredible Peche Merle cave. There are numerous caves with pre-historic drawings in this area but this one was special in that it contains a footprint of one of the artists, pearls formed by falling water and was just mindblowing in its size and all the natural formations it contains. Your not allowed to take photos though so you will just have to Google it.
We also saw so many incredible old chateaus and watched the All Blacks beat France in a bar. The publican was pretty excited to have some kiwis there and we enjoyed some good natured heckling with the locals…. especially when we finally synched the win.
As we made our way up to Normandy, we stopped at Mont Saint Michel, a tiny medieval village built at the end of a causeway and with a population of approximately 65.
Our last big stop in Europe was Paris, one of my favourite places. We went to most of the big sights, but as we had both been before we really enjoyed walking around some areas we hadn’t been to before.
A Paris highlight for me was adding a padlock with our names on it to the bridge for lovers and throwing the keys into the water and of course, seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night.