Tag: Provence Travel

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Visiting the L'Occitane Factory in Provence

March 7, 2012 at 4:56 PM | by | ()

It may not be growing in the fields right now, but in Provence, lavender is always in the air. And no more so than around Manosque, a town high in the hills between Marseille and Nice, and where toiletry brand L’Occitane En Provence is based.

L’Occitane is probably our fave brand of smelly stuff so when we stayed at the official L’Occitane Hotel, Le Couvent Des Minimes, our priority was to fit in a factory tour of the operation at Manosque.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. We arrived at the hotel on a Sunday, when the factory is closed, and the staff had no idea when, or even if, there would be a tour (of their sister outfit) on the Monday. On the Monday, they told us that there was only one tour that day – at 4pm, in French. And though our pigeon French could have muscled through, we had to be on the road to the airport at 3.

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The Approach to Nice Airport is Pretty...Nice

Where: Nice, France
February 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM | by | ()

Nothing says glam quite like the French Riviera, so it’s fitting that Nice Airport—while it may be small—is beautifully formed. From the airport buildings that look like a grand hotel to the palm trees by where the planes parked, arriving there is all rather glamorous, but the most glamorous part of all is the runway itself.

See, Nice airport is right on the coast—the runway is actually built out in the sea—so landing there, if you’re on the right side, gives the impression you’re in a seaplane. Luckily, we had a hunch and chose our side well; a nice blast of adrenaline as you come in to land over the water, and a nice surge of prettiness as you land with the wing practically skimming the Mediterranean. Views of the surrounding coastline aren’t half bad either.

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Wish You Were Here: 39,000 Feet Above the Snowcapped Alps

Where: France
February 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM | by | ()

Ah, la belle France. We flew to Provence for this Presidents’ Day Weekend but without the sunflowers and lavender out, the landscape lacked a little je ne sais quoi.

What totally blew us away, on the other hand, was flying down across France, passing flat plains, rolling hills and then, finally, lapping the foothills of Les Alpes on the left as we approached the palm trees of Nice.

Here they are from 39,000 feet. Tres jolis, non? The view was enough to make us covet an immediate ski trip. And no, we don’t even ski.

[Photo: juliab]