When I was 13, my mum took me on a epic 3 week holiday to France- just the two of us. She’d never been to Europe before and I’d started learning French at school that year so she used that as her reasoning… like she really needed to! I remember crying on my bed one day after school because of some drama that had happened and she told me to help cheer me up, despite I think initially wanting to wait till a little closer to the time to tell me.
We spent a couple of days in London before getting the Eurostar to Paris and then travelling down the middle of France – Blois, Lyon, Tournon, Avignon and Nice. Avignon is in Provence and is famous for it’s lavender but unfortunately for us, we were outside of the season. We have always talked about visiting again at the right time of year to see the spectacular purple fields. So earlier in the year when we were brainstorming about meeting up in some lovely European place for a summer getaway, Provence sounded pretty appealing! We wanted a holiday where we could hire a Air BnB for a week and not really do anything- Mum is like me and travels a lot for work so the idea of staying in one place where all you have to do is eat, drink, nap and read books was just what the doctor ordered.
We scoured the Air BnB website and found a cute looking place in a tiny town called Issirac, about a hours drive from Avignon. One of our prerequisites was a good outdoor area and a view if possible. We found something that seemed to have everything we needed and so on August 13th, Matt and I caught the train from London all the way down to Avignon where we met Mum at the train station and picked up a car. We found our way to the Air BnB which turned out to be in a little community of half a dozen or so homes on the top of a hill. The view was spectacular and it had a rustic French charm to it.
The day after we arrived, our family friend Pavel who is also a Kiwi but currently lives in Paris arrived which was nice for Matt to have another bloke to hang out with – he would have probably got sick of just Mum and I! Our week was spent with a perfect balance of ‘doing stuff’ and relaxing- most days we would get up in the morning and sit around the outside table drinking tea/coffee and having breakfast before going for a hour long walk. It was rather hot while we were there so always best to head out before the heat of the day. There were walking tracks from the commune and on the second or third day we discovered that one of them lead to a small town and then we could walk a further 20 minutes and arrive at a beautiful swimming spot in the river! So from that day onwards, we would walk there, spend a hour or so at the river and then head back.
The afternoons were normally pretty quite, spent reading, napping or playing Yahtzee (our favourite family past-time) and then each evening Matt and Pavel would start up the coal BBQ and we’d make a delicious dinner and drink a little bit too much Rose.
On the Sunday we were leaving, we headed back into Avignon to catch the train and have a little look around – our train was actually delayed by a few hours due to the fire that Southern France has been having so we had time to get Crepes and coffee and walk across the famous bridge.
We had such a lovely time, it really was the perfect summer getaway. The only disappointment? Due to the heatwave in Europe, the Lavender had been harvested early and so we missed it by just a week or two! Driving down the road from our Air BnB and seeing fields of what would have been bright purple lavender was a little bit heartbreaking BUT if we’d been there any earlier in the month I think we might not have coped with the high temperatures- we were lucky that it had cooled down enough to be bearable!
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Categories: Miss VV Around The World