On our first day in France we made our way to Valence, which is the „gate to the area of Provence“, and therefore the northern point of Provence.
The city resides right next to a river, and just as many of the old towns do, also has a city centre with all the major sights, historic buildings and an area where no cars are allowed.
Right after we arrive in any city, we first drive around its core to get a general overview and figure out where which sights are located.
We found a tiny parking lot which allows free parking for 30 minutes between the streets Rue du Lycée and Rue Francois Pie. However, if you plan to stay a little longer parking gets quite expansive pretty soon after the initial free minutes.
Just across the street starts a beautiful park.
From the Pavilion Esplanade du Champ de Mars one has a stunning view towards the mountains – especially during the evening hours they glow in the golden light of the sunset.
From there stairs take you down into the park Parc Jouvet, which is a huge natural area that also offers lots of kids attractions.
Right in the heart of the city thrones the cathedral Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire up on a hill. Walking around and past this building one is taken right into some livery streets with some cute and cozy restaurants and cafés.
Closer to the outside and already visible from the streets that take you around the old city, is the fountain Fontaine monumentale, a beautiful and quite impressive water fountain. A broad avenue, some neat restaurants and a great atmosphere invite to some evening dinging – if you aren’t in a rush haha
By the time we made our way through the city in a fast paste our free 30 minutes were over and we saw everything that we wanted to see.
I’m sure this style of sight seeing and travelling is not for everyone and I’m also very positive that all of those places we visit offer much much more – but we found this way of travelling perfect in terms of allowing us to see as much as possible in a short amount of time.