Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mougins, France

Little town
It's a quiet villlage
Every day
Like the one before
Little town
Full of little people
Waking up to say....
Bonjour, bonjour
Bonjour, bonjour, bonjour!

This quaint little village in the south of France is just what one might think of when they hear that song from Beauty and the Beast. Well, maybe what it would have been like a few centuries ago. Now a tourist town, this village was once just a quiet little area in the mountainside. I don't know the history of it, but today the town is full of exquisite restaurants and beautiful, original artwork. Our voyage to Mougins (pronounced Moo-jahn, with little emphasis on the "n" and no "s" sound) was quite a voyage. The weather was unusually cold in the area, with snow and ice ending up canceling our flight from Brussels to Nice. We flew to Marseilles late Thursday night, stayed in a hotel for a couple of hours to rest, and took the earliest train from Marseilles to Cannes. When I wasn't sleeping, I noticed that the train ride was beautiful- full of sun and coastline.

A person from the hotel met us at Cannes train station. Another obstacle appeared-- our driver could not reach the hotel because it was on the top of a steep hill/mountain? and the ice was covering the roads. We ended up having to switch cars-- to a more SUV type, and then we finally arrived around 11 AM Friday. The hotel was unique, unlike any I have been to. It was more like a refined lodge in terms of architecture. No huge lobby or high ceilings. It was stunningly beautiful, filled with large open windows, impressionist art, and ornate decorations. Yet it all had a "natural" feel to it, like you were taking in the nature of the south of France, and not just the decadence of a hotel. Okay, enough about the hotel. After checking in, we were treated to some spa appointments for the afternoon and had a wonderful lunch in the hotel restaurant. Exhausted, we slept during the afternoon on Friday. Which, I wish we could have avoided, because Friday was our most beautiful day weather-wise.

Saturday was rather dreary weather, but we got to see where the Cannes Film Festival takes place every year, which was a treat for me. Our driver on Saturday casually mentioned that he "worked with" Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie when they came into town for the festival. Huh. He said that Tarantino was indeed strange, and that Brad and Angelina were nice. Oh, and he loves George Clooney. Says he is really funny and a great guy.

Saturday night we had the most delicious food at a restaurant in the village. Joel had some kind of prawn appetizer and I had some kind of ravioli with truffles (as in fancy mushrooms). The entree and dessert was great as well. Hands down, Joel and I both agree that France has had the best food so far. I know that may be cliche, but it is so true. Hands down, THE best food I've ever eaten. My favorite dessert was from Friday night actually-- a chocolate tart dessert served with salted caramel ice cream. SO delicious and the perfect balance of flavor.

Sunday was Valentines Day. As always, Joel made it a perfect day. He made sure that I had a bouquet of flowers and not only chocolates, but Parisian chocolates. He is the best- I can't even tell you.

We spent our last hours in Mougins finally getting to see the village. We had missed it on Friday because of our exhaustion and Saturday because of the weather. But Sunday was a blessing-- we were able to stroll through the village, I took about 200 pictures, and we bought art. Yes, I spent Valentines Day strolling through the south of France buying art. What a dream.

Here are some pictures from the village. We flew back to Brussels later that afternoon and were back in Maastricht Sunday night.

1 comment:

  1. GORGEOUS!!! I love living vicariously through you!! :)