Join us on our new journey to Monaco and Europe! We are so excited, and want to share with you all of our exciting adventures...and maybe some, not so exciting! Thanks for joining us...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gourdon and St. Paul de Vence

The weather was just beautiful, not a cloud in the sky, and perfect for a ride. With fall acting like summer here, we felt it was a great day to get outside, drive a little, walk a lot! So we headed west, towards Nice, and then into the mountains through the Roquefort/Valbonne valley. Following the directions we put into our GPS, we so lovingly call "Flo", towards Gourdon, France. Once through all the suburb towns of Nice and Cannes, the road raced upwards, winding along the mountain with some warm fall colors present. Then, about 40 KM from Monaco, we spotted our first glimpse of Gourdon, a town that was a began by the building of a fortress from
the 13th to the 17th centuries.

Gourdon, best known for it's majestic Chateau de Gourdon, created around a fortress that was rebuilt over the centuries, that is now a museum in the center of the town that has many small shops with local shops and restaurants. You can purchase locally blown glass products, Provence fabrics, local perfumes and wonderful soaps. There was one restaurant that hung out over the cliff, highly recommended, but no tables available for a cafe' au lait.

From here, after we toured the city, bought a few gifts, and enjoyed everything from the paragliders above the town, to the architecture, as well as the magnificent views out to the Mediterranean Sea at Nice and Canne, we drove back by way of St. Paul de Vence.
St. Paul is a lovely medieval town that is inhabited by many artisans. It is nestled within 10 KM of the sea, but sits majestically above, being built inside the walls of a safe and quaint old fortress town. Here we walked along stone alleys, lined with shops, galleries and restaurants, no wider than 10 feet. There were many tourists, and locals as well, just enjoying the crispness of the higher altitude village. We found one store that was different than the rest, didn't catch the name, but it housed all sizes of carafes and decanters, filled with home made liquors. The smell was enchanting, and yes, testing was allowed. Honey, black cherry, pistachio, anything you could imagine. We left empty handed, but loved the essence and might just return for some gifts. It was truly lovely. The art galleries ranged from painters to weavers to sculptors...just about medium was there. At the highest point of the village was the sacred cemetery, decorated with the most beautiful flowers and adornments....quiet and peaceful, yet safe above it all.

We are truly blessed by being able to have these wonderful opportunities of travel just within a few hours drive of where we live...and, not always sure why we ever even want to leave Monaco, since it is truly amazing itself!!!