Awaken to awesome Carcassonne!

Posted in South West of France with tags on May 29, 2015 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour friends,

You would have loved this article from The Wall Street Journal, ‘RESEARCHERS STUDY THE FEELING OF AWE’ and how great it was to discover that whatever makes us feel awe inspired will actually make us healthier and better people! We would become more humble, trusting and generous and have even better relationships!

Want to improve your life? Well then, GO DO SOMETHING AWESOME and come VISIT CARCASSONNE!

You may remember https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/awakening-to-carcassone-france/ but I’ll show you even more of just how awesome Carcassonne is in all her little details.

I wish you could have been there…so open this door in Carcassonne…

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and wake up to your awe inspiring day.

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With a mid morning coffee against a back drop second to none…

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And taste her succulent fruits from fine wooden boxes on market stalls…

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And delight in her specialty sweet shops,,,

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and later cruise through the afternoon on the Canal du Midi…

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To eventually walk towards Carcassonne’s sunset…

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To an inspirational evening…

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Those researchers were absolutely right. Awesome days in Carcassonne…Priceless.

Until next time,

Best wishes, Therese

Copyright@ 2015 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Carrières de Lumières- the best thing to see in Provence!

Posted in French Affair, French Travel, South of France with tags , , , , , on May 5, 2015 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour fellow travellers,

Come to Provence quarries at Les Baux de Provence and if your heart doesn’t sing, your eyes will water.

Located in the south of France on the road to Saint Remy,

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6000 square metres of limestone walls are carved from the rock of Val d’Enfer making huge walled galleries. (The limestone and bauxite retrieved was used to build the Castle outside and the city beyond.)

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Once you’ve bought your ticket at the entrance, you’ll escape into an extraordinary world of illuminations like nothing you’ve ever seen before- mesmerising art collections dissected and illuminated onto walls, floors and ceilings.

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I was lucky enough to be a witness to this month’s giants of the Renaissance Collection, showing Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael’s masterpieces accompanied by heart thawing music and loads of dramatic colour. One minute you’re tormented with demons and the firey hell of Michelangelo’s “Judgment Day” and the next moment, you’re happy and gliding upwards towards the cloudy heavens escorted by plump cherubs.

With precision timing, you’re then plunged into the 3D watery depths of Jules Verne’s imaginary voyage, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Some point and gasp when an enormous ship’s keel lunges towards us

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and others are more than content to explore the exquisite details of a watery world with germinating sea mushrooms popping left, right and centre.

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Past exhibitions include Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Venice, Klimt and Vienna and even Aboriginal art from Australia. We learn that the possibilities are endless in L’Carriers de Lumieres. Spend hours in there and you’ll freeze to death. Get out in time and you’ll be inspired for life.

Go! Immerse yourself in one of the best travel discoveries in Provence…and let us know what you think.

Best wishes and have fun,

Therese

copyright@ 2015 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Uzes Markets!

Posted in French Affair, South of France with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2015 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

We are smack bang in the middle of Uzes and it’s a Saturday under a glorious South of France sun. If we had been here in this very same spot at the Place aux Herbes last January, we would have been among a buzzing throng of truffle loving fans arriving to witness the deluge of soil dropped from on high and jammed with a thousand truffles to be snorted out by local pigs and then cooked up into a massive communal omelette.

As a natural foodie, I’ll admit that it would have been an exquisite adventure into gastronomy. Curiosity set aside though for today we are very content surrounded by the vibrant warm colours of local artisans- ceramists, sculptors and painters and we listen to the wise whisperings of ham preservers and nougat makers, bee keepers and Monastery winemakers. We smell roasting chickens as they swirl in synchronised precision over hot coals and the aroma of paella and fresh, warm nuts cut through the morning light.

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Well, we missed the truffle weekend but  I can do without the truffles today.

Make sure you visit Uzes markets when you’re in the south of France. Put it on your list for either Wednesday or Saturday. It’s a great place to be when you’re not truffle hunting!

Best wishes, Therese

Copyright@2015Therese Waddell

Awaken to Provence Cheese.

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Travel, South of France with tags , , , on March 28, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour!

When I think of my experiences in Provence I think of earthly delights and the lines from ‘The Rubaiyat of Omar Kyam’ offer no more perfect description…

“Here, with a loaf of bread beneath the bough

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A flask of wine

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A Book of verse

And Thou beside me singing in the wilderness

And wilderness is Paradis enow.”

I’m certain that Omar would have included cheese in his poem had he visited the Luberon, the beautiful blue circle of  Provence which boasts an extraordinary selection of cheeses such as these…Saint Paulin, Roquefort, creamy bries and camembert, goat cheeses, Banon a la feuille, Picadon and many more.

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What better accompaniment with Provence cheeses but locally grown, plump strawberries, I will never know.

And neither will Omar Kyam.

 

Best wishes, Therese

copyright@2014 Therese Waddell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awaken to Provence Food

Posted in French Affair, French Travel, South of France with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour fellow foodies,

The perfect setting- Provence, south of France. The perfect scenario- lunchtime. Think dappled shade, fresh, local produce, oozy cheeses, plump strawberries, braised herby abundance, fruity wines, friends, laughter, love. It doesn’t get any better than this…

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P.S I’m now on the lookout for a stone cottage my friends… blue shutters, garden. You know what I mean.

I’d love to hear from you if you know anyone selling a piece of heaven! xx

Best Wishes,

Therese Waddell

copyright@2014 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Aigues Mortes

Posted in French Travel, South of France with tags , , , on March 16, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour fellow francophiles,

Aigues Mortes, France.

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Strange name for a place. It means dead water. That can’t be good I hear you saying but beyond the Riviera and this close to Spain, you will find a very different France which is very much alive!

Aigues Mortes is an hour from Nimes by train and it will cost you 1 single euro or travel by car for 41km.

It’s home to the Camargue horsemen and real life cowboys who rule her salty shores and its marshlands stretching  across its 900 square kilometre expanse. This territory with its nature parks and abundant wildlife is the breeding ground for bulls (destined to fight toredors in Spain and the Camargue), wild horses and hot pink flamingoes.

You can ride on the back of a Camargue horse, join in the fun at the horse festivals, listen to the stories of cow herders at the local markets, practise your photography with some bird spotting, walk the ramparts and tower built in the thirteenth century

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and even have a pedicure sitting in a fish tank while the Garra Rufa nibble away!

My french awakening to Camargue restaurants did not disappoint. The Michelin Star, ‘Le Atelier de Nicolas’  is extra special but there are so many cheap, simpler ones where you too can tuck into a bubbling good bouillabaisse or other fishy local specialty…

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and tap your fork to the rhythm of gypsy songs and lyrical guitar.

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Aigues Mortes colours are bright- in cuisine…

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and decor…

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Even the ice cream screams passion here…

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Aigues Mortes- you’re nothing but gusto!

For more information on hotels and activities in Aigues Mortes, go to http://www.ot-aiguesmortes.fr/en/

Happy travels,

Therese Waddell

copyright@2014 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Seine River Cruises

Posted in French Books, French Travel, French Women, Paris with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

Can you picture yourself floating along here…

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aboard a boat on the glassy waters of the Seine? A twilight cruise with other tourists, although cliched, can be one of the best ways to see Paris transform into two worlds; the glittering city of Paris by night comes to life at twilight as it glides by on its glorious, mirrored world of reflections.

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Go with a friend. Go without. It makes no difference here. Feel the breeze and relax on board any one of the boats referred to by the French as ‘ les bateau mouche”. Buy your ticket at the dock. Most boats dock at Pont d’Alba near the Eiffel Tower which you’ll see from here…

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and it will cost you about 12.50 euros. You may want to pick up a bottle of bubbly from here…

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as well. I do recommend you go a little earlier to get your tickets and be top of the queue to secure your choice seats- undercover or at the bow if you feel like doing a ‘Titanic’ with arms outstretched.

You can reserve tickets online at the official site here: http://www.bateaux-mouches.fr/en

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To capture the experience, my french awakening insists you give a thought to employ the lovely and creative Australian- come- Paris- resident, photographer  Carla Coulson who offers a four hour photo shoot anywhere in Paris. Her unique forte lies in photographing women in Paris. She not only highlights Paris glamour and sheer femininity but manages to intensify inner beauty so well that it makes not only for an unforgettable momento of portrait shots but an altogether uplifting experience in itself. You can see her gorgeous work at  her website gallery in ‘Carla Loves Photography’ at  http://carlacoulson.com or her many published books.

Imagine yourself under Paris light. It’s not too difficult is it?

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Best Wishes, Therese

Copyright@2014 Therese Waddell

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