Provence

by ann

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It took 30 minutes to get from the TGV airport to our lodging at La Charlotte, a quaint B&B nestled in the French countryside.

Lodging
La Charlotte
Contact: Martine, Gerard
127 chemin de la Crete, Hameau des Bonfillons, 13100, Saint-Marc-Jaumegarde
Email: hotelacharlotte@orange.fr

We paid 170 euros per night for a double, double sofa bed and a crib. The place was decently sized with a full kitchen and large garden. Breakfast was included and very large, including bread, cheese, yogurt, juice and coffee.

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Where We Went
Aix-en-Provence
Gordes in Luberon
Abbaye de Senanque in Luberon
Pope’s Palace in Avignon
Arles

Things We Did Not Get to Do/Eat
Hiking
Eat at Les Ecuries De L’aube (Domaine de l’Aube, Route Vauvenargues, 13100 – Saint Marc Jaumegarde) near our B&B- We almost ate here on our last night but unfortunately the restaurant was booked solid for a tour group. However, the place smelled heavenly and had the most adorable donkeys near the parking lot.

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In Aix-en-Provence

We shopped along the Cours Mirabeau and wandered around.
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Note: In France, some restaurants will offer a menu du jour or an alternative two-course option of “entrée + plat” or “plat + dessert” (starter and main course, or main course and dessert). At times, this can be a better option. Menus normally include bread and may include coffee or tea. Wine is usually not included. (If you do drink, drink rosé.)

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Tip: In order to prevent getting charged for bottled water, you should ask for une carafe d’eau, which is tap water.

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Gordes in Luberon

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Abbaye de Senanque in Luberon

In Avignon…

We shopped around and lunched at Le Forum (20 Place de l’horloge). Le Forum was an average restaurant but gave a great view of the main square in Avignon where we saw multiple groups perform short acts.

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In Arles…

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Here we faced the most rude behavior throughout our two week trip. It happened at La Caravelle (1 Place Constantin, 13200 Arles, France). As we were passing by La Caravelle, my family considered eating an early dinner in case nothing was open near our B&B when we returned. After perusing the menu, we asked the lady sitting outdoors when the restaurant would be opened. “7,” she stated. We look at our watched. 15 minutes to 7. We could wait, we thought, nodding our heads to ourselves. The man to her left looked up at us and said abruptly, “No. 8.” Baffled, we looked at each other and then my sister’s husband Mike quietly suggested we leave. After we left, he told us the man had been mocking us as we looked at the menu.

I understand that Parisians may not look fondly upon Americans. Perhaps it’s due to differences in culture, political opinions, etc. But it was deeply offensive to be shunned for no reason then that they didn’t like the looks of us.

We left Arles immediately and I shall say that there will always be a faint taint of bitterness in our mouths when we mention that city.

Restaurant Review

I wish I could provide you with the name of this restaurant! The place was tucked away in a hill and boasted a small bocce court. The restaurant also provided blankets to keep you warm in the chilly night.

It was a few minutes drive from our B&B and we ate here twice, mostly out of convenience. The pizza were thin, crisp wafers. Decent. Salad was good. For our second time, I had proscuitto wrapped melons. Yum. It was an above average meal but mostly what I loved about the place was the convenience and the friendliness of the staff.

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And here, my friends, is where my trip ended. I hope you found/find my recommendations and tips helpful!

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