Category Archives: France

Camping on the Camargue

Running parallel to the beach a large carpark displays a ‘no camping’ sign. The area is filled (and when I say ‘filled’, I mean cheek by jowl, chock a block) with camper vans (and when I say ‘camper vans’ I mean rectangular blocks of homes on wheels fitted with satellite dishes, washing lines and patios. I would not have been surprised to see raised garden beds and a tennis court). Continue reading


Houses of Old Cardigans and Lego

Warning: This post contains gross generalizations

Rural architecture in Switzerland and France. It’s like comparing children’s toy houses built out of lego in the conservatory, with those constructed yesterday in the sandpit using a few twigs for support.

It’s hard to say which is more appealing: Continue reading

Europe’s Response To Australia’s Drive-Through Bottle Shop: The Walk-Through Wee

 Inside every suburban officeworker there’s a wild jungle man trying to get out.

Unleash him at the outdoor urinal.

The Politics of Sunflowers

Whizzing along the French autobahn at 130km/h we pass fields and fields of sunflowers. I am struck by this mass of blooms, every single one oriented in the same direction. “Like a communist party convention,” observes the BB.

Sorry, no photos – all were blurred.

Oh, what the heck, here’s one for a general idea.

Vincent in Australia in France

Driving south from Valence to Orange, in Provence, I felt decidedly at home. Vast areas of trees had morphed into shrubs; I saw my first dead grass in Europe; the vegetation had taken on a sage tinge; it was 34 degrees and the chocolate in my handbag was limp. Continue reading

Not ‘Fighting’ Bulls

I leant over the buffet, choosing my meal in the Camargue, and decided to try the dish below.

The young manager approached and explained each of the foods I had on my plate. She came to the one in question. “Bull pate” she announced.

Suddenly I was hurled into a relationship with my food. This was much more intimate than ‘beef pate’. This had a gender, for goodness sake. Continue reading

Colours on the Camargue

One of the books I remember with pleasure from my childhood was set in the Camargue, the Rhone delta near Arles in the south of France. The geography was of little importance then. What mattered was the story of horses fording the waters from their island to the mainland.

Knowing we would need to spend the night in that area on the way from Switzerland to Spain, the part of me that kept the book in memory wanted to see the Camargue and the horses in it. I also read on the Arles website  that the fighting  bulls are bred there and that flamingos inhabit the area. White, black, pink – that would be a pleasing trio to sight. Continue reading