It has been over three years since my last trip to France, so I was excited when Sarah asked me along on her little weekend away to Avignon, in the south of France.
The weather forecast wasn’t looking great, with predicted thunderstorms throughout the weekend…but we kept our fingers crossed for sunny days.
After a night of frantic last minute packing, we were soon on our way to Avignon on the Eurostar, slightly wary about the weather predicted for the weekend, but excited nonetheless!
Six hours and about 100 iTunes songs later, we arrived at the station and was greeted by our cab driver in his rather smart-looking Porsche.
I have never stayed in a French villa, but I was totally in love with the place which had a warm and rustic feel to it. I will let the photos do most of the talking about how stunning and welcoming it looked inside.
And if you thought the inside was beautiful, step outside into the backyard, which is equally as breathtaking, with the vast garden, a private pool and a quaint little water fountain.
After a bit of unpacking and freshening up, Sarah drove us to the nearby supermarket, or le supermarché as they call it, to buy some groceries to stock up for the weekend. I always get excited when shopping in a foreign place – everything looks so intriguing.
Just as we were about to leave with our trolley full of groceries, the much dreaded thunderstorm makes an unwelcomed arrival. Within minutes, part of the carpark was flooded, but thankfully the car was parked on slightly higher ground.
Whilst waiting for the rain to die down, we nibbled away on our mini cakes and pastries – because food makes everything feel better.
|Kudos to the lady who trudged in the knee-deep water with her massive trolley…|
We eventually made it home, slightly soaked and ready for a relaxing evening. Stefanie laid out some nibbles, whilst Sarah started prepping for dinner. And as usual I went round snapping with my camera – carrying out my (un)official ‘resident photographer’ duties…
Whilst enjoying a simple and satisfying dinner of steak frites, we noticed that the sky had brightened outside, and popped our heads out to see a lovely rainbow. The thunderstorm was finally over…for now.
Waking up to a surprisingly non-rainy morning, we had a quick breakfast at home before driving to Aix en Provence. We walked along the Cours Mirabeau, decorated with pretty fountains and lined with lively cafes, and also had a look around the market stalls.
Religiously checking our weather forecast apps on our iPhones, we made a hasty departure from the charming little town of Aix en Provence just as the dark clouds started pulling in…
Returning back to clearer skies in Avignon, we had a light lunch before Sarah gave us a quick tour of the place.
Then it was time to head home again for another comforting home-cooked dinner by Sarah – bacon omelette with salad. Quick, easy and healthy!
Weekend markets always excite me, so Sarah brought us to the Sunday market at L’Isle Sur La Sorgue. Stefanie and I finally bought our cheese – we have been on a cheese and tapenade eating marathon since we arrived in France!
Our last stop was the beautiful Gorde, a famous village in the Luberon, in Provence. Amazing views and perfect weather! I would definitely love to come back again.
Our journey home was split into two parts, the first involved taking the TGV from Avignon to Paris where we had to then find our way to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar back to London. I always worry about short transit times (being slightly OCD about punctuality)…and despite our hopes of a smooth-sailing journey, we arrived half an hour later than expected in Paris. Rushing along the platform to meet at the gates, we exited the station only arrive at the taxi stand with a queue full of people. Luckily Stefanie came out with a brilliant idea, and after pleading to the customers at the front of the queue, we managed to jump in the next taxi and we were off again! Our taxi driver seemed to know the drill as he sped us across Paris as we briefly took in the sights around us.
You’d be glad to know that we made it in time to board our train, and had more cheese, of course.
I had forgotten to fill out one of those arrival cards at the immigration desk (oh the ‘joys’ of having a foreign passport…). The Scottish officer at the desk waved a card at me as I put on my best innocent smile…thankfully he seemed to be a fan of Malaysia, and he let me go through!
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend away, it somehow felt like we were away for longer…
Many thanks to Sarah (and her Dad!) for this lovely experience.
Hopefully there will be many more weekends like this to come!
The Cheekster, signing out x