On The Road - The "Hautes Alpes"

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mont-Dauphin
View of the Durance Valley.

This past week I took a much anticipated trip down South with my parents. It had been many years since we had taken a trip just the three of us, something I have always loved to do as they love to discover new places and old ruins as much I do. We were to meet my brother and his family in Toulouse but decided to take the long way there via the Alps and Provence. They indulged me in a trip down memory lane.

Chalet
Saint Crepin. Life is simple here.

Chalet
Small village - lots of hospitality.

Being as close as we are, I also like this quieter time together to talk about serious things and catch up (I’ll always be their baby after all). French highways and a little trip under the Southern sun were perfect for that. I hope you enjoy the photographs below and maybe discover or re-discover other facets and areas of France.

Chalet
Everything has a past & a present.

Guillestre
Streets of Guillestre.

Our first stop was the Hautes Alpes where we have had a chalet there for more than 30 years. I grew up spending every summer and winter there from the time I was four until I left for the US. Every major step of my life as a person, child to adult was pretty much spent there (and Provence). This is there where I learned how to bike without training wheels, swim without swimmies, took my first glider ride, learned how to build a fort,...

Guillestre

Guillestre
Cute little restaurant "Dedans Dehors" - Great food.

Our chalet sits at the foot of the little village of Saint Crepin which has changed in so many ways and at the same time remains the same. Everything in that curvy main street is a witness to the changes of time and economics. Being resilient and adaptable is not an attitude here, it’s a necessity.

Guillestre

Guillestre
Small town - lots of character.

Here I would watch my grandfather wait for the rain to stop and get out with his cane in the woods behind the chalet and hunt for snails. Here, we would sleep in the front yard to watch meteor showers and we took many hard turns and falls on our bikes, down the stairs or in the woods. A place for growth. A place for change.

Guillestre
Old barns turned into homes.

Guillestre
The Citadel of Mont-Dauphin.

This is also where Bill met my parents for the first time and assured my dad of his best intentions in spite the challenges or age difference and the distance between us could bring to this new relationship. A special place for sure.

Mont-Dauphin
The village inside the Citadel.

Mont-Dauphin

There are places I crave. This is one of them. As you can see, mountain villages are as sight to be seen. Colors. Flowers. Wood. Old stones. The green pastures and clear meadows of the Queyras behold such beauty. There are places that just put the world right by you. This is one of mine.

Mont Dauphin
Life in the mountains.

Mont Dauphin
In the village.

We only stayed a couple of days but it was enough to get a fill for all the things I missed. The town of Guillestre with its typical narrow streets and old barns now renovated and turned into homes or restaurants. The Citadel of Mont Dauphin, built under Louis XIV, still intact (never attacked!) with its cobblestone streets, gorgeous blues and artisans (pottery, leather, painters,…).

Mont Dauphin

Mont Dauphin

It was pretty darn perfect to notice my body instinctively repeat moves and turns or my brain to remember missing stones and oddities I only knew as a child. I could have stayed there an entire month but we had more to see and more highways to cover. Next stop was the town of Aix En Provence and the small village of Calas where I grew up but that will be for next time.

Fontvielle

I leave you with a snapshot that my dad sneaked of me while in Fontvieille, one of my many favorite places in Provence. I have so many though…stay tuned!

52 comments:

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

What a stunning post! Thank you for taking us along on your journey :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh to have spent every summer here as a child must have been idyllic. I loved your photos - they tell such a story.

Jian Huang said...

Your post makes me want to purchase a plane ticket to France. Thank you for sharing such LOVELY photographs. I am a big fan of your posts both on Facebook and on Blogger.

Marilyn said...

Oh the colors of Provence. Memories indeed of just a year ago spending time in this region. So beautiful and the colors, especially the blues, just jump into the camera.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Thank u for bringing us for a virtual tour :).

Vanille said...

Superbe billet ! La joie et le plaisir est partagé !

CookTeen said...

Looks amazing!! Thanks for the photos!

with love and cupcakes,
Cookteen

RecipeGirl said...

You took such beautiful shots! What's amazing is that you took photos of things that I would never even think to take photos of, yet they turned out to be such beautiful photos to look at. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty there!

Minie said...

Beau voyage, merci pour le partage de tes souvenirs de vacances.

Nikki said...

Absolutely stunning, both the photography and the subject matter! Your attention to detail, and the big picture, combine to encourage me to dream of far away adventures and quaint bistro lunches... what a simply dreamy world! Thank you for sharing!

Nikki said...

Absolutely stunning, both the photography and the subject matter! Your attention to detail, and the big picture, combine to encourage me to dream of far away adventures and quaint bistro lunches... what a simply dreamy world! Thank you for sharing!

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} said...

Such beautiful photos. I want to visit!

Marcella said...

How beautiful. Thanks for sharing such wonderful images. Please keep them coming. :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

The streets are really that empty?
Or did you wait for everybody to get in the buildings to take shots?

It's sort of reminds me of all the small towns we have here too, where the youngsters all leave for the city lights and leaving only the older folks in the small towns. And very soon the small towns just becomes.... almost empty of people.. Which is rather sad, but that's reality of life.

boogie said...

extremely outstanding!!! beautifully shot & such a wonderful, charming town.

Helene said...

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more: Yes they were. Kids went back to school on September 2nd here so places were pretty much void of any tourist at 75%.

Jessie said...

what an amazingly gorgeous town! such beautiful scenery and photos, and so very different from paris!

clipping path Service said...

Awesome post! good work my friend! thanks a lot for sharing.

Ivana said...

ooohh! Provence it's so lovely!

zielenina said...

like in fairy tale!

chika said...

lovely, charming, small town!
i'd love to visit there someday :)

monica said...

lovely...simply lovely!

Susan said...

Your ability with words and your pictures of the narrow alleyways,the blues and pinks in "The Village Picture" are just captivating. A real renewal of soul for reader and you indeed.

Monique said...

Stunning pics of this beautiful part of France although I look at those with mixed feelings since I had an accident when hiking the Mercantour 3 weeks ago.
But girl, I defenitely have to return when I see your photo's.

Gaia said...

I also travelled to Provence this summer! Wonderful places and wonderful pictures, as usual!
gaia

Monika said...

I love the photos!

And I am a big fan of Provence as well - try to go there at least once per year.

Angharad said...

What beautiful pictures and stories! I adore the idea of going home to where I grew up and spent my childhood - this post evokes so many feelings!

Carole said...

Your pictures made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

cris.gomez said...

What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing your trip with us :)

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle said...

Your photos are spectacular and have done nothing to disprove my perception of the magic of that part of the world. An oldness that has melded with the new but keeps such charm that I wish I were there with you; it's something I know I must experience, something I've craved for many years.

I'm not one to travel to bright lights, big city...I love the charming, slower, more relaxing places where you can really meet people and become immersed in the culture. Thank you for sharing.

Gen said...

Quelle belle région et les vues sont magnifiques! Et quel beau temps également!

darbyoshea said...

AGH! I crave those places too, and your lovely photos make me simply groan with envy! Enjoy every second there! And keep the pictures coming for those of us chained to work here...

Kathryn said...

What beautiful scenes!

Sheena said...

These pictures are just gorgeous! Makes me want to be in France right now

notyet100 said...

waiting for next post

fragolina said...

Such an amazing pictures.!! A beautiful place where you crave to be, to enjoy and relax.

newlywed said...

I can't wait to see your pictures from Aix! I lived there as a student years ago, and have not been back since!

Amanda Hawkins said...

So lovely! Keep the pictures (and the names of the places) coming. I'm making my list of sites to see...will get there someday. Count your blessings.

{BlueEyedYonder} said...

My husband and I will be traveling to Provence in early October to celebrate our 1st anniversary. It will be our first time to France and we are both so excited. I can't wait to discover the small, charming towns and inhale the fresh country air.

I have been following your "French Word A Week" and have enjoyed learning more about the language as well as the devine dishes. I can't wait to experience a true taste of France for myself!

Happy journeys!

Michelle said...

These are gorgeous pictures and are fueling my desire to go back to France! Enjoy your travels!

Ivy said...

WOW!
Beautiful!
My favorite picture is the close up of the rusty wooden door.
Have a great Day!

BriBriMX said...

Tes photos subliment le paysage, ellles sont très belles

a. maren said...

holy cow i am dying of jealousy! beautiful photos, they really convey the place.

Cookin' Canuck said...

Lovely memories. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I'm sure your parents appreciated having the time together as much as you did.

A Busy Nest said...

Gorgeous!

Joseph's Grainery Recipes said...

Gorgeous photos! Wishing I was there.

Amanda said...

Beautiful pictures!! Thank you for sharing!

Punctuation Mark said...

I am mesmerized by your images... what a beautiful trip!!! i am actually jealous of your trip and that beautiful landscape!!!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Those are beautiful photos!

naomi said...

The pictures are gorgeous. Like your food photography, I love how you angle your shots.

melopapilles said...

ça me rappelle plein de souvenirs, oncle, tante et cousins ont habité Guillestre toute mon enfance, ma tante américaine travaillait à Mont-Dauphin, elle faisait les visites du fort en anglais, et mon oncle y avait son cabinet d'architecte…
tes photos me font revivre plein de choses, ça me touche beaucoup

Dianne said...

Wonderful Blog. Just found it today and subscribed. Excellent photographic work. Can't wait to try some of the recipes.

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