Logo for Joe Pivetti dot Com Website       Provence Bicycle Tour (with stops in Paris & Holland)

Chuck Pivetti's Photography from Amsterdam, Lyon, Paris and a bicycle tour of Provence, France in 1994

This web page is best viewed with at least 1440 pixels of screen width (which is the width of the monitor I used to make and test this web page).  There are several images on this page so it might take a minute or two to load.  You can click on a photo to see the full size image.  If you would like to see just Chuck's photos in full page size slideshow format they are divided into two pieces:

My dad took these photographs on a vacation we took together in Amsterdam, Paris and the south of France.  Chuck's photos were taken on slide film and scanned with a slide scanner.  I threw in a few of my pictures (these are marked with an asterisk) which are scanned from 22 year old prints.  Please let me know which images you like.  We had a couple of days in the Amsterdam area to take in the sites and museums.  We drove a little Peugeot to the south of France and rode around on bikes for two weeks.  We then drove to Fontainebleau and Paris to see the sites and museums for a few days.

We (Chuck and Joe Pivetti) biked this area in Provence around Aix, Arles, Nimes, Avignon, Ste. Remy and Salon.  I hope Google doesn't mind me pasting an image of their map but the link-in map was iffy.

View route map for Provence Bike Tour on plotaroute.com

Push the play button to see our bicycling rigor.

Itinerary Image 1
Image 2 Image 3
10/1/1994:  Arrive Amsterdam from Sacramento via Chicago and London.  Visit Leyden.

10/2/1994: Tour Amsterdam with stops at Rijksmuseum and
Van Gogh museum.

Van Gogh museum coaster

Van Gogh museum piece

Van Gogh hotel

A Dutch canal

Another Dutch canal

Dutch museum

Cruise boat

Canal cruisers

Dutch bikes




Dutch canal-side cafe

Amsterdam sidewalk Van Gogh

Amsterdam sidewalk musicians
10/3/1994: Drive from Amsterdam to Nancy via Antwerp, Brussels and Luxembourg (then Benelux).

It rained most of the way in the bottom lands so there wasn't much to see other than roadside and over-road services (petrol and food).  Driving in bad weather on the Belgian causeway was exasperated by confines of little Peugeot, baggage and two bikes.  Overnight at Hotel Arcade, Nancy.


36 year old  Joe Pivetti by Peugeot and windmill




Windmill & laundry*
We stopped in Lyon for food and fuel and caught part of a wacky parade.

A parking structure ramp in Lyon had a tighter turn radius than the Peugeot could make but we escaped by riding the curb.
10/4/1994: Drive from Nancy to Aix-en-Provence.  Return rental car.  Two nights at the Hotel St. Christophe.

Here's a Provence church.  The October weather was a bit cloudy.
After church on Sunday, the farmers in the area hunt rabbit and pheasant in their own fields (as evidenced by all the shotgun blasts we heard on our rides).
Typical Provence market

We had taken a small back road with panniers when we happened upon this private castle on one side of the road and its small animal park on the other side of the road.  A young man who had been feeding the animals asked us if we’d like to come in and see the inside of the castle (where we also saw a woman getting two children ready for a trip).  I don't seem to have a receipt for entry so it was probably cash (the fee shown on the restored B&B Chateau de la Barben 2017 web page is 9 Euros).

Farmer's market in Aix.  The poire (pears) were good everywhere in Provence.  The wine was also good, including the 5 francs bottle we bought at a farm (where I spoke some Spanish with the man selling the wine).

I couldn't find the name of this building by searching for Zorba's (which you can read on a sign over a door under that canopy if you zoom in on the full size image which you can open by clicking on this smaller web-page image) but I saw it on-line in a long set of images related to a search on "Aix farmer's market".*

10/5/1994: Tour Aix-en-Provence.  See Old Aix, Cloisters of St. Sauveur, Mazarin Quarter and Cezannes Studio.

Aix in the arms

I ate this Aix candy before I learned about Ile Flotante.  Dad says that I wouldn't agree to any restaurant that didn't have it after that.

Artist in Aix-en-Provence
Same guy without the car

Balcony support is a headache

Aix again

Also Aix
10/6/1994: Bicycle from Aix to Salon de Provence via the Aqueduc de Roquefavour, Ventabren, Coudoux, Lambesc and Pélisanne (see La Barben Case).  Visit Empéri Castle and Museum.  Overnight at the Hotel Vendome.

The Aix region produces olives

Salon pizza

Salon hotel Vendome

Nostradamus memorial in Salon

View of Gardanne from Aix hills

Gardanne again

Road to Montagne Sainte Victoire

Aix hills

Montagne Sainte Victoire

Provence farms

Aqueduc de Roquefavour

Planned in 1565 and built between 1841 and 1847

It is the largest stone aqueduct in the world

Somewhere in Provence*

Somewhere else in Provence*

D64 is hilly so we had to slow to 50 kph*
10/7/1994: Bicycle from Salon de Provence to St. Remy-de-Provence via Eyguieres, Mouries, Maussane-les-Apilles and Les Baux de Provence (see Living Village and Deserted Viliage).

La Baux walk way

The road up to the old village of La Baux is a steep ride.  Near the top I stopped for a second to look back for Dad who rode right by me as 20 French cyclists tore around a wide corner and hooted at me because it looked like I couldn't finish the climb.  I rode on in silence.

La Baux Tea Shop

10/7/1994 (cont.): Continue to Les Antiques (see 3O BC Mausoleum and Commemorative Arch) and tour Glanum Excavations.  Finish ride to town of St. Remy and stay there over night.

La Baux 1

La Baux 2

La Baux 3

La Baux 4

La Baux 5
La Baux 6

La Baux 7

La Baux 8

La Baux 9

Road to La Baux

La Baux marker

Les Antinques*

Van Gogh in St. Remy

We spent 35 francs at the Fromagerie du Mistral

Tired Bike (at St. Remy)
10/8/1994: Bicycle from St. Remy-de-Provence to Arles via Chateaurenard (Mediaeval Towers), Tarascon (Chateau), Beaucaire (Chateau), Fontveille (Moulin de Daudet and aqueducts) and Montmajour (Abbey Cloisters).  Tour Amphitheatre, Roman Theatre, St. Trophine Cloisters and Museum of Christian Art.  Two nights in Arles.

Hotel in Arles

Bull fight advertisement in Arles where the bloodthirsty sport still existed in 1994 (at the Amphitheatre).

French students were also visiting St. Trophine abbey that day.

There was a nice restaurant deep in the Camargue suitable for a luncheon stop.  I think that we ate duck a l'orange.



Ste. Trophine

10/9/1994: Bicycle through the Camargue and return to Arles.

These guys tried to push a melon on us even though we were on bikes!

The egrets didn't sit on the bulls like the horses.

I wonder if these bulls were raised for the arena.

French horses like egrets in the Camargue
10/10/1994: Bicycle to Nimes via St. Gilles (Abbey Façade, Crypt and Screw of St. Giles).  Tour Amphitheatre, Maison Carrée, Fountain Garden and Temple of Diana.  Two nights in Nime.

No, we didn't buy any flowers

We didn't buy any antiques either but this man wanted Dad to take his picture

"Hey, we saw that on the ride today."
Nimes Amphitheatre

Smooth cycling on our vacant Camargue road

Marsh adapted Camargue horse

Nimes cafe
St. Giles
St. Giles

St. Giles
St. Giles
This was probably in a Nimes Catholic church

Maison Carrée photo with Dad's touch
10/11/1994: Bicycle to Oppidum de Nages (100 BC Celtic village) and return to Nime.

This man's mother created a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry.  The man was so enthused by dad's knowledge of the 1,000 years old tapestry and the fact that we were using only bicycles for transportation that he told us of the "secret" oppidum near Nimes: a 300 BC Celtic ruin only 10 km from town.

There is no fence or park fee at this Oppidum

Young school children were at the Oppidum

They were observing history and taking notes

To be an Oppidum requires Roman governance

Roman governance, in this case is evidenced by the straightened streets
The Bayeux Tapestry (or more properly Bayeux Embroidery) from 1066 depicts the Battle of Hastings and I guess that we saw it later on this trip in Paris.  During the French Revolution, in 1792, the 230 feet long tapestry was confiscated as public property to be used for covering military wagons.  It was rescued from the wagon by a local lawyer who stored it in his house until the troubles were over, then he sent it to the city administrators for safekeeping.  Soon after, the French government started taking control of museums and artifact preservation.

10/12/1994: Bicycle from Nime to Avignon via Pont St. Nicolas, Pont du Gard (Roman aqueduct bridge), Fournés, St. Amand Theziers and Aramon.  Tour Ramparts in Avignon.  Three nights in Avignon.

Pont St. Nicolas

Pont du Gard 1

Pont du Gard 2
The Pont du Gard is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts and crosses the Gardon River near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard.  It was built in the first century AD and maintained by Rome until the empire collapsed in 476 AD.  It was so well built that it continued to serve Nimes well into the 6th century, with some parts used for significantly longer.  The Pont du Gard remained largely intact, due to its important secondary function as a river crossing bridge with tolls levied by local lords and bishops for its upkeep.  Serious damage was inflicted on it in the 17th century and renovations were made between the 18th and 21st centuries including a parallel 18th century road bridge addition.

Pont du Gard 5 (Dad photo-shopped the Pont to emphasize its 2,000 years)

1st century Pont du Gard 3

Pont du Gard 4 and 18th century road bridge

Pont du Gard or Aqueduc de Roquefavour?  1,800 years age difference is difficult to discern.

Pont du Gard 7, bridge and forest...I think that we had a quiet lonely lunch here by an old cork tree.
10/13/1994:  Walk around Avignon and tour Palace of the Popes, St. Bénézet Brie, Doms Rock, Petit Palais, Villaneuvelés-Avignon and Barbentane.


Pont de Avignon and reflection

A short evening ride but a long exposure

The Avignon Papacy period from 1309 to 1377 had seven successive popes reside in Avignon in the Kingdom of Arles within the Holy Roman Empire.

On March 27, 1378, the breakdown in relations between the cardinals and a new pope in Rome gave rise to the Western Schism.

This started a second line of Avignon popes, now regarded as illegitimate and known as antipopes.

10/14/1994: Bike ride to Chateauneuf du Papes and then have lunch in Roquemaure.  Return to Avignon.

10/15/1994:  Drive to
Fontainebleau near Paris.

10/16/1994:  Complete drive to Paris and return rental car in Montparnasse.  Bicycle to hotel.  Three nights at the Hotel Jardin de Cluny.

Chuck says I looked like a twin of his uncle Edwin at 18 in this Paris hotel cafe (nee Roman sewer)


Latin quarter canal

Hotel d'Ville fountains

Fountains probably relied on Roman water pressure

We stayed a couple of blocks from Notre Dame

Paris park

Hotelier's Pont du Gard painting in cafe

Inside the basilica
10/17/1994:  Over three days tour Arc de Triumphe, Champs Elysées, Ste Chappele, Louvre, Nortre Dame, Law Courts, Place do la Concorde, The Invalides and the Marais.

Dusk falls at the Arch de Triumphe

We were there

And there

And there I am

10/18/1994:  Bicycle to palace defeated by bad weather and sprinklers.

The busy Seine

I can't recall if this is the left or right bank

Dad mirrored this image to call the dog closer

A French bridge to art

The Thinker

No Thinker
10/19/1994:  Continue Paris sight seeing.  Overnight at Hotel Ibis near airport.

Goodbye Paris, Goodby Provence

10/20/1994:  Fly from Orly to Sacramento.







  To Joe Pivetti's snapshots


Pannier-proof travel mirror

Bike box receipt

Benelux road cafe sugar

Amsterdam map

Dinner in Leiden

Train to/from Leiden

Rijksmuseum ticket

Van Gogh museum ticket

Hotel Arcade in Nancy

Nancy un style de ville

  Nancy tourisme en taxi

Nancy to Aix toll road fare

Aix Indian food

Gotta have coffee in Aix

Salon is the Cite de Nostradamus

Citadelle des Baux

Bautezeer et Musee food

Musee des Alpilles

l'hotel estine a st. remy

Bayeux Tapestry

Nimes walking tour leaflet

Vin, vin, vin

Copyright © 2017 by Chuck and Joe Pivetti