Sunday, February 16, 2014

Joyeux Noel from the South of France - Part 2, Grasse

Next stop, a train to Nice where I was going to pick up a rental car to drive to Avignon.  

But before we leave Monaco I do want to share one story that pretty much typifies my experience in Monaco.  I was on the bus heading to the train station not really entirely sure how far the stop was.  The hotel concierge was kind enough to write down the stop so I knew what words I was looking for but I froze when trying to find the words to ask the bus driver so I figured I'd just bluff my way through it.  Well, a really lovely older lady dressed just impeccably came on the bus...not a hair out of place.  She must have noticed me looking at every stop so when the bus stopped at the Gare (train) stop she pointed for me to get off.  I'm sure such a small gesture of kindness to a stranger for her but such a big one for me....

Hoping a train from Monaco to Nice

Ok, so driving in France was a little daunting but I don't really think it occurred to me how daunting until I was actually sitting in the drivers seat of my mid sized Peugeot (the only one available with GPS)in the Hertz parking lot.  

Driving in a different city in the US is one thing but driving in Nice?  Well, after a short tiny panic attack I took a very deep breath, put the car in drive and prayed for the best as I backed out of the smallest of parking spots and turned my wheel as far to the right as it would go and held it there to avoid the walls of the very narrow steep spiral parking garage exit and headed out to the streets.

There were a few towns on the way to Avignon that I had planned to stop in if I had time/opportunity.  I didn't really plan it out with much detail,  just figured I would take it as I went but did have a rough plan.

My first stop was Grasse.  From what I could tell Grasse is really centered around the 3 perfumeries that are located there.  

Fragonard is the largest and was definitely on my to do list.  They offer tours and have large shops as well as a couple of museum exhibits in town.  

Making soap on the Fragonard Tour 

I ended up spending the rest of my day here enjoying the beauty of Grasse and meandering through the free museum exhibits.  

Shopping in Grasse

Grasse France

Such a charming town and I do love that they really do celebrate their perfume heritage. I definitely could have stayed a bit longer but I still had quite a bit to go to get to Avignon and dusk was approaching.  

To be up Avignon.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a wonderful adventure. Thanks for sharing.


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