|Subject: Re: South of France|
Finally had a chance to respond. We have spent a considerable amount of time in southern France. You are wise to take the train south. It will allow you to sleep after your overseas flight and you will arrive somewhat rested. You have a few choices such as Marseilles or Avignon to pick up your car but I would recommend Avignon because it is less crowded and the car rental booths are easily accessible right at the train station.
Some spots I wouldn't miss are, in random order: Aix-en-Provence - a tiny Paris and delightful - follow in Cezanne's footsteps to Mont Ste. Victoire; the hilltop villages in and around the Vaucluse such as: L'sle sur la Sorgue (fabulous antique market every Sunday) Gordes &Roussillon; and the Petit Luberon - Bonnieux and Menerbe (the towns that a certain author has changed forever); On the coast - Cassis (home of the best bouillabaisse), the Calanques &Bandol; to the west - Les Baux, St Remy, The Camargue, Aigues-Mortes, Nimes &Arles and don't miss Pont du Gard; We are not crazy about the Riviera but we did love St Paul-de-Vence with a fine modern art museum (Fondation Maeght) just outside of town. And don't forget wine tasting at Chateauneuf du Pape and Tavel (Rose). Most of these spots are quite touristy but I think they all have something worth seeing. The one place that doesn't seem to be that busy is the Gorges du Verdon, a spectacular European 'Grand Canyon''. It requires a full day to drive this winding road especially if you visit Moustiers-Ste-Marie to buy 'Faience' ware.
I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. Writing this has brought back wonderful memories of our travels to France and we long to return.
Felice Toronto, CANADA