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On The Road – The "Hautes Alpes"


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.


Saint Crepin. Life is simple here.


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.


Everything has a past & a present.


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,…



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.



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.


Old barns turned into homes.


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.


The village inside the Citadel.


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.


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!

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Meghan@travelwinedine September 6, 2010 um 8:27 pm

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

Ciao Chow Linda September 6, 2010 um 8:36 pm

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

Jen H. Gorman September 6, 2010 um 10:04 pm

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 Miller September 6, 2010 um 11:03 pm

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.

Bakericious September 6, 2010 um 11:14 pm

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

Vanille September 6, 2010 um 11:14 pm

Superbe billet ! La joie et le plaisir est partagé !

CookTeen September 7, 2010 um 12:13 am

Looks amazing!! Thanks for the photos!

with love and cupcakes,

RecipeGirl September 7, 2010 um 1:48 am

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 September 7, 2010 um 3:07 am

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

Mrs. Stoyko September 7, 2010 um 3:07 am

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!

Mrs. Stoyko September 7, 2010 um 3:07 am

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} September 7, 2010 um 3:54 am

Such beautiful photos. I want to visit!

Marcella September 7, 2010 um 4:27 am

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

WendyinKK September 7, 2010 um 6:18 am

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 September 7, 2010 um 7:27 am

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

Helene September 7, 2010 um 8:08 am

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 September 7, 2010 um 8:17 am

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

clipping path Service September 7, 2010 um 8:17 am

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

Ivana September 7, 2010 um 8:23 am

ooohh! Provence it's so lovely!

Zielenina September 7, 2010 um 10:13 am

like in fairy tale!

chika September 7, 2010 um 10:25 am

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

monica September 7, 2010 um 10:56 am

lovely…simply lovely!

Susan September 7, 2010 um 11:15 am

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 Helfrich September 7, 2010 um 12:28 pm

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 September 7, 2010 um 2:42 pm

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

Monika September 7, 2010 um 3:26 pm

I love the photos!

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

Angharad September 7, 2010 um 3:30 pm

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!

[email protected] September 7, 2010 um 3:43 pm

Your pictures made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous September 7, 2010 um 3:56 pm

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

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle September 7, 2010 um 5:25 pm

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 September 7, 2010 um 8:03 pm

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

Anonymous September 8, 2010 um 12:50 am

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 September 8, 2010 um 6:28 am

What beautiful scenes!

Sheena September 8, 2010 um 8:23 am

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

notyet100 September 8, 2010 um 8:41 am

waiting for next post

fragolina September 8, 2010 um 9:09 am

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

Larissa September 8, 2010 um 10:36 am

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 September 8, 2010 um 12:42 pm

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 September 8, 2010 um 3:15 pm

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!

Unknown September 8, 2010 um 3:28 pm

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

Ivy September 8, 2010 um 3:30 pm

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

BriBriMX September 8, 2010 um 4:20 pm

Tes photos subliment le paysage, ellles sont très belles

a. maren September 8, 2010 um 8:49 pm

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

Cookin' Canuck September 8, 2010 um 9:45 pm

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.

Anonymous September 8, 2010 um 10:02 pm


Joseph's Grainery Recipes September 8, 2010 um 10:48 pm

Gorgeous photos! Wishing I was there.

Amanda September 9, 2010 um 2:09 am

Beautiful pictures!! Thank you for sharing!

Punctuation Mark September 9, 2010 um 2:52 am

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

Pretty. Good. Food. September 10, 2010 um 2:14 pm

Those are beautiful photos!

naomi September 12, 2010 um 6:10 am

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

melopapilles September 12, 2010 um 11:22 pm

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 September 17, 2010 um 4:17 pm

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

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