I have been spending so much time in Nice, Provence and on the French Riviera over the past few months for work that I’ve kind of been taking it for granted. In fact I was strolling along the Promenade des Anglais just three weeks ago, and I was at Nice airport on Tuesday. And then the events of Thursday night happened; a reminder that in the current climate we can’t take anything for granted, and that in these very troubled times not even somewhere as apparently carefree as the Côte d’Azur is safe.
It’s also, I think, a reminder that it’s always good to take time to appreciate the most simple things in life; I love Monaco and all the French Riviera, but away from the glitz and glamour, once you head into Provence, the pace becomes much slower, and there is so much to enjoy – the colours, the food, the sparkling Mediterranean. As a travel journalist and travel blogger the best thing I think we can do to cope with the fear of terrorism is to simply continue to travel everywhere we want to go, and make it clear that we won’t be defeated. So here are my postcards from Provence.
A delectable little town of terracotta loveliness which actually has an incredibly interesting history: the courageous local people here mounted a resistance against the Nazis during the Second World War.
The calades – the little streets paved with stones – are enchanting.
It’s actually pronounced ‘Cassie’ (it’s not where the liqueur comes from) and Cassis is utterly charming, a little seaside village with a delightful harbour, gorgeous pastel-coloured buildings (the local people get paid to keep painting them and it makes you want to rush home and paint your own home vanilla or ochre) and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.
There’s something pretty around every corner…
…and there’s also a rather fab little beach.
It’s definitely worth taking a trip to the nearby Calanques National Park, which has the most stunning views.
So glamorous of course but actually also incredibly pretty; away from the hub of le vieux port and harbour promenade, wander along the back streets and it’s also rather tranquil.
No wonder so many artists have made it their home.
I think if I was going to settle on the French Riviera and I couldn’t afford to live in Monaco (let’s face it, highly unlikely unless I wanted to live in a studio apartment), then I would buy a place here.
Nothing will stop me from returning to Nice, Provence and the French Riviera. We owe it to the French people to give them our full support.