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France

adventures down south

by Kasia on August 23, 2014

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.

IMG_5619Rather 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.

IMG_5737The Dune du Pilat measures 107 meters high and I felt rather accomplished reaching the top!

IMG_5697We spent the afternoon climbing, jumping, running… and sitting beneath the late summer sun.

IMG_5968Our next stop was Cap Ferret. We settled in with a plate of oysters, local wine, and a view.

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The dominant mode of transport is by bike. And that is how we explored this little French paradise.

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I could immediately understand why it was compared to Montauk with it’s chic yet relaxed vibe.

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After many great meals including at the highly revered Chez Hortense, it was time to bid adieu.

IMG_6006Via boat and train we made our way back to Paris filled with sounds and tastes of the sea.

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Auvers-sur-Oise

by Kasia on August 7, 2014

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.

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IMG_1742This was a trip into Van Gogh’s life. It was incredible to be amidst the church that he once painted.

IMG_1744It is here that he rests alongside his brother Theo, who passed away only 6 months after Vincent.

IMG_1750The 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…

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As the sun was setting we walked the length of the estate, reflecting on years long gone.

IMG_1820It was time to bid farewell to Auvers-sur-Oise. Like the artists before us, we headed back to Paris.

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fit for a king

October 15, 2013

TweetA few weeks ago a dear family friend was in town. Since she’s already seen much of Paris, I planned a day of historic elegance in a landscape not too far away. We boarded a bus on an overcast morning, and soon arrived to the legendary, and now private estate, Château de Vaux le Vicomte. […]

Château de Chantilly

July 18, 2013

TweetDuring my mom’s recent visit to Paris, we decided to take her for a day trip. Where else but to a château? Less than 30 minutes by train lies the town of Chantilly, home to a spectacular château spanning the 14th to 19th centuries, not to mention chantilly cream, which in itself is worth the […]

36 hours in Lille

October 8, 2012

TweetI decided to visit Lille on a whim, to meet a dear friend and her 5 month old baby who were traveling via Eurostar from London. What better place for a rendezvous, a city I knew little about, and a place often referred to for it’s history and art. Only one hour by train yet […]

lost in Normandy

July 13, 2012

TweetSeveral weeks ago my Italian and I decided to explore the coast of Normandy, beginning (with umbrellas) in Cherbourg. At the exact spot where the Titanic left port exactly 100 years prior. Guided by a rainbow beneath a gray sky, our adventure began. Our last trip to Normandy was to the D Day beaches and […]

weekend away

May 16, 2012

TweetI’m a great fan of surprises. Particularly when they have to do with travel. For a recent birthday my Italian surprised me with a trip to Tuscany. Now it was my turn. Where did I choose? The Loire of course, one of our favorite getaway destinations. Beneath a moody sky and through fields reminiscent of […]

weekend in the Loire

December 18, 2011

TweetThe Loire Valley is quickly becoming one of my most beloved areas of France. Ever since our first Loire by bike trip amidst the grand château earlier in the year. Last weekend we planned another Loire adventure, this one to the scenic village of Amboise, festive and calm in it’s off-season charm. A perfect escape […]

down south

September 1, 2011

TweetLast weekend, after spending several days with my dear cousins from Poland, both in the sea and on land (I dared yet again to hike from Vernazza to Monterosso, this time with 3 kids under 7), my Italian and I left Italy and headed back to France. All along the coast, via train. A journey […]

Loire by bike

August 17, 2011

TweetLast weekend we set off to explore the Loire Valley. A regal French landscape rich in history and architectural splendors. What better way to breath the royal air and discover the hidden treasures and grand Châteaux than by bike? Our journey began in Blois, a quick 2 hour TGV ride from Paris. A charming city to […]