Subject: Helenb and Provence

I was going to post and mention our recent trip to Provence but Helen's question has given me the push I needed.

Although many travelers don't seem to mind renting a car in Europe, we are somewhat leery and I'm sure there are others who might be as well. We are from Maine and just not accustomed to driving in traffic, plus we are mature travelers also.

We flew into Marseille and made our base in Aix, which is really a beautiful and classy city. The old town has been well-preserved-- they actually have no McDonald's restaurant there! Anyway, they have done a wonderful job with tourism promotion. Besides the daily walking tours they also have minibus tours to areas all over Provence. These are for a maximum of 15 people and are very reasonably priced. We went on two tours--one to Marseille and one to several towns and chateaus that were only accessible by car (no city bus or train). The guides were extremely knowledgeable and spoke both French and English, thus giving us a good chance to practice our language skills.

There is also a tour company which does individualized tours into the country with a Land Rover for the more adventurous.

I would definitely recommend this method for people who just don't feel comfortable about renting a car. If anyone would like more detail I have saved all the brochures and can send specific information.

Elizabeth Dube