Ah, la vie en rose (ou quelquechose comme ca). It all sounds tres tres bucolic. I'm guessing you've heard of our rather bloody spring equinox weather. Stay where you are until you can, is my advice. Ou si vous voulez dire - restez la, en Provence, parce-que le temps a la Nouvelle Zealande, c'est insupportable. En fait, c'est merde.
Jackie, I feel your pain. As usual when we travel, I'm saying "why don't we move here?" Perhaps this time I can persuade Karren. She hates that equinoxial wind.
Mummy says the f-word in our car sometimes, in strange cities, or when someone is being particularly obtuse.
Les enfants are always very, very quiet when that happens.
It happened a week ago, on a Taranaki back road, when one of the tyres was making that ominous rattling sound.
"Fcuk!" I said.
By myself (husband still in Wellington), three children in the station wagon, boot full of luggage, flat tyre, no cell phone coverage.
Fortunately, there was a house nearby, and equally fortunately, the owner, Francois, was working in his front yard. He wandered over, said hello, and started changing the wheel. Bless him. I can change tyres, when pushed, but I have never fancied having a go at it on the station wagon. Thank goodness for Francois.
I've always fancied Provence. When I was living in Vevey, by Lac Leman, I was just a stones throw away, and went through it a couple of times, but never never got to stay there. It does appeal! Speaking of winds, don't they have that dastardly Mistral there, or is that in the Dordogne?
Oh Deborah, that is terrible. Those Taranaki roads can be splendidly isolated - but not when there's problems with the car!
David we did the same thing three weeks ago. Two kids in a car, driving from Turin into the Provencal mountains and down through Digne-les-Bains and into Cote d'Azur. Completely agree with your views on Nice etc. Lovely to look at but having stayed there at a conference three years ago, the ever-present Russian hookers along the main drag (pun intended), make it a pretty sleezy place, and too many people. We far prefer the less organised but more earthy Italy of Piedmont than Provence.
I remember long drives with my parents many years ago - the abiding memory is of playing I-spy all the time. These days with me behind the wheel, there are far too many "Fuck!" as we miss a turn and end up driving an extra 10 miles down the autostrada.
It's nice to know someone else has the same problems of navigation and worrying about where to stay the night, and your experience in Lyon may also happen as ours did in Turin and Toulouse.
Enjoy the trip. It is so good for your daughter's education
September in Montpelier a decade or so ago, saw the most impressive, noisy & violent thunder & lightning storm, I have ever encountered. Truly, I thought we'd rise to a vista blasted like a war zone (no damage whatsoever in fact). People at our hotel were screaming in terror.
The locals told me they get them all the time.
Much as I want you and your lovely family to come back, I wouldn't recommend it. This place is totally crap at the moment. So crap even gin isn't helping.
Hey man, you shouldn't do that
Don't you know you'll stain the carpet
hope it was the Joy Division version.
thier last ever gig y'know.
whoever said Ian Curtis never has a sense of humour.
i'm sure he would've hated Nice too.
rice harvest this weekend, if i ever get this fcuking work finished...just like Sister Ray said.
Which makes me wonder WTF we think we're doing talking about spending $3 billion on a new Auckland harbour crossing... THREE BILLION??
I've just flown in from Brisbane (and boy, are my arms tired!) and once again have been disheartened to be reminded (again) just how badly Auckland sucks when it comes to infrastructure. We couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery without first getting umpteen reports on how the piss up should be organised, staged, and what harm minimisation steps need to be taken to alleviate the possible negative effects a piss up could have on some sectors of the community.
Brisbane have a direct link by train to the Gold Coast BUT ALSO have a four lane motorway because they recognise that people will use cars too. It's fantastic, the lanes are wide and the traffic flows smoothly. They also have more than one motorway to get you across the city. Compare that with Auckland who have essentially only one motorway dissecting the city. All cars must travel to the motorway to get anywhere.
And yes, the Transit Police have decided that the best place to put a second harbour crossing is right next to the existing harbour crossing, so that money can be saved by using the existing motorway as the approach to this second harbour crossing. Take a moment to reflect on that wisdom!
And because the Transit Police don't actually want to build a second harbour crossing (because they're actually anti car greenies) they've priced it at 300 BILLION so hopefully we'll be too scared to agree to it. Much better value to spend 100 billion on buses eh?
My apologies to non-Aucklanders bored with us talking about transport woes (but better than property eh?)
Oh yes, I went to France last year, god its beautiful, and made me very sad when I returned home. The French treasure their history but aren't afraid of building new infrastructure when required. They just make a point of making it beautiful ...
er ... how did i end up on this blog?
pls ignore post above ...
2 years in Vieux Nice working on the English radio in Monaco. 1 advertiser from Biot burnt his shop and his wife to the ground to claim double insurance. But 10 minutes back from the sea in the arriere pays the real Provence refuses to die and property prices are surprisngly low