The Netherlands! Yes, those awesome landscapes, wooden houses and windmills of Zaanse Schans, unforgettable sunset at the NEMO science museum behind the Amsterdam central station, cycles, a lot of cycles, walking through the streets and on canal banks of Harleem, tulips and just tulips at the KEUKENHOF tulip gardens, a complete contrast at Rotterdam with its breathtaking modern architecture. Finally, an hour cruise from Rotterdam is Kinderdijk, a small windmill village with mills dating back to the 18th century.
Totally a great experience! Here are few pictures.
It is a place with beautiful beaches, natural arcs, and cliffs. Sunset looks great from here. When the tides are low you can cross the cliff (the one in below picture) through a cave and can explore the part of the cliff (L’Aiguille). And it is not a sand beach but filled with pebbles in order to save the cliffs from erosion.
It was once an artificial port and the place where Normandy landings on D-day took place during World war 2 (6th June 1944). Even now, one can find the remains of the harbor in the beach.
4. Mont Saint-Michel
It’s a rocky island few meters away from the land and easily accessible by the foot bridge. Low tide allowed us to explore around the island and enjoy the breathtaking sunset.
A few weeks earlier my friends and I went on a road trip. We first visited Mont Revard as suggested by my friend. The route to Mont Revard is breathtaking with stunning surroundings. In between, there are beautiful houses completely surrounded by greenery. On the top, one can see the mountain ranges on one side and the city of Aix-les-Bains on the other. Then was time to have lunch and head towards Aix-les-Bains – a city in the Rhone-Alps region on the shores of one of the largest natural lake, Lac du Bourget (Bourget Lake).
The weather was opted for swimming in the lake. There are several locations to swim there. Had lots of fun- swimming, diving jumping and then headed towards Annecy. We then had a plan to stop somewhere in between to camp. Luckily we landed up in the most beautiful, riverside, least known and calm place near Cusy. The place was on the shores of the river ‘Le Cheran‘. One will be totally lost when they are in this beautiful place. We walked around a bit to search for a place to camp. Finally, after an hour or so we found a great place beside the river. Then headed back to the car to pick up our tents and luggage. That exciting walk in there and the wooden bridges are unforgettable. Some group work went on to pitch up the tents and set up the fire camp. had a great time with music on the banks of the river. Believe me, you just get lost in this place.
Had a nice sleep and we woke up next day to witness the calm surroundings. One would dream for this to happen every day. Then was the time to pack everything. Then had breakfast and started walking back to the car. We didn’t want to miss the chance of swimming in Cheran. In the next moment, we were found jumping and diving into the clear and a bit cold water of the river.
With this fresh start to the day, we continued our journey to Annecy- The pearl of the French Alps located in south-eastern France. It commands the view of the mountains beyond the beautiful lake. But this beautiful city welcomed us with the crowd, it was difficult to find a place to park the car around the lake as there was some ongoing event. Then managed to park the car and started walking around the lake. Believe me, you get the best view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Sat near the lake enjoying the eye-catching view. We were not in a mood to swim, but it’s a great place to swim. I recommend not to miss it like we did.
We needed to camp for the day. Again the search for place started. We were lucky to stop en route to Chamonix at an old bridge by the side of the river. We settled there and kind of barbecue went on. That night was a bit cold but the fire camp negated this.
The next destination was Chamonix-Mont-Blanc generally called as Chamonix – it’s situated at the junction of France, Swiss and Italy. It commands the incredible view of the Mont-Blanc- the highest mountain in Europe rising 4800 m above sea level. One can go to Aiguille du Midi which is in Mont Blanc rising around 3800m via telepheric (Cable car) for greater view. This cable car has the highest vertical ascent in the world. Worth it if you can afford it.
Well, its was a great spot to end our trip.
It’s easy to reach Aix-les-Bains and Annecy with Local trains (TER) from Lyon costing you around 15-30€ one-way. But Road trip would be best.
Sunset from Mont Revard looks great. Try being there in evening.
For camping site in Annecy, Le Belvédère- Camping Municipal is the best choice. – Walkable distance from the lake. Costs around 15€ for two people.
Calanques- those beautiful mountains, crystal clear sea, Cliffs to dive from, What else one will need to make the weekend exciting.
I recently visited Calanque d’En-Vau located near Cassis, in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast. It’s a port city which commands the view of an old chateau. We started our trek from cassis, in the beginning, it was very smooth, then was a descend into the Calanque de Port Pin. We stopped there for a while and moved on to the greater part of our journey. Then it became challenging and more exciting. In between, we stopped to rest, meanwhile had a great treat for our eyes. All we could see was the Calanques and sea. Then came a steep challenging descend into the Calanque d’En Vau.
We had a plan to swim, but we could hardly find people swimming! yes, it was very cold, the water temperature was around 15°C! Then with all the courage we swam and although initially it was bit cold later it was fine.
We took a different route back to Cassis although it was tough at some points, we made it soon. And here is the total activity of the day.
An easy way to reach cassis is by the local train- TER. It costs around 6-10 Euro from Marseille. There are also buses to nearby places from Marseille.
It’s a good idea to carry something to eat.
If you are planning for the two-day trek you can opt the youth hostel nearby as wild camping is prohibited. Visit the tourism office at Cassis for information.
Try to take a route by the side of Calanque d’en Vau to go back to Cassis. It’s a bit tough but worth it.
That was my second weekend in Lyon, I heard from my co-worker that there was a city of Roman history near Lyon(Thank you, Mathis). That was Vienne- a city of south-eastern France around 30km from Lyon, situated on Rhone river. It was a former Roman colony and once a center of textile industry.
I left early in the morning. It was 20 minutes by train from Lyon. Soon after I got down at Vienne I headed to the tourist office and got to know about the places to visit and also got a route map. The whole city can be covered by foot. Indeed, there is a specific heritage route with markings on the road which covers all the major places to visit.
1. Saint-André-le-Bas church
Following the heritage route, I first stopped by a medieval church of Vienne. It is a church built in the 9th century with very fine stone carvings and generally employed for exhibitions in recent days.
2. Saint-Maurice Cathedral
Next was a cathedral of Saint-Maurice built in the 13th century which is a combination of Roman and gothic styles. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking.
Interiors of Cathedral
Interiors of Cathedral
3. Roman Temple
The Roman temple known as the Temple of Augustus and Livia was built in 1BC.
4. Museum and site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal Vienne
I then visited the Museum and historical site of Saint-Romain-en-gal situated on the bank of river Rhone. The museum depicts the history of ancient Vienne, economy, crafts, mosaics and daily life in the Roman house. The archeological site depicts the Gallo-Romain civilization.
5. Belvedere of Pipet and Théâtre Antique
This is the place one shouldn’t miss in Vienne. On climbing to the top of Mount Pipet where there are a chapel and statue of the Virgin mary and there’s a fantastic view of the city, Rhône Valley, and the Antique roman theater.
This Roman theater hosts the Vienne Jazz festival every year in the month of July.
Chapel and Statue of Mary
6. Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology
Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology contains collections of objects of Gallo-Roman, French pottery, and paintings dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries.
It costs around 5-10 Euro from Lyon to Vienne in the regional train (TER).
In Vienne, Follow the standard heritage route. Just follow logo incorporated on the road which covers all the heritage sites.
Buy a single ticket which covers all three museums. It’s economical.
Before I shifted to Lyon, I visited a friend in Grenoble – a city in southeastern France, around 100 km from Lyon. It is a beautiful city in the proximity of the Alps.
La bastille is a fortress in Chartreuse mountain range and overlooking the city, its one of the most visited places in Grenoble. We can reach Bastille either by cable car or by hiking. On reaching the top one can witness a breathtaking view of the Alps and the city.
I am back again, but this time signing in from new place! I recently moved to Lyon, a city of East France for one of the most important beginnings of my life.
Lyon is famous for its food and the UNESCO word heritage architectural sites. I spent my first weekend in Lyon and visited few places and of course tried to click some beautiful pictures. Regarding my experience, yes it’s totally different experience for me because I was in more calm and countryside sites before coming here. There are lots of places to visit, spend time and do some photography. I think I won’t be bored living here. In my free time, I was able to go to very few places and there is always a lot more to explore! Here are few pictures.
A medieval cathedral with an astronomical clock of the 14th century and museum.
Window glass painting
14th Century Astrinomical Clock
The red candles
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Basilica of the 19th century on top of a small mountain – Fourviere. It has four towers around and an art museum.
It’s an ancient Theatre of Fourviere built around 15 BC. It is also located on the hill of Fourviere. A calm place to sit and enjoy the city view.
Museum of Gallo-Roman civilization.
Parc de la Tête d’Or
It is one of the largest urban parks in France spreading around 117 acres. It is integrated with a lake and during summer boating is the main attraction in the park.
Rivers of Lyon
Rhône and Saône are the two rivers of Lyon.
Lyon at Night
Keep waiting. Still, more to come from the beautiful city – Lyon.