Archive for the France Category

Day 215 – Cannes, France

Posted in France on August 10, 2011 by jpomio

Today we took a day trip to Cannes. Although our public transportation experience to and from Cannes was VERY frustrating (I’ll let Ryan elaborate on his next blog entry), we had a great time exploring this glitzy costal city. After completing our walking tour of the city center, we enjoyed some relaxing time on the beach. I have never soon so many yachts parked in one area, a testament that the French Riviera is truly the playground of the rich and famous.

(Cannes’ shoreline)


(Palais des Festivals et Des Congres – venue for the yearly Cannes Film Festival)


Me on the “red carpet”…


(Musee de la Castre)


(Various scenes from Cannes)


Day 214 – Nice, France

Posted in France on August 9, 2011 by jpomio

This afternoon we said goodbye to Marseille and hopped on a train to Nice. Our three hour train ride was quite scenic as we made our way through the French Riviera. Upon arriving, we took a bus to our hotel to drop off our bags. After checking in, we took a bus back to the city center to begin our “exploration”. Nice is AMAZING! It is my second favorite city in France (after Paris). Nice is incredibly tranquil, colorful, and charismatic (while Paris is very grand, regal, and uniform). I absolutely love the narrow streets in Nice’s city center and the beautiful Mediterranean coastline at the heart of the city.

(City Center)


(Aerial views of Nice)


(Nice’s beautiful beaches)


(Place Massena)




Day 213 – Marseille, France

Posted in France on August 8, 2011 by jpomio

We parted with Nimes this morning and got on a train heading for Marseille. Our train ride was brief and comfy. Upon arriving, we stored our bags at the train station instead of heading to our hotel as usual (since our hotel was located on the outskirts of Marseille). Since Marseille is quite large (the second largest city in France) we wanted to take full advantage of our only day here. As we exited the train station and began exploring Marseille, we were truly underwhelmed. The city seemed really dirty, there was graffiti everywhere, and the general vibe of the city seemed shabby. If was not until we entered the city center area that we discovered Marseille’s hidden charms.

(Eglise des Reformes)


(Arc de Triomphe)


(Cathedrale de la Nouvelle Major)


(Vieux Port)


(Aerial views of Marseille)


(Basilique Notre Damn de la Gard)


(Chateau D’if – made famous by the Count of Monte Cristo)




(Various scenes from Marseille)


Day 212 – Pont du Gard, France

Posted in France on August 7, 2011 by jpomio

Although today was unusually cold and rainy, we did not let the weather spoil our sightseeing plans. This afternoon we hopped on a bus heading to Pont du Gard (located 40 minutes outside of Nimes). Pont du Gard is a historic Roman aqueduct bridge dating back to the first century. Scholars estimate that at one time Pont du Gard carried over 40 million gallons of water a day to Nimes. It was VERY interesting to see this World Heritage site and to learn more about it.

(Pont du Gard – 50 AD)




Day 211 – Nimes, France

Posted in France on August 6, 2011 by jpomio

This morning we said goodbye to Avignon and headed for our next destination, Nimes. Our train ride was brief and comfortable (only 36 minutes). Upon arriving, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and began exploring this adorable French city. Nimes has a rich Roman history. Arenes de Nimes, which dates back to 70 AD, is one of the best preserved amphitheaters in France. Maison Carree, an even older structure, is one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world. It was amazing to see them both.

(Arenes de Nimes)


(Maison Carree – 19 BC)


(Cathedrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor de Nimes)


(Tour Magne)




(Various scenes from Nimes)


(Tonight’s dinner – chicken and pineapple go so well together…)


Day 210 – Avignon, France (“City of Popes”)

Posted in France on August 5, 2011 by jpomio

The climate in southern France is fabulous. As we stepped off the train in Avignon last night, we were immediately greeted by a warm tropical breeze. This afternoon we took a walking tour of beautiful Avignon. Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the seat of the Papacy for almost 80 years (instead of Rome). We had a wonderful time exploring and learning about Avignon’s rich history.

(Temple Saint Martial & Musee Lapidaire)


(Palais des Papas)


(Cathedral Notre Dame des Doms)


(Rhone River)


(Pont Saint-Benezet – 1171 AD)


(Various scenes from Avignon)

IMG_4896IMG_4897IMG_4899City WallsIMG_4850IMG_4851IMG_4861IMG_4895

Day 209 – Loire Valley, France

Posted in France on August 4, 2011 by jpomio

Today we explored some of the Chateaus located in the Loire Valley. Although there are many beautiful Chateaus sprinkled throughout the Loire Valley region, we only had time to visit two (Chateau de Chenonceau and Chateau de Chambord). Both structures exuded regal beauty. After returning our rental car in the evening, we hopped on a train heading to southern France.

(Chateau de Chenonceau)

IMG_4815located on River CherIMG_4833IMG_4822IMG_4827IMG_4807IMG_4813IMG_4834IMG_4835IMG_4829

(Chateau de Chambord)