In mid-August my Italian and I decided to do like the Parisians, leave Paris to the tourists, and venture south. I had heard a lot about the unpretentious charm of France’s Cap Ferret, and was eager to discover it for myself. It has been likened to Montauk, the most unspoilt part of the Hamptons, where I grew up. Our first stop was lunch in a rainy but elegant Bordeaux. I know little of this city, this being my second visit, but look forward to becoming better acquainted in the future.
Rather than head directly to this trendy enclave, we stopped in Arcachon for a few days. Just enough time to meet with friends and climb the highest sand dunes in all of Europe.
The Dune du Pilat measures 107 meters high and I felt rather accomplished reaching the top!
We spent the afternoon climbing, jumping, running… and sitting beneath the late summer sun.
Our next stop was Cap Ferret. We settled in with a plate of oysters, local wine, and a view.
The dominant mode of transport is by bike. And that is how we explored this little French paradise.
I could immediately understand why it was compared to Montauk with it’s chic yet relaxed vibe.
After many great meals including at the highly revered Chez Hortense, it was time to bid adieu.
Via boat and train we made our way back to Paris filled with sounds and tastes of the sea.
This past spring when my mom came to visit, I thought about where to bring her. Last year we had explored Chantilly, and while it would have been a lovely time of year to visit Giverny, I opted to be more creative and we ventured to Auvers-sur-Oise. This commune, only about 27 kilometers northwest of Paris, was once home to the Impressionists. More specifically, Paul Cézanne, Charles-François Daubigny, Camille Pissarro, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and, Vincent van Gogh.
This was a trip into Van Gogh’s life. It was incredible to be amidst the church that he once painted.
It is here that he rests alongside his brother Theo, who passed away only 6 months after Vincent.
The next stop was Château d’Auvers where we discovered a most insightful interactive journey into the lives of the Impressionists. A unique experience! Not to mention the breathtaking gardens…
As the sun was setting we walked the length of the estate, reflecting on years long gone.
It was time to bid farewell to Auvers-sur-Oise. Like the artists before us, we headed back to Paris.