Picture of mailbox

GoogleAds (grouped by category) used to appear here, where I thought that they added value. New EU privacy regulations (2015) require inappropriate messages to visitors, so the ads have been removed.

On this page:

Our favourite places in France:

Yabla icon

An easy way to learn or improve your French:

A good place to buy guides etc. on France:

Picture of hiking boots

Best company specializing in walking holidays:

Some Places To Enjoy Life... In South of France

On this page you can find information and links about some of our favourite places in the South of France (we have also greatly enjoyed the Dordogne, Brittany and many other places in France, but those were before the days of digital cameras).

Corsica, because it is so different in many ways, has its own page here .

Picture of flowers on villa wall in Tuscany

A wonderful hotel in the Midi-Pyrénées (click the picture for more)

    Picture of compass
  • If you follow the links in the right hand panel, you will hopefully find a lot of useful or interesting information. The first (reddish-brown) links will take you to maps of France marked up with our favourite sites, restaurants, hotels etc.
  • Links in that panel will generally open in a new window.
  • My Categorian Blog - Sadly Gone
  • Cat You were very welcome to visit my Categorian Blog, sadly now trashed due to Amazon withdrawing its server.
  • The place-visits below have numerous broken links to my Categorian blog. Fixing them will involve recovering the lost photoblogs, which will take a long time. Meanwhile please accept my apologies and check the Latest Updates page if you want to see what progress I am making on other pages. Thanks!

Nice, Côte d'Azur

We fell in love with Nice a while back. At least once a year we rent an apartment there, usually in March and/or September-October, when the weather is usually sunny at least 11 days out of 14 — and bad weather in Nice is not the same as bad weather in England!

Why do we like it so much?

It's simply one of the nicest places to live that we know. People are always out and about, enjoying themselves in cafés, restaurants, parks, markets, or just walking. You don't have to do very much in order to have a good time, although there is plenty to do if you want.

The fact that you can easily walk to almost anywhere in the city is one of its great attractions. Nice also has one of the best and cheapest public transport systems that we know — any one-way journey on bus(es) or tram(s) up to 74 minutes will cost you only 1€, if you buy a Multi 10 ticket (see here - worth retrying if the server is down, as it sometimes is).

What we particularly like is that Nice has a life of its own, quite independent of tourists, to whom the locals are nevertheless almost always very friendly. Unlike some places in France, most locals will be happy to speak French to you, whatever level of French you have. In most shops, cafés and restaurants they will also help you out in English if you need it (and in rare cases, even if you don't!).

Asterix in Britain (As always in France, being able to speak and pronounce the language reasonably well does make for a more enjoyable experience, and we find Yabla Video Immersion to be a painless and inexpensive way to help with that.

Another enjoyable way of keeping up with your French are the original-language Asterix comic books by Goscinny and Uderzo, with their sly and friendly encounters with the foibles of different countries, as well as of the Gauls themselves.)

  • MAP
  • Click here if you would like to see an annotated map of the places in our trips to Nice (opens in a new tab or window).

Click either picture below to see a photoblog of our first visit to Nice:

Picture of Baie des Anges Nice Nice seen from ferris wheel, with Colline du Chateau in distance

(Click either picture above to see the photoblog of our first trip)

We have visited many more places in Nice and the surrounding area on return trips. You can find all of our Nice photoblogs if you click the picture below.

View looking from terrace of Villa Kérylos, Beaulieu-sur-Mer

(Click this image to see all of our Nice photoblogs)

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In June 2012 we spent 9 days in this very pleasant part of southern France, starting with a couple of days in Toulouse. From there we drove south to spend time at the Abbaye Château de Camon, a converted Abbey / Monastery / Château at Camon, near the picturesque town of Mirepoix.

While there we visited the ruined Château of Montségur, a short drive to the south of Lavalenet and a long steep climb for the determined (like us). This was the last refuge of the Cathars, people of a religion diametrically opposed to the Catholic church, persecuted and burnt alive when taken, which happened here in 1244.

We also visited the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, and the Chateau of Foix.

During our trip the weather was very unsettled, to say the least!

  • MAP
  • Click here if you would like to see an annotated map of the places in our trip (opens in a new tab or window).

A photo from each part of our journey appears below. If you would like to see my photoblog of that part, click the image.

The Pont Neuf over the Garonne

Toulouse (click the image to visit)

Abbaye Château de Camon

Abbaye Château de Camon (click the image to visit)


Mirepoix (click the image to visit)

hâteau of Montségur

Château of Montségur (click the image to visit)

Carcassonne - The Old Walled City

Carcassonne - The Old Walled City (click the image to visit)

The Château of Foix

The Château of Foix (click the image to visit)

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We spent the first half of October 2010 in a rented place just to the east of Aix-en-Provence, a part of France that I have always wanted to visit (and the favourite hang-out of Paul Cézanne).

  • MAP
  • Click here if you would like to see an annotated map of the places in our trip (opens in a new tab or window).

Click any picture below to see the full photoblog.

Trees on the Bibemus Plateau

Trees on the Bibemus plateau (click the image to visit)

Vauvenargues - the last resting place of Pablo Picasso

Vauvenargues - the last resting place of Pablo Picasso (click the image to visit)

Aix-en-Provence in October sun

Aix-en-Provence in mid-October sun (click the image to visit)

Mont Saint-Victoire painted often by Cezanne

Mont Saint-Victoire, painted so often by Paul Cézanne (click the image to visit)

Trees in grounds of Chateau de la Barben

In the grounds of the ancient Château de la Barben (click the image to visit)

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