Lovely Winter Weather in Provence

21 Jan

Apologies for the late post this week.  I have a really lame excuse – I forgot what day of the week it was!  Realised this afternoon that is was already Monday and I hadn’t even started selecting photos let alone putting captions on them!  Maybe I’ve relaxed a little too much?!  Actually, the reason I lost track of the days could also be because our internet connection is running at 0 to 50% of dialup speed.  So I probably lost a couple of days just waiting for screens to load.  Thank you NordNet!

Getting back to what we did get done this week, we made a pilgrimage to IKEA in Toulon on Monday.  No big spending, just a couple of small things to bring home that we have not seen elsewhere.

On Tuesday morning we met Lew and Jean at the Lorgues market.  It was cold and by 10am it was snowing very lightly.  We went back to Les Fadons to spend some time going over some of the operational stuff and it had snowed lightly there too.

The entrance to Les Fadons on Tuesday at 11.15am

The entrance to Les Fadons on Tuesday at 11.15am

The path to the house.  Lavinia and James pruned the large mulberry tree and the wisteria on the wall before they left for the UK.

The path to the house. Lavinia and James pruned the large mulberry tree and the wisteria on the wall before they left for the UK.

Wednesday started at 3˚C but it was not bad until 10am when the clouds rolled in blocking the warm sun.  In the afternoon we went out for a drive to Montfort-sur-Argens, Correns, Châteauvert and Le Val.  All quite charming villages by the looks but hardly a soul moving at mid afternoon in the winter.

The upper reaches of the river Argens flows through this gorge between Correns and Chateauvert.  There was also a freezing wind on this day and the climbers on the face straight ahead must have been icing up.

The upper reaches of the river Argens flows through this gorge between Correns and Chateauvert. There was also a freezing wind on this day and the climbers on the face straight ahead must have been icing up.

3.30pm and there is ice hanging from the bottom of that ball of moss.

3.30pm and there is ice hanging from the bottom of that ball of moss.

On Thursday we finally made good on our commitment to go to Draguignan on a fine day.  It was cold and a little windy but not raining so that was an improvement on the previous two visits.  It is a nice town.

This dolmen, Pierre de la Fée, dates from 2500BC.  It is located on the outskirts of Draguignan and is almost a secret.  Even local we speak to here usually don't know about it and certainly haven't seen it.

This dolmen, Pierre de la Fée, dates from 2500BC. It is located on the outskirts of Draguignan and is almost a secret. Even locals we speak to here usually don’t know about it and certainly haven’t seen it.

The capstone is reported to weigh 25 tonnes.

The capstone is reported to weigh 25 tonnes.

Very difficult lighting but I wanted to capture this colourful street again since last time I only had my phone and it was raining.

Very difficult lighting but I wanted to capture this colourful street again since last time I only had my phone and it was raining.

From Draguignan we went to Chapelle Sainte-Roseline which is not far away.

We came to Chapelle Sainte-Roseline to see the chapel itself but it was closed for renovation until 1st May.  As a consolation they had opened access to the cloisters.  Behind the modern glass there is a contemporary art gallery.

We came to Chapelle Sainte-Roseline to see the chapel itself but it was closed for renovation until 1st May. As a consolation they had opened access to the cloisters. Behind the modern glass there is a contemporary art gallery.

We have been to the train station at Les Arcs many times but had never ventured in to the old village itself.  Although it was rather chilly, the village seemed very nice and a place I would like to go back to in warmer weather.  This is one of the city gates in the main wall at the top of the village near the chateau.

We have been to the train station at Les Arcs many times but had never ventured in to the old village itself. Although it was rather chilly, the village seemed very nice and a place I would like to go back to in warmer weather. This is one of the city gates in the main wall at the top of the village near the chateau.

Looking back up the hill towards the Château de Villeneuve, Les Arcs.

Looking back up the hill towards the Château de Villeneuve, Les Arcs.

It was cold, quite cold on Friday morning.  The pool was about 70% covered with a 2~3mm layer of ice.  At 9.30am the air temperature in the shade was still 0˚C.

Ever since we first arrived at Les Fadons Lavinia and James have been telling us, “You really must go to lunch at Le Vauban in Antibes – they have a wonderful set menu, excellent value.  Oh, and there is a great hairdresser next door!”  Well, Friday was the day.  No need for a haircut though, the clippers took care of that last week.  But lunch sounded too good to miss.  Which did concern us a little – had it been over-hyped?

Anitibes - not bad for a mid-January, i.e. winter, day.

Anitibes – not bad for a mid-January, i.e. winter, day.

Several empty berths along 'Billionaires Row' in the Port of Vauban, Antibes.

Several empty berths along ‘Billionaires Row’ in the Port of Vauban, Antibes.

This very cool sculpture was at the Bastion Saint-Jaume.  It is called Nomade and is by a famous Catalan artist called Jaume Plensa

This very cool sculpture was at the Bastion Saint-Jaume. It is called Nomade and is by a famous Catalan artist called Jaume Plensa. Also note the snow in the background.

This beach in the city was busy with school children gathering litter when we arrived.  Notice that there are showers - right at the water line.

This beach in the city was busy with school children gathering litter when we arrived. Notice that there are showers – right at the water line.

The main objective of the trip to Antibes was to have lunch at 'Le Vauban'.  It was excellent.  With some luck yo can see my food notes here https://www.evernote.com/shard/s84/sh/7211874b-d339-47c5-b1ff-54427475fc2d/202983fa7871e4cb442e91112a7e1a9f

The main objective of the trip to Antibes was to have lunch at ‘Le Vauban’. It was excellent.

You can take a look at my lunch notes here.  After a short post-lunch walk through some more of the old town of Antibes we headed back home feeling very well sated.

Nice, near the airport, in the distance as seen from the front of Antibes.

Nice, near the airport, in the distance as seen from the front of Antibes.

The weekend was a quiet one with rain off and on since Friday midnight.  Sue came over on Saturday and we thoroughly enjoyed lunch together here in the wilderness.  On Sunday we finally stopped deferring doing anything about packing and we cleared the spare bed ready to lay stuff out.  That was enough of that for one day.  Packing will have to wait for Monday.  Not realising of course that it was Sunday I managed to fritter away the rest of day and not prepare this blog.  Doh!

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2 Responses to “Lovely Winter Weather in Provence”

  1. Sarah Campbell January 23, 2013 at 18:32 #

    Nice to see Antibes is as gorgeous in the winter as it is in the summer. We saw a few Aussies & Kiwis when we walked along Billionaires’ Row, but they were the crew, not the billionaires!

  2. Jeff January 22, 2013 at 03:17 #

    Wish I could retire to Antibes permanently! Mild in winter, lovely in summer! The south of France is a great place 😉

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