We drove from France to Italy yesterday. We were sad to leave France, but we stopped at the most beautiful road stop probably in the whole world which looked over Monaco, which is a tiny little country on the Côte D’Azur. It was the last place to stop in France. Then we arrived in Italy! We are staying in a beautiful house called Il Laghello Fi Amina on a farm where they make their own honey and olive oil. There is a lovely lady called Lila here who gave us pizza last night, and clothes today! We are right next to the Cinque Terre National Park. The town is called Framura.
Today we drove to Framura and parked half way down the very windy mountain. We started walking to the bottom, but mum told dad to go and get the car and drive it all the way to the bottom. Then we got on a train to Monterosso. It was very beautiful because it had lots of beautiful beaches and high cliffs and coloured houses. We ate pizza and pasta for lunch. Dad had a crab pasta that he said was unbelievable. Afterwards we had 🍧- it was the best ice cream we have tasted and we ate it on the beach. Daddy took us up a big rock on the beach and a Texan lady took our photo there. Afterwards we came back home on the train.
🇫🇷 🇮🇹 🌜🍕🍦☕️🍧🍝💕👏🏼🍨
We drove to a huge house called Villa Plantat near Quissac for mummy and Joey’s birthday. It was so much fun – there were lots of people. There was Aunty Joey, Auntie Sophie, Auntie Rach, Auntie Treen, Auntie Susan, Claudia the Chocolate Fairy, Shanti, Josh and Maya, Fernanda, Henry, Oriana and Marcella and lots more. We had a huge lunch for mummy outside and then all the kids took the grown ups to the lake. Then daddy asked mummy to marry her! We also had a race around the lake, and we played egg and spoon race there. Oriana was the winner. On Saturday we had a huge birthday party for Joey and lots more people came and there was dancing and food and fun. Jasper thinks that this house was the best place we stayed at.
We haven’t posted for a while because we have been so busy with mummy’s birthday.
At the end of our stay in Provence, we visited Gigondas and hiked up to the Dentelles, which look like teeth. We got lost on the way up – everyone had a walking stick and they kept dropping them. Margot got hurt by a prickly bush. Afterwards we tried to have lunch in a restaurant at Gigondas, but we made so much noise that mum and dad were embarrassed to take us in and people at the restaurant were looking at us. We had to go home and have lunch instead. Lucky it was so close.
We also visited Avignon which was fantastic! We had lunch in a courtyard and afterwards we walked past the shops and saw a lolly shop that looked really good. Mum bought a dress for her birthday party, but she couldn’t find any shoes. We then visited the Palais de Papes where the popes lived for about 100 years in the 1300s. The rooms were amazing – one of them was where the pope’s bedroom was and it had amazing frescoes all over it. It
was beautiful. We then went to visit the bridge at Avignon which was the same bridge from the nursery rhyme and we all sang “Sur le Pont, D’Avignon, On y danse, On y danse”!
Afterwards, we went back to the lolly shop and bought some delicious lollypops and caramels.
On the way home from Avignon, we went to McDonalds. We had a happy meal and got toys – a puppy and two turtles that were like Lego. Maeve and Jasper played with a lot of French girls in the playground who were very nice – we played “Le Louvre”, or “the wolf”, which is exactly like tip in Australia. We got a balloon each at the end and we were really happy. The next day, Margot kept saying “Happy meal, happy meal!” We thought McDonalds was the best bit about Avignon. Mum said she never wanted to hear that sentence again.
At the end of our stay in Vaucluse, Maya, Josh and Shanti came to stay for the night! It was really fun to see them. They came for mummy’s birthday. We will write more about that later.
On the way to Quissac for mummy’s birthday we visited the Haribo factory at Uzes – we saw gummy bears and how they made all the lollies. It was so amazing because we got 5 packets of lollies there. We thought it was the best day of our lives.
Yesterday we came from mummy’s birthday to Cassis. We were very excited when we saw the ocean. There were lots of boats in the harbour in Cassis and the buildings were very colourful. There was even a beach there and we played at the edge of the water. Jasper found a magic rock there – it was a little pebble with a flower on it that someone had drawn. There were probably millions of rocks on the beach, so it was amazing that Jasper found that particular one! Maeve also found treasures – a plastic dinosaur and a fish and another one that you can make sand castles with. We had dinner at a place on the water – Margot had nuggets and chips, and Jasper and Maeve shared a plate of fish and chips. Mum and dad had moules frites.
Today we did a big hike. We drove to a car park, and walked to Les Calanques. We walked along the top of beautiful cliffs and saw bright blue water below. Maeve said that you have to give lots of effort to keep walking, but that she liked walking. Finally we got to a tiny beach where the water was very blue and green. At the little beach we had lunch, and Jasper and Maeve tried to pull a big log out of the water. Everyone played at the edge of the water, but mum and dad got cranky when Jasper and Maeve were splashing everyone. Margot was the first one to go all the way under the water. Then Maeve went. Then daddy went. Jasper was too scared. Then we walked back, but we walked back a much trickier way with lots of slippery rocks. Mum and dad kept saying not to skip, run, or jump on the way home because everyone was getting really tired, but no one listened. First of all Maeve fell over on the gravel and hurt herself, but not too badly. Then Jasper tried to jump onto a big boulder and fell off and whacked his knee really badly. Then he was pretending to be a beetle on his back and not getting up properly. Then Maeve fell over while she started to skip down the mountain five minutes from our car. She hurt herself very badly and has a very bad cut on her knee. She got a chuppa chup. Mum says that Jasper can’t have his chuppa chup unless he writes this blog with her and does some school.
We drove to a huge market at L’isle sur Sorgue on Sunday and bought 🍗 🥔 🥘 🍅 🍯 🍆. We sat
by the river to eat our food and play with the ducks. 🦆
Afterwards we drove to Roussillon which was a very beautiful town with red cliffs and ochre everywhere. It was like being back in the middle of Australia. We went for a walk on the cliffs and there was orange sand everywhere and we had to be careful not to fall over (but Jasper did). We ate delicious ice cream there too – mango and mint choc chip.
by Maeveby Daddy (with glass collected from the Orb River at Vieussan).
We went to Mount Ventou. It is the hardest leg of the Tour de France bicycle race and there were lots of cyclists climbing it all the way up to the top. It looked very hard.
We parked near the top at a chalet and went for a walk to the top. We didn’t make it the whole way but we climbed very far uphill and it was hard. We heard the sound of bells and there were sheep with bells around their necks and they were being herded by dogs across the path. It was fun walking through the sheep as they made music. We got to the top and Jasper found a sheep skull. He was very excited. He said that the sheep was very lucky to have died on Mount Ventou because it is very famous and it’s like dying on a stage (but it was also a bit sad for the sheep). Dad didn’t let us take the sheep skull home but we took some of its teeth to remember our walk and the sheep.
We drove to summit after that and we looked out over the French Alps where some of the mountains are 4000m high. Mount Ventou was 1900m high.
Mum and dad were very proud of how far we walked.
Poojis by Maeve:
We went to underground caves at Thouzon. They were under a hill that we climbed that had an ancient castle at the top (it used to be an abbey). Maeve thought that the caves were a fairy church. She found fairy jewels there. There were lots of stalactites and stalacmites made of calcium. Stalacmites are at the bottom, and stalactites are at the top. When they join up they make a column. Before they become stalactites, the long stringy hollow bits of calcite are called macaroni, like the pasta! We saw a baby fossilised bat that was 5000 years old – it was very cute. There used to be bats living in the caves, but when the chimneys leading to the top collapsed 5000 years ago, they couldn’t get out or in ever again. They think that there are lots more underground caves leading from the caves at Thouzon underground – they are like an underground world that humans don’t know about.
We are in a new house near Cairanne in Vaucluse, a department of Provence. It is a really great – if it had a river it would be the best. There are vineyards all around us and they are harvesting the grapes right now. We walked to Cairanne on our first day and we saw grapes, figs, persimons, pumpkins, chestnuts, acorns and tomatoes growing on the side of the road. Maeve collected chestnuts and acorns in a cup but she left them in the toilet at a restaurant and she cried the whole way home. We are here for two weeks.
We drove to Carcassonne which is an ancient medieval walled city. There were lots and lots of people and it was a bit cold. Our favourite thing was to visit a school museum where we sat in an old fashioned classroom and wrote our names with real ink! Mummy pretended to be a teacher.