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Provence, France Sept to Nov 08
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ascanio


Jun 29, 2008, 5:00 PM
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Provence, France Sept to Nov 08  (Europe: France: 09-_Provence__Alps_and_Forealps__and_C_te-d_Azur)
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Anybody have any advice on a two to three month stay in the south of france. My wife and two year old daughter do not climb so I need to find a safe small town that has a lot of things, culture etc to do- ie a place where non climbers won't get bored. Also, how easy is it to get around and climb without a car? I am thinking of basing myself out of Aix, Arles or Avignon so I can hit up Ceuse, The Verdon and Calanques as much as possible. Lastly, how easy is it to find partners there?
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I really appreciate any and all advice especially anything I might have missed.
All the best, Ascanio


altelis


Jun 29, 2008, 5:52 PM
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Re: [ascanio] Provence, France Sept to Nov 08 [In reply to]
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take this advice with the knowledge that i lived outside of roussillon for a number of years however i haven't been in provence for about 5 yrs, so things may have changed......

Culturally all three are good choices. Personally, I like Avignon the best of the three however it is the smallest. Two to three months is a long time, are you going to be in one place the whole time? Because if so, I would look at renting a gite outside of town. You can get by without a car, but it is challenging in Provence. There are a ton of little places to see and also to climb that you'll want to visit if you are there for a few months, and public trans to these nicer and more out-of-the-way places is not ideal and sometimes impossible. Especially given that you won't be there during tourist season.

One possibility is to rent a car for part of the time and do bicycles for much of the time---though bewarned that many of the little towns resemble the "perched villages" of the coast, that is they are almost all on top of big(ish) hills that may not be great pulling a two year old up.

I really do think it will be hard without a car. As far as finding partners, if you are resourceful speak french and/or another language it should be no problem. A lot of the areas are very international. Many times when there and trying to find small out-of-the-way crags we'd think we were lost down some random farm road only to come across a bunch of vw cans with austrian, swiss and german tags. BINGO!!!! we'd have struck gold----we found TONS of small(ish) crags in the process of development all with great little communities and TONS of climbing. And given the "polish-ability" (not the nationality....) of the limestone around there, newer can CERTAINLY be better!

Go to the public library in Apt----there they have an older out of print guide to the Luberon area. There is GREAT climbing there, wonderful people and great cultural things for the fam. Also, some great resources that I found were looking/reading British rags online. They would report on a lot of little but developing crags, crags that we wouldn't have found any other way.

If you have any more specific questions, post here or feel free to PM me.....


ascanio


Jun 30, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Re: [altelis] Provence, France Sept to Nov 08 [In reply to]
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Altelis,
Thanks a million for all your suggestions. I kind of thought the same thing about a car. Any idea if renting/buying a car for so long is affordable? Do you remember which town has the most proximate crags and local climbers? Since I also speak French, Italian and Spanish I might be able to hook up with locals and carpool with them to the more famous crags...In the meantime I ordered some guides to the area which should give me an idea of the most suitable areas.
Thanks again
Ascanio


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