Taking a break from eating in restaurants, we arranged a picnic of local meats and cheeses and other treats last night on the terrace of our room.

Carcassonne and the Kingdom of Aragon

Carcassonne, a medieval fortress town is one of the most popular stops in the former Kingdom of Aragon, which lasted from 1035 to 1707. We’ve spent two nights in a lovely hotel just outside the gates of imposing Carcassonne. Saturday was forecast to rain all day. What to do on a rainy day? Rub shoulders […]

From Prague to Lisbon

We just left Betty and Bob at the Lisbon airport and are now preparing for our next guests, Art and Carol, whom we’ll meet in Barcelona. We have six days to get there. What are we going to do? Explore new places in Portugal and Spain to get ready for 2012’s adventurers. We’re also looking […]

Starting on the Camino Frances, St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France

We arrived at this pretty riverside village late in the morning today and were immediately enchanted by the narrow medieval lanes, the old stone houses and of course, the bridge where the Camino Frances begins to make its way more than 700 kilometers later to the burial place of St. James in Santiago di Compostela, […]

One night in medieval Carcasonne, France

The fortified city itself is essentially of concentric design with two outer walls with towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines. The castle itself possesses its own draw bridge and ditch leading to a central keep. The walls consist of towers built over quite a period. One section is Roman and is notably […]


A visit to the charming village at the foot of the Les-Alpilles in the Luberon, Provence. We had lunch there the other day and here are some vignettes from our stroll around after our meal.

Vézelay burial place of the relics of Mary Magdalene

All photographs on this blog by James Derheim, founder of European Focus Vézelay’s hilltop location has made it an obvious site for a town since ancient times. According to legend, not long before the end of the first millennium a monk named Baudillon brought relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene to Vézelay from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. In 1058 […]

Pont du Gard, France

The Pont du Gard is a notable ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gard River in southern France. It is part of a 50 km (31 mi) long aqueduct that runs between Uzès and Nîmes in the South of France. It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département. The aqueduct was […]