• Mark Birchall

France Through Photos

Updated: May 27, 2019

We'd pencilled in an unsuspecting Tuesday night, a few months prior to our wedding to book our honeymoon flights to Thailand. We poured a couple of glasses of whatever red was in the fridge, plonked down on the couch, put a movie on in the background and began to research the best flight and accomodation deals. 15 minutes into this planning sessions, the Googling had stoped and we had diverted all focus to the movie we'd randomly put on. It was Russell Crowes "A Good Year". For those unfamiliar, the basic premise is that a rich share trader from England, unwillingly inherits his uncle's vineyard in the South of France and after falling in love with a local waitress, decides to leave his investment life behind and moves to France permanently.

By the time that the credits rolled, Amelia had booked us our flights and three weeks of AirBNB's, not in Thailand, but in France.

A wild month later, we were happily married and unhappily on a 28 hour commute from Noosa to Paris (via Shanghai - our new least favourite airport in the world due to Amelia's inability to get on the free wifi).

We spent the first 5 days in Paris. We smashed out the Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Luxembourg Gardens, Arc De Triomphe, Notre Dame and Louvre in the first few days and as amazing as they were we realised that we much preferred buzzing around random alleyways on the motorised scooters that we hired rather than see another tourist site.

We then hired our trusty Citreon and took off for a two week road trip where we drove 3400km. We hit Bordeaux, Nice, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Monaco, Gordes, Beaune, Champagne and back to Paris for one last coffee (from our favourite Australian owned coffee shop) and flew home.

Outside of my mother, I am sure no one cares greatly for our highlights of each location, but as a whole these are some of the major learning points from the trip:

- We're not city people. There's something about being near the ocean, out in the country or lost in a forest that is more us. After two or three days of hitting everyone's recommended spots, we just wanted to leave and explore the gorgeous nature that France offered us.

- Australian coffee is still best. Out of all of the coffees we had in France, two of the top 3 (Lou Lou's, O Coffeeshop and Telescope) coffee shops that we drank at were run by Aussies. God bless our caffeine addicted nation.

- French pastries are to die for, but given a choice we'd choose Italian food over French every night.

- You can check their Google My Business, Website, Instagram and Facebook, and if they all say that the restaurant is open .... It still may not be. We got caught out so many times, driving well out of our way for recommended places to eat or drink that were closed.

- In defence of that last point though, we did stumble upon some of the most amazing places just around the corner of the original closed location that we were going to.

- After the fast paced nature of the weeks leading up to the wedding, we've both reflected that we should have probably done this trip at a different time in our lives when we weren't so exhausted.

- After the third glass, all glasses of Champagne in Champagne all start to taste the same .... but thats not a bad thing because they're all delicious.

- French speeding fines don't actually cost that much (just got one in the mail for 45 euros ... oops), but their toll ways do (We spent about $500 in two weeks).

- I actually really miss France. For all the closed restaurants, driving for two hours down the wrong freeways and random city taxes, we both loved exploring the beautiful country together. We miss the baguettes, croissants, wine, cheese, salami, wine, countryside, castles, history, wine and most of all the wine.

I hope you like our photos above.


© by Birchall & Co.