Unstable spring weather comes along with us in our journey through the South of France. The bright light of a couple of sunny days reveals some corners of the Camargue as a true flamingo paradise. There are thousands of these awesome pink feathered creatures deeping their long legs in the shallow waters of the lagoon or staining the evening skies flying around like noisy pink clouds.
Equally charming are the cranes and egrets that also live in this humid neighbourhood.
During a short hike we come face to face with a bunch of white horses that are just hanging around in the bushes and seem to be very curious to see us.
When the rain comes, we decide to drive inland to the small village Le Baux-de-Provence. There we see a magnificent multimedia Van Gogh show in the Carrieres de Lumieres, an old quarry, which is now transformed in a great art venue. The walls, floor and ceiling act as gigantic projection screens of the paintings, so entering the old quarry is effectively like walking through Van Gogh´s masterpieces. Wow!
Entering the Cote d’Azur area is like jumping into a new dimension. Yes, there’s a certain flair and Je ne sais quoi floating in the air, but also an extremely annoying animosity against camper vans, which are strictly forbidden practically everywhere. This means that it’s impossible for us to visit such iconic places as Saint Tropez or even stop along the coast to take a photo. Disappointing. Nevertheless we manage to sneak in in Cannes for a couple of hours to stroll along its luxurious promenade, next to the impossibly turquoise waters. Since it’s still pre season there is a lot of work being carried upon in the city, and as we pass by we see trucks on the beach offloading tones of white sand and a little army of Caterpillar machines spreading it along. One cannot help but wonder where is this sand coming from and if it’s just to repair the damages of a stormy winter or to ‘fakely’ paint the waters with this impossible turquoise color that we see, giving them more glitz and glamour in preparation for the film festival. Anyway, the sun is shining and the light is great.
Fortunately we manage to spend some more time in Nice, which is small cute and definitely worth a stroll. In the heart of the old city there’s a little market, flanked by cafes and restaurants that displays fresh produce, herbs, bread and plants.
Just a few steps away is the cute pebbled beach where many people enjoy the magnanimous spring sun.
The city is full of nice corners and in sum, our stay is a delight, despite the bad service we get in a somehow famous restaurant of the city, where they keep us waiting for more than an hour and seem to be too arrogant to even pronounce a word of apology. The place is called La Merenda and is not recommended, but we forget it pronto and move on.
We decide to hop on to Monaco to drive the iconic urban formula one circuit on board of Polaris, which we do at vertiginous speed (not) and we even manage to reach the casino and take a photo out of the copilot window.
And so we venture along steep, narrow and winding roads up the mountains towards Italy. After a long detour due to the fact that one of the mountain tunnels is closed, we make it to Piemonte, that welcomes us with rain and cold. Nevertheless we guess the beauty of the landscape through the lighter layers of fog. We take shelter of the rain in the Barolo museum, which takes to be a great finding, since it has an original audio visual exhibition about the famous wine of the region. In the evening we take shelter in one of the local wineries, where despite not being able to enjoy the apparently wonderful views because they have disappeared behind the fog, we have a great time, thanks to the host and owner Maria Grazia, that hosts for us an amazing wine tasting, that includes details of geography, economy, history and gastronomy of the region, all of it while tasting the wines of the property. What an amazing time we had that evening. If you are around to not hesitate to drop by at La Trava www.latrava.it. Good time guaranteed.
The day after we meet old friend Floriana and Rino and have a great time catching up, strolling through new corners of the city and having good Italian food.
On Sunday, we don’t let the rain bring us down, and apart from Floriana and Rino, we are also joined by Francesca, who knows well the interesting parts of the design fair and we have a good laugh at some of the pavilions. The memorable Ikeaaaaa will bring a smile to our faces for quite a while.