Adventure in the sunny South of France

My humans had a wedding to attend in Provence in France and decided to take me along. For the first part of the journey, on a coach which left rather early in the morning (3am) I did pillow duties.

The coach eventually arrived at Gatwick Airport; we were flying to Marseille. The humans thought it would be quick to fly there, but unfortunately it ended up taking a very long time. I enjoyed a tasty croissant and a hot chocolate while waiting to be called to the departure gate.

I got through passport control and to the gate where humans and bears wait to get on aeroplanes. Unfortunately, it ended up being quite a long wait. The first aeroplane had a mechanical issue and we all had to move to another gate.

After boarding the aeroplane it was announced that the humans who control the air traffic in France had gone on strike. I had to sit in my seat for 5 hours before the aeroplane finally took off. It wasn’t too bad for me as I am small, but the humans found it rather uncomfortable.

I spent quite a while tucked in the backpack after we landed at Marseille. My human was very tired and had forgotten to take photos of me. After more travelling in a car we eventually arrived at the hotel in Chateauneuf le Rouge, and at about 1am I climbed into bed happy to have finally arrived but very tired. There were no problems in getting to sleep!

I slept for so long I missed the hotel breakfast, but the kind humans brought me breakfast in bed.

It didn’t take me long to get into holiday mode.

The humans were keen to explore Aix en Provence, where they would later be attending a family wedding. I went along with them as I do enjoy exploring new places. Here I am by the fountains,

A famous painter called Cezanne lived in Aix en Provence, his statue is in the square. I wondered whether he ever painted small bears.

France is a good place for food. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch sat outside in the sunshine.

I also very much enjoyed my breakfast the morning after. The problem with buffets is knowing when to stop eating!

The hotel was just up the road from the small town of Chateauneuf de Rouge. I went for a stroll around while the humans attended the wedding at Aix en Provence. I didn’t go to the wedding as my human didn’t have a suitable bag to hide me in!

I spent a while in the library, where I realised I do need to improve my French,

In the woods there was an exercise trail, which was a tad challenging for a small bear and kept me busy for a while,

While out exploring I made friends with a giant grass hopper.

The day after the wedding the celebrations all the guests were invited to a brunch. I was delighted to be taken along.

The cake was probably the best cake I have ever tasted. Tarte Tropezienne; yum yum yum.

We left Chateauneuf de Rouge and set off towards the coast, eventually arriving at a campsite near Frejus, Plage d’Argens. The humans had rented a mobile home.

The campsite was next to a nature reserve and very near the beach, as we found out on a short walk before supper.

The humans cooked a yummy meal in the mobile home which we ate outside on the deck,

The next day I joined the humans on a long walk around the nature reserve, Les Etangs De Villepey. We found some flamingos which we spent a while watching from the hide.

My legs got quite tired with all the walking, so the day after I spent warming my fur by the pool and keeping an eye on the humans.

In the South of France prickly pear cacti thrive. I have heard that the pears are edible, but they looked a bit too prickly to me.

Following a short drive along the coast, past St Raphael, we found an island with a giant chess piece castle on the top. It is called Il d’Or.

It was very hot so I climbed into the pine trees to find some shade.

I very much enjoyed the tarte pomme that was part of my picnic.

One of the things I enjoy about France is the bread, and on campsites they bake it fresh every day.

Another fun day out was to St Tropez. In the high season it is a very busy resort, but in October when we visited it had quite a peaceful atmosphere. I enjoyed looked at all the big boats in the harbour and watching some of the yachts sail out to sea.

I found a pattiserie selling lots of different versions of the Tarte Tropezienne. The recipe on display looked quite complicated so I don’t think I will be able to make one.

On our last day in the South of France I had fun exploring a castle on the beach.

On the way back to Marseille airport I offered to drive a while for the humans, but they were concerned that I might not have great visibility due to my small stature.

The aeroplane going home was on time, and also was flying to Bristol where I live which was very good news.

Even better was that I got a whole seat to myself!

I had a lovely time in the South of France, the temperature was just right for small bears in October, and I won’t forget the Tarte Tropezienne!

Horace the Alresford Bear 13/10/22

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