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Travel Series: On Driving Through France

After our week in Italy, we had two nights in Nice which we used to do absolutely nothing.  These were vital days in our itinerary, and although it meant sacrificing some sightseeing around the Cote d’Azur (which we will revisit another time), we needed the down-time more.  We did boring things like laundry, grocery shopping for the next few days and repacking the suitcases.  We also spent lots of time relaxing in the rooftop pool which had a pretty amazing view over Nice.

Rested and relaxed, we picked up the hire car from downtown Nice and began our road trip journey.  We opted not to get a GPS and instead, purchased a France Road Map (Atlas Routier & Touristique) and together with more specific Google maps directions we had printed, we were set.  Adam loved being the driver and I loved being the navigator.  If time allowed, we would take tiny little country roads instead of the highway to get to each destination.  One day we spent the whole day ‘getting lost’ in Burgundy.  It felt like a real adventure, discovering each village as we came across it.  Having our own car was brilliant as it meant we had the freedom to travel where we wanted, when we wanted and to stop for a roadside picnic whenever we felt the urge.

I’ll talk about these destinations in more details next week, but our driving itinerary was:
Nice -> Moustiers Sainte Marie -> Chamonix Mont Blanc -> Beaune -> Vezelay -> (via Versailles to) Honfleur -> Villers Bretonneaux -> Amiens

Nice, France | brownpaperbelle.comNice, France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France |brownpaperbelle.comRoad Trip Through France With Toddler | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comRoadside Picnic France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comRoadside Picnic, Normandy | brownpaperbelle.com

Travel Series: Chamonix Mont Blanc

Up next on our holiday was the most incredible day of driving up through Haute Provence and through the French Alps to Chamonix Mont Blanc.  With a clear Spring day and the sun high, we stopped for lunch at one of the many roadside stops for a glass of wine, cheese and baguette.  We continued driving in what felt like a cauldron – the enormous alps dwarfing our tiny car as they rose either side of us.  Truly spectacular.  We arrived in Chamonix and were welcomed by the very hip and friendly staff at Hotel le Faucigny with a bottle of champagne – the best type of welcome.  We had a picnic dinner out the front of the hotel, with Mont Blanc as our backdrop.   The hotel was beautifully designed with quirky Scandinavian-style details.  I would love to return and stay longer one day.  We left Chamonix on a cold, miserable morning drizzling with rain.  Perhaps a preview to allow us to imagine just how cold it would be in ski season and re-think our plans to revisit in Winter.

Driving Through France | brownpaperbelle.com
Roadside Picnic | brownpaperbelle.com
Driving through France | brownpaperbelle.com
The Best Type of Welcome | brownpaperbelle.com
Chamonix Picnic | brownpaperbelle.com
Mont Blanc | brownpaperbelle.com
Hotel le Faucigny | brownpaperbelle.com