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Tedgale Photos and Trip info: Rhone delta, Aix en Provence, Uzes in Oct. 09

Tedgale Photos and Trip info: Rhone delta, Aix en Provence, Uzes in Oct. 09

Old Nov 29th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Tedgale Photos and Trip info: Rhone delta, Aix en Provence, Uzes in Oct. 09

Lost all my notes from our trip and now it is too late to re-construct it day-by-day. However I DO have some great photos, which I have collated and labelled.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5&l=e145eda15f

I will also post an album of the places we stayed, with web links and a short summary/ assessment for each.

A footnote on flights: We travelled via KLM from Montreal to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Lyon --- a great, simple regional airport. Our return to A'dam was via Marseilles, another small, unhurried (as in: "virtually empty at midday") regional airport. No additional cost for the "open jaws" routing.

After years of flying Air France, we are finding more and more things we prefer about KLM. We found there was more legroom in economy on KLM and the cabin staff seemed friendlier. (Hope that does not change with the AF/ KLM takeover) I am not a CDG-basher but Schiphol seems much less stressful.

I'll post this now -- I prefer to keep my posts short -- but will be back with more photos and info soon.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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thanks Ted. Having visited all the places you photographed, brought back many happy memories for me,
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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How nice to take a virtual trip to the south of France. Thank you.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Thanks cigale. These locations were pretty much all repeats for us.

I just can't find a nicer southern town than Uzes. It is close enough to other great places (Nimes, Pont du Gard, Arles, Avignon, Villeneuve les Avignon, Les Stes Marie de la Mer, Aigues Mortes, Alpilles, Les Baux) that it makes a good base for a week.

In Uzes, we tended to eat in, alone or with friends. I kept meaning to try new restaurants but we enjoyed shopping and cooking too much.

We did go once or twice to the Pizza du Duche. To call this a pizza restaurant is seriously to understate its charms and the excellence of the cooking.

I like the meal-sized salade de gesier to start -- loads of duck gizzard + slivesr of magret, lardons, frisee salad, egg, onion, with a zesty vinaigrette. Followed by a thin-crust pizza that we would generally split.

If we were to dine out more seriously, it would be a toss up between the restaurant "Parenthese" (at the Hostellerie Provencale) and "Les 80 Jours" (slightly more casual, less classic). Or Bistrot de Grezac or Zanelli.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Hello, Nikki!

Here is an album of the places we stayed on this trip:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5&l=c211f1ecbf

Addresses for these three places, which I promise to describe and assess, are:

Cluny apartment:
http://lamaisontupinier.fr

Uzes 3 bedroom house:
http://www.aubaine.info/xmo130.htm

Aix en Provence B&B:
http://www.pavillon-de-beauregard.com

Now, the first place shown here is NOT in the south. It is in Cluny, Burgundy, where we spent the first 4 days of our trip. Sorry.

The place is amazing, though, so those looking for southern accommodation should just waste a couple of minutes savouring it.

The second and third places shown are in the south: A one-week rental in Uzes, about 30 Miles W of Avignon, and then we spent the last 3 nights at a lovely B&B on the outskirts of Aix en Provence.

SIDEBAR NOTE: If anyone is interested: the place in marvellous Cluny, La Maison Tupinier, is a one-bedroom apartment in a C. 17 hotel particulier. The home was the subject of a 10 page spread in Cote Sud some time ago and you can see why....

Though the apartment was fully equipped with a kitchen, the price included a breakfast served by the owner in his over-the-top dining room.

BTW: It's right in the centre of this historic small town. A great base for touring the Maconnais and Beaujolais vineyards + those further North, toward Beaune.

OK I'm done with Burgundy and will get back to reporting on the places we stayed in the south.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Great photos, Ted! I want to go back to the south of France.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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Hi, moolyn. BTW: We got a great deal on the Uzes house, a place where we have stayed before. We paid ...ummm, 450 E for the week in early October.

I hesitate even to mention this, as others will want to book it.

We parked for free a couple of blocks away. A few signs of wear and tear since we last rented ..but overall, it was a very comfortable house in a great location just outside the central medieval "ring" of Uzes.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Here is my tripadvisor report on the Pavillon de Beauregard, just on the outskirts of Aix en Provence:

"Panoramic views + great pool + spotless room + warm, thoughtful hosts”

The Pavillon has gradually been brought back from years of neglect by Jerome Voeux and his mother, a gifted artist whose paintings are reminiscent of Miro and Matisse.

They are the kindest and most civilized of hosts -- even allowing me to use their personal computer for my daily e-mail fix.

This 12 acre estate on the edge of Aix has terrific views from its excellent pool. The poolside has an outdoor kitchen where we cooked and ate dinner on two evenings, rather than face the descent to Aix and its problematic traffic and parking.

Restoration of the remainder of the grounds is ...a work in progress. (The path to the pool looks a bit rough -- but who cares?)

Our room, La Pastorale, was immaculate, beautifully furnished and well equipped with rain-forest shower, a mini-fridge stocked with free soft-drinks, local candies, thick towels...

Breakfasts, served in the family salon, were generous and served with great style -- a different china service and colour scheme each day!

As Monsieur Voeux said, "Faites comme chez vous est la devise de la maison" -- "Make yourself at home is the motto of this house".

If Aix attracts you but you do not want to be in the centre, this is the place to stay.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Tedgale, merci buttercups for your pics and reminiscences of Provence. Loved your living quarters. Looks as if you had great weather. Many more happy travels....
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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tedgale - Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. Your occasional use of shade in some of the photos is quite special. It sounds like you had a wonderful time away. Besides the wind, it looks like you had wonderful weather.

tC
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Tedgale: You are the STAR of finding the most interesting and intriguingly beautiful places to stay!!

I love Uzes, where I stayed in 1979 at a small hotel, former chateau of Marie d'Agoult, who was the lover of some famous writer, name escapes me, slightly out of town. Does it ring a bell? The food was superb!

Then stayed near Uzes with friends twenty years later, and loved going to this perfect French town!

On the same trip we went to Aigues Mortes and Les Saintes Meres - so your photos really brought it all back. Lovely pics.

more, please, you are truly a great help in planning and reminiscing.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 04:53 AM
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taconic: The hotel is still there and still going strong. It is called the Hotel Chateau d'Arpaillargues. It is quite expensive and has a noted restaurant.

I've visited the (tiny) village -- in fact, we once stayed about 2 km away, in an even smaller village called Aureilhac, at a great B&B called Mas de Luna.

http://www.masdeluna.com/fr/accueil.php

Marie comtesse d'Agoult was the lover of Liszt and had 3 children by him. She wrote under the name Daniel Stern.

By the way, speaking of places to stay:

Our rental was pretty ideal for 2 but would be fine for up to 6 people. The top floor master bedroom is spacious, airy and very atmospheric. It has its own bath and an extra room where we did ironing and kept luggage.

The kitchen is large and workable and has a washroom off it with tiny washing machine.

On the second floor are two bedrooms that we did not use. You must walk through one to get to the stairs to the Master bedroom. The bathroom on this level is large.

Unfortunately, the renovation of this house used very banal tiles and fixtures in the baths and kitchen -- think "low-end Home Depot". The fault is merely aesthetic; the plumbing is fine.

I did sometimes think "If only...". The house is in other ways a little gem. The mainfloor living room is quite charming, with UK satellite TV.

People who don't want to rent a whole house and stay a whole week could look at other nearby options. Maison de la Bourgade offers fancy rooms on a B&B basis but also has self-catering studios in an adjacent building that are rented at the incredible rate of 350 E/ week.

www.lamaisondelabourgade.com

I have not visited the rooms at the Hostellerie Provencale but I would certainly check out that option, just on the basis of their fine restaurant.

http://www.hostellerieprovencale.com/chambres.php
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 12:50 PM
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I wanted to add in another Uzes B&B in the vicinity of our rented house. It is one where we previously stayed, called Au Quinze:

www.auquinze.com

I would double check against tripadvisor if considering this place. The building is fantastic and the owners very pleasant. Yet I know they were finding the business a bit more work than they cared for. The owner told us how she longed to stop and rest up a bit and thought of buying a small place elsewhere in town.

Perhaps in consequence, the garden and pool were looking a bit neglected when we were there. Still "un bel adresse", however.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Hey tedgale, We'll be in Lyon in March so I will enjoy your report. Bookmarking for a fun read!
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Are you staying in Lyon or venturing outside the metropolitan area?
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I am going to start -- but will not finish on this post -- my Top Ten (in no particular order) from this portion of our trip:

1. Les Saintes Marie de la Mer: I disliked the honky-tonk Camargue seaside town the first time we visited, off season. Now I have a very different take. Leave the town and its seaside promenade and head E from town. On the edge of town is a carpark mostly used by RV drivers (AKA caravanners). We paid the 3E parking fee and were able to drive about 2 km to where the road peters out. The we walked on a 500m wide beach that seemed to stretch into infinity. Behind some dunes are brackish ponds with pink flamingoes. The beach had few people that Sunday. Riders on horseback shared the beach with sailboarders, aged naturists and kite enthusiasts. For someone who grew up 800 miles from the sea, this was pretty special.

2. Aigues Mortes: A medieval town, once a major port of the Camargue, it was founded on the orders of King Louis/ St. Louis as the staging point for Crusades against the infidel. The glorious town walls are intact.

This is a centre of bull-running or more correctly tauromachie, (wh no longer involves fighting and killing the bulls). It has also had a gimcrack carnival each time we visited. The contrast of medieval stones and amusement park rides was, shall we say, piquant. So is the fact you cannot park your car on the streets some days, when bulls are being run.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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Ted...I always enjoy your reports, they are always full of great nuggets of information...now off to check out the pictures!
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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staying overnight in Aigues Mortes is one of my fondest memories, being serenaded at dinner by wannabee gypsy Kings.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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tedgale: thanks for reminding me of the Chateau d'Arpaillargues! We had such a grand time there with our English friends, who DROVE us from England down to southern France. the food was just lovely - I STILL have the menus! No wonder my DH thinks I should clean out my travel files!
It was a treasured time.
I urge all Fodorites to travel as much as they can. It is the way to learn about the world, and about yourself.
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 03:50 AM
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bookmarking
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