Katie and Nathan’s favorite area of France were the Verdon Gorge, Provence and Carcassonne. They loved the hikes, the Mediterranean, the friendly people they ran into, the food, the wine, the whole experience was fantastic. Katie and Nathan are from Durham, North Carolina. She’s 26 and a teacher and he’s 29 and a mechanical engineer.
This is the third part of a 3-part series with Katie and Nathan:
Ep. 120 is on Colmar and Alsace.
Ep. 121 next week is going to be on Chamonix, Annecy, and the Alps.
Ep. 122 the week after that is going to be on Verdon Gorge, Provence, and Carcassonne.
Places Mentioned in this Episode: Artignoc-sur-Verdon, Moissac-Bellevue, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Château Fontainebleau du Var, Quinson, Verdon Gorge, Canal du Verdon, Riez, Carcassonne, Auberge de Jeunesse in Carcassonne.
Claire is French-American, she was born in Nîmes to a French father and an American mother. Her family moved to the US when she was a few years old, but her first language was French. Growing up in the US, she lost most of her French, but she spent her Junior year of High School in France and it all came back. Her American life has been infused with French culture and she shares some great tips about how to get to know France like a local.
Places Mentioned in this Episode
Aix-en-Provence, Lambesc, Arles, Aigues-Morte, Grau-du-Roi, Aimargues, Sommières, Grotte des Demoiselles, Uzès, Nîmes, Barbentane, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Frigolet, Gorges du Tarn.
Jennifer Ditchburn visited the southwest of France with her husband and children in June 2016 and she comes on the show today to share some of the highlights of their experience. Jennifer is the Editor in Chief of a magazine called Policy Options in Canada, she speaks beautiful French and has visited France on several occasions. But, this is her first time in France with her children, so they selected child-friendly activities. Because we recorded this episode the day the results of the Brexit were announced and because Jennifer is a political junkie, we discuss this news event at the beginning of the show as well.
Hotels Recommended in this Episode
People often ask me to recommend a hotel in Toulouse, and it’s hard for me to answer because in Toulouse I sleep in my own bed! I recommended the Novotel Compans Caffarelli to Jennifer and her family because it’s close to everything at a reasonable price and has a good reputation. Jennifer and family liked it very much. I would also recommend you look at the Mercure Compans Caffarelli because that’s where Airbus sends a lot of business visitors and they all seem happy with it.
Places Mentioned in this Episode
Montpellier, Plage de l’Espiguette, Arriège, Foix, Sète, Toulouse, Niaux, Paris.
Sète is full of charm, history and genuine French culture. It is a favorite of French families who go to enjoy the ambiance, the canals, the sea and the sun. If you’d like to spend some time on the Mediterranean and not spend your whole vacation budget in two days, keep reading and listening, this is the city for you!
When Annie visited Sète after recording this episode, she stayed at a hotel called Le National. She found it comfortable, clean, the owner was friendly. This is a family-run hotel, the hotel lobby closes in the afternoon. The owner will contact you via SMS to confirm the details. Le National is a great budget hotel, in a good location, easy walking distance to the Canals, free parking is not difficult near the hotel. Skip the hotel breakfast (nothing special or “bof, bof” as we say in French) and go have breakfast at a café near the Canal instead.
Montpellier is a city of 500,000 people and growing all the time. By comparison, Toulouse has twice as many people but feels like a smaller city. Montpellier probably gives this impression because it has bigger buildings, a more open city center, and being on the Mediterranean, which is a popular place to live, it is surrounded by other fairly large cities.
Lourdes is a Place of Pilgrimage and History unlike any other in France because the events that made it famous are only 160 years old, and there are pictures of the most important protagonist: Bernadette de Soubirous.
If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.