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Report 1060: Caesars, Cathars, Castles, and Cassoulet: Early Spring in the Languedoc with Emma

By Roz from Massachusetts, Spring 2006

Trip Description: Exploring the cities, villages and countryside of Languedoc-Roussillon, plus a short séjour in Paris. March-April 2006.

Destinations: Countries - France; Regions/Cities - Languedoc-Roussillon, Paris

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Art Trip; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 19: First Day of Spring: Arriving in Avignon

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Vineyards near Avignon

Who's Emma? She was our guiding voice on our first visit to the Languedoc region of southern France. Emma lived in our Treo cell phone, which wasn't any good for making calls in France, but did hold all the maps and software we needed for Emma's "brains." You see, Emma was our GPS navigation system. After previous trips to Italy and France which almost always involved unplanned detours for getting lost, we decided to see if GPS navigation would make for better traveling.

After a good bit of research, Mike decided on the TomTom GPS system, whose software could be installed in his Palm-based cell phone. Since the company is based in Europe, we figured it should have decent European maps, and it seemed to be the most compatible with our Mac computers. There were a few hassles with the installation, but soon Emma was "born" and proved her value from the afternoon we arrived in Avignon.

Paris on that March morning had been clammy and gray, but three hours on the TGV took us into warm sunshine. Huge puffy clouds let go with a brief downpour shortly after we picked up our Ford Focus at the Europcar desk, but the sky soon cleared and we marveled at the roadside vineyards where little white flowers had sprung up between the grapevines. (We were a long way from flowers back in our Boston home.)

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