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Travel Adventures in Paris and Provence

By October 7, 2018October 24th, 2018Travel

I am very excited to share a photo journal of my fun travel adventures in Paris and Provence. It’s an exquisite and exciting place that filled my body, mind and spirit with joy and awareness.

My intention when traveling to this epicurean capital is to allow myself freedom to enjoy delectable French cheeses, decadent pastries, flaky croissants and more, all savored with a glass of French wine or two.

My definition of health is the ability to enjoy life.  In order to stay in optimal health I normally eat a paleo friendly diet.  I don’t eat gluten, I only eat cheese on occasion and healthy desserts on the weekends.   But in Paris I’m putting aside my eating ‘rules’ (guidelines) for the week.  As I’ve been strengthening my digestive system and keeping my hormones in balance it should be no problem.

I want to feel like one of the locals with an appreciation for their food, wine, markets, history and architecture that make Paris one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

All over France people are naturally driven to grow good quality foods, transform them into world-class  cuisine, and it is considered standard practice to sit down to a high quality meal. “Junk food” is utterly foreign to the French.

A lot of the French recipes that we would consider to be “gourmet” in the US are actually French peasant fare. What we consider to be very special, they consider to be everyday.

Enjoy my photo journey of this exquisite country!

We started our journey in Paris on the Ile de la Cité one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris.  Here we visit Notre Dame the cathedral considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.  There is also a statue of the the famous French teenage heroine, Joan of Arc, who claimed to hear heavenly voices which empowered her to rally her country’s soldiers, driving out the English invaders from Paris. She was burned at the stake by the English for being a ‘witch’.

Also on  Ile de la Cité is the Sainte-Chapelle royal chapel with it’s impressive stained glass.  

We had a nice leisurely lunch of Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese and Truffle Oil, and of course a little wine, yum.

The next day we climbed to to the top of the iconic Eiffel Tower. It was cold and windy but such great views.

The next day we traveled by high speed train to Provence. We picked up a little cheese and charcuterie for the ride.

Traveling around the countryside in Provence brought me so much joy and pleasure. Rolling hillsides with vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields along with ancient villages and amazing outdoor markets. Here are some of the highlights…

Lourmarin is considered “one of the most beautiful villages in France”. Here we strolled the market with the local people and saw a 15th century castle.

We enjoyed the L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Sunday market. It’s the largest outdoor market in the idyllic Luberon area within the Provence region of France.

They even had incredibly delicious gluten free cookies.

Provence is know for it’s lavender.  Since it’s harvested in July, we only saw the fields without the flowers but there was dried lavender and soaps available at the market.

In the spectacular city of Avignon we saw the Palais des Papes (Palace of Popes) as well as other sites in this a compelling old town.

In Gordes we were cherished and cared for by the the fabulous owners Francoise and Annette at the Mas des Etoiles.  In this small elegant B & B we felt like we were visiting friends in Provence rather than staying at a hotel.

We saw many more sites in Provence including Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where Van Gogh spent a year during one of his more creatively productive periods, during which he composed Starry Night, among other famous works.

One of the highlights was Camargue, about an hour away from St. Remy. We saw a different side of France, a France of cowboys and bulls and fantastic bird life in the salt marshes. We went horseback riding on the most beautiful white horses, it was magical. 

We returned to Paris to complete our adventure. Starting at the Arc de Triomphe we strolled down the Champs-Élysées.

I was deeply moved as we walked by Guerlain, a perfume shop.  I bought Shalimar there when I was 19.  It brought tears to my eyes to remember how elegant and excited I felt as young woman at the beginning of my adult life buying perfume in Paris.

We finished up the day having fun at the Louvre.

The food was amazing.  But I actually didn’t want to eat any breads or croissants.  I enjoyed lots of fish, Nicoise Salad, duck, cheese, mushrooms, French wine and cafe creme.  I also really enjoyed the French macaroons, naturally gluten free and incredibly delicious.

I left France feeling satisfied and a little tired. It’s a little hard on my body eating all that food and drinking wine and coffee every day, but so much fun.  I’m happy to come home to my delicious vegetables, green tea, green smoothies and the paleo friendly diet I love.

I appreciate the vibrancy of my body. Being healthy gives me freedom to enjoy life.  The more I enjoy life the healthier I am.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.



  • Joann Ianniello says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your exquisite journey to Paris and Provence! My Godson’s wife is from France and her family own a Lavender farm! The photos of the market places made me wish I could jump in to experience them!

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Joann,
      Thanks for your appreciation. Yes the markets was just incredible. Maybe one day you can go see the lavender fields and visit the family. They must be beautiful when they’re blooming.

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