This week's National Geographic focused on a back road trip through Provence (France).
At Easter time, 1989, I did a very similar trip, arriving in Paris, staying a few days with friends, and then taking the train down to Marseilles.
The first time I went to Marseilles was because of a book I had read about Utrillo that intrigued me as an adolescent.
The second time was to recapture those memories, one of which was a visit to the Notre Dame de la Garde. When I visited the romantic City in the 60s as an adventurous student with a young man, we reached the top of Notre Dame, in an open platform powered by a pulley and rope, twenty odd years later, we went up by a modern conveyance.
After seeing some sights, getting pounced on by town gypsies and buying some of the loveliest silk fabric for curtains, we rented a compact, 4 speed Renault and leisurely drove through Provence back to Paris.
The trip took about two weeks and if I could do it again I'd make it four.
Every day was a picture postcard and each meal a savoury treat. The wine was extraordinary but so was le petit déjeuner, coffee and pastries.
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