Planes, trains, and automobiles

Driving through the South of France and Spain

View from our cottage outside Carcassonne

This autumn we’ve had both my, and 416expat’s parents visit.  In our experience, visiting parents are an excuse to travel and to get out of London.

With 416expat’s parents we flew to the South of France, explored Carcassonne and even popped over into Spain for a few hours.  We stayed via airbnb in a beautiful cottage on a wine estate in Languedoc, France.  Our hosts were able to provide recommendations for local markets, restaurants, and gave us a fantastic tasting of their wines.

Driving from the South of France into Spain

Driving from the South of France into Spain

Late night pizza run into town

Late night pizza run into town

Canal running into Carcassonne

Canal running into Carcassonne

Relaxing in the courtyard of the winery/cottage

Relaxing in the courtyard of the winery/cottage

With my parents we flew into Pisa, Italy, spent an overnight in Lucca, spent a day in Florence, and then bounced around Umbria for a few days before taking a fairly wild drive through the countryside to end up back in Pisa.

Walking along the outer wall of Lucca

Walking along the outer wall of Lucca – each side is planted with a different variety of tree

The Duomo in Florence

The Duomo in Florence

Donut, hot from the fryer, filled with custard and rolled in sugar - dangerously addictive

Donut, hot from the fryer, filled with custard and rolled in sugar – dangerously addictive

The sun did come out briefly

The sun did come out briefly

Hidden courtyards and lots of stairs in Assisi

Hidden courtyards and lots of stairs in Assisi

View from the lawn of St Francis of Assisi's cathedral

View from the lawn of St Francis of Assisi’s basilica

Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Cloudy but still incredibly beautiful

Cloudy but still incredibly beautiful

Oh yeah, and the leaning tower of Pisa was taken over by protestors

Oh yeah, and the leaning tower of Pisa was taken over by protestors who lit flares and threw banners over the edge

My favourite memories for both trips (apart from spending time with our families) are fairly food focused.  While in Umbria we ate at a tiny trattoria that appeared to make its hours up as it went but served really flavourful and well paired foods.  While in Carcassonne we visited the local market.  I could’ve spent hours just exploring the different produce and pastries, let alone watching the crowds of people doing their weekly shop.

All in both trips were lovely and a great opportunity to spend time with both our parents.

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