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Paris, France

Paris began as a fortified Celtic (also known as Gallic) settlement on the Ile de la Cite in the 3rd century BC.  It was called Parisii, after the name of the Celtic tribe known as the Parisii. In 52 BC, the Romans conquered it to build a city called Lutetia, which had a population of less than 10,000 people.  The Lutecians left an arena and Roman baths for us to visit today.  Paris' name today was adopted in the 5th century AD, after the first Celtic peoples who lived there, the Parisii.

Gorge du Tarn and Viaduc de Millau

Gorge du Tarn

Our plan was to walk from the small town of St Eminie to St Chely du Tarn along the Gorge du Tarn. It took us awhile to find the trailhead, then followed the wrong trail which led us up the mountain to a non-descript logging road. But we did see the sign for a Sentiere (trail) to go to St Chely du Tarn from St Eminie. Coming from the East on bis D907, it was after the bridge that crosses the River Tarn in town (where the shops are), to the left after a small square (I mean small, a bench and a tree beside large recycling bins). It was going up a small paved road between houses, with a sign readable only when you're coming from the opposite direction. There was parking just before the sign after the bridge. Tired and hot, having gone on a 5 mile trail up a mountain which ended at an unremarkable logging road, we didn't check out the accuracy of St Eminie to St Chely sign, which indicated a distance of 4.5 km one way. Another sign indicated Castelbouc in the opposite direction in 6km.

Lavender Fields of Valensole and Gorge du Verdon

Lavender Fields of Valensole

We stayed in an Airbnb in a small cobblestone village on a hill called Beaumont-de-Pertuis as a base to explore the lavender fields and Gorge du Verdon. Beaumont-de-Pertuis is a quiet town of young families and beautiful views of surrounding vineyards where the grocery store and boulangerie took a 4-hour siesta break and were closed by 7pm. We had hoped to encounter some lavender fields around this little town, but when that didn't pan out, we ventured towards Valensole.

Nimes and Pont du Gard

Nimes, France

Nimes is an ancient town in the south of France. It was known as the Rome of France in Roman times. Much is left of the Roman era here: a Roman arena, parts of a Roman wall, tower, city gates on a Roman road and a temple or two. 

Saving Time and Money in France

Saving on Time and Money in France:

Baguette lunches: Between driving 6600 km in 3 weeks and hiking where shops don't shine, our lunches tended to be on-the-go. A couple of baguettes, ranging in cost at 0.48 EU to 1.10 EU with soft creamy cheeses of 1.10 EU to 3.50 EU (Camembert, Brie, Chevre, Roquefort etc), and/or a spread (ham, duck pates, sausages, pepper, aubergine spreads) made for quick lunches. Burgundy raisins went well on top of the baguette and cheese. We carried along with us an insulated bag that we got for $1 purchased back home to keep cold our cheeses when placed with a frozen bottle of water. We gladly consumed the cold water afterwards.