A quick trip along the Cote d’Azur

September has come and gone again, but definitely not without me exploring a bit of the world, as per usual! No travel in September is a big no go in my book! Ha! It’s tradition by now! Those following my Facebook page have already had an insight in my whereabouts the past couple of weeks, but now it’s finally time to give you all some more in dept information.

I started the month with a trip to the South of France, but for once not solely for travel purposes. One of my best friends was getting married in one of the most romantic and beautiful places on Earth and lucky me was invited to this dream wedding. I of course wouldn’t be me if I didn’t try to squeeze in some sightseeing, right?

We headed south a day before the start of the festivities because one of my friends wouldn’t be able to stay for the entire weekend and this way the trek south would be worth it a little more. And this meant we all got some extra time to visit the region. It’s a win-win in my book!

Our plane landed on Nice Airport a little after noon. The sun was still present as our feet touched the tarmac, but by the time we made it into our rental car, the clouds had won the battle. But no sadness, we just continued south; direction Saint-Tropez! Olé!

Even though it was a Thursday afternoon, traffic was pretty bad, so instead of getting frustrated all the way to Saint-Tropez, we decided to add an extra stop a bit earlier, in Port Grimaud. This city on the water was constructed in 1966 and gets called “The Venice of France”. It’s definitely not a big or impressive as Venice, but the colorful houses along the water are a pretty beautiful setting to stroll along. Back in 2010 I had already visited this city with my parents on our trip along the Cote d’Azur so seeing it again a decade later was pretty cool.

Late afternoon, after a yummy ice cream break, we piled into the car again and made another attempt to reach Saint-Tropez. And with success! Unfortunately, the rain had caught up with us as well. But being impressed by the gi-gan-tic (yes, GI-GAN-TIC) yachts in the port of Saint-Tropez works just as well in the rain as under a blazing sun. The yachts are of course part of what attracts tourists to this place, but I find it sad how they block the beautiful architecture of the port itself from view.

The rain literally rained on our parade for the rest of our visit. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the city but I’m fairly sure that some sunshine would give me an entirely other view on this place and make it feel more like a holiday destination. The sun really has that power.

We didn’t feel like emptying our pockets by eating dinner in Saint-Tropez, so that’s why we drove to Ramatuelle. A tip from the lovely bride-to-be, and one we were really grateful for. Such a charming little town! We found a parking space right outside the old village and first walked the outer limits before wandering through the smaller streets. There isn’t much to see, but it felt like a breath of fresh air after the busy Saint-Tropez.

We had dinner in the restaurant La Forge where my boyfriend claims to have eaten the best lasagna of his life. He even ordered a second portion as “dessert”. Enough said, no?

The next day, the wedding festivities started so no more time to be a full-time tourist. But during the activities, we got to see a bit of the region as well, so the wanderer in me was overjoyed. Cruising on a boat along the Cote d’Azur was an experience that will last a lifetime!

The morning of the wedding itself, we had some time off. Mostly to recover from the party the evening before – oops – and to get ready for the big ‘I Do’-moment in the afternoon. But I – of course – found another way to use that time. Running gear on and ready to head to the top of the Col du Canadel.

From our hotel, this was a five kilometer run one way which seemed perfect distance. I found a trail along the coast before it went up, up, up towards the top. The col itself was mostly along the – calm – road, but there were a few parts where we got to run off-road. Yay! A perfect mix. But pretty exhausting as well. It was a bit steeper than I expected, but the view at the top was more than worth the effort! What a view!!

Entirely satisfied but completely spent, we arrived back at the hotel. A shower, some breakfast and then some relaxing at the beach to recover. A perfect morning and now completely ready to celebrate the love of two of the most amazing people in my life. Life is good!

♡ Ellen


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