Chamonix, Annecy, and the Alps Trip Report with Katie and Nathan
In the second installment of my conversation with Katie and Nathan, they tell us about their visit to Chamonix, Annecy, Alps and also their excursions to the Aiguille du Midi and the Mer de Glace. Katie and Nathan are from Durham, North Carolina. She’s 26 and a teacher and he’s 29 and a mechanical engineer. They visited France in June 2016.
This is the 2nd part of a 3-part series with Katie and Nathan:
Ep. 120 was on Colmar and Alsace.
Epi. 121 this week is on Chamonix, Annecy, and the Alps.
Ep. 122 next week is going to be on Verdon Gorge, Provence, and Carcassonne.
Let’s go to Provence and Chamonix with Matt, his wife and two daughters. Matt tells you what it takes to have a grand time in France with your children and shares what their greatest day in France was and why. Let me warn you: it is NOT on any of the top 10 lists you may have read, this is one of those places that turns out to be a wonderful surprise.
Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
Places Mentioned on the Show: Provence and Chamonix, Toulouse, Port-Lauragais Rest Stop, Tarrascon, Beaucaire, Carrières de Lumière, Château des Baux de Provence, Côtes du Rhone Wine Driving Tour, Saintes Maries de la Mer, Tiki in Camargue, Vaison-la-Romaine, Suzette, Arles, Bull Games in Arles, Van Gogh Easles, Lubéron, Abbey de Sénanques, Joucas, Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon, Le Pont du Gard, Musée Haribo (Uzès), Annecy, Alpine Slide, Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi, Mer de Glace, Le Brévent, La Flégère
French Tip of the Week: “attrape-couillon” = something that catches suckers.
4:35′ They had to drive through Toulouse, why didn’t they stop?
5:30′ If you park your car somewhere in France loaded with luggage, will you get robbed? How can you avoid that?
7:10′ Why is the speed limit around cities so low?
9:45′ The Rest Stop Matt mentions near Carcassonne is called Port-Lauragais.
11:30′ Tarrascon, not a touristy city, but a central location.
13:10′ Provence Markets, Six kinds of tapenade and Brandade de Morue.
15:00′ Beaucaire, its market, differences between life in Provence and the South West of France. Cicadas are loud indeed!
17:10′ Carrières de Lumière at Baux de Provence.
21:10 Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. You could also get on a Tiki boat to see the Camargue from the marsh. The church is a must-see if you go!
24:20′ Vaison-la-Romaine, that one was a bust for them because the kids had seen enough Roman Ruins! They weren’t impressed with French pizza either.
25:30′ Côte du Rhone wine driving tour and the town of Suzette. Rosé Côte du Rhone. How wine is priced in France and what wines get exported.
28:00′ Arles and the Bull Games. Those are no-kill bull races where men run around trying to get ribbons off the horns of the bull. Family-friendly atmosphere.
31:00′ Parking in France is a lot easier when you know how to parallel park!
32:15′ French Tip of the Week: “attrape-couillon” = something that catches suckers.
33:00′ Lubéron. They intended to see Gordes, Joucas and Roussillon, but Gordes was too crowded, there was nowhere to park at Abbeye de Sénanque so they just saw it from the road. Parking can be a problem in those super popular areas. They stopped at Joucas and enjoyed it, there is a nice playground there.
36:09′ Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon, this is a ocre cliff hike, 45mn, fairly easy.
38:35′ Pont du Gard and Haribo Museum Kids weren’t impressed with the bridge, we discuss some ways to make it better.
42:00′ They rented an apartment right in the middle of Annecy and loved it!
44:00′ Tartiflette and Reblochon and many other cheeses such as Gruyère, Tome de Savoie, Beaufort, Cantal. What were the kid’s favorite foods on this trip? Saucisse de Toulouse, Merguez.
48:00′ Luge, cows and bells. How you buy local cheese or wine from locals in France.
49:20′ How 4th of July and Bastille Day events compare. Hint: Bastille Day isn’t much to write home about!
52:00′ Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace, magical activities. The other side is Le Brévent and Flégère, this was probably their favorite day in the whole trip!
French Alps, Episode 59
This week we head to the French Alps with tour designer Cynthia Caughey. She lives in the Alps part-time with her French husband and has come to know it very well. Her company offers two tours: one is the Alps exclusively, and the other is French Alps and Provence. On the show we discuss both and I must say they sound like fun and action-packed tours, yet accessible to all. One of the attractions they take their visitors to is the Carrières de Lumières at Les-Baux-de-Provence, which I highly recommend (lots of photos on the website).