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Building friendships at Blog Gathering in South France

Blogging and Social Media connect people, open up new ways to learn about other cultures, traditions and habits and create opportunities to make friends around in the Blogsphere. I know all of you have similar experiences, but to me it becomes clearer after our blog gathering in South France where Claudie at Lazazandcruisers and her husband invited us into their home. I mean, one thing is to ‘meet’ by regularly visiting and commenting on other’s blogs. During the years friendships build up and one gets to know each other quite well. Another thing is meeting in real life and inviting 6 people into your home! Admit it takes guts, which Claudie and Pierre have – and even more; a good portion of trust, generosity and warm hearted hospitality. My wife DianeCA and I were fortunate to be one of their guests and I will try my best to give you some short résumés in the coming posts.

This once in a lifetime experience lasted almost one week, full of laughter, precious conversations, unforgettable moments and developing friendships. All these adventures will first and foremost be captured in our hearts. However I hope this first post will give you an idea of what a wonderful time we had. Let’s start with a picture of our hosts which expresses some of their warm hearted hospitality:

Blog Gathering in South France #2
Claudie and Pierre serving one of their unforgettable French specialities on the last night of our stay.

Seldom have I met such a sweet, open minded and friendly couple – willing to share all their best with good friends. Claudie was an excellent guide showing us the most beautiful places in their area (just you wait and see in the coming posts!) and Pierre was a brilliant chef giving us delicious examples of French cuisine. When we came, we all had a glass of Recard’s Pastis Marseille and then all this was set on the table outdoors:
Blog Gathering in South France #3
e.g. Anchoïade – Tapenade with vegetables – Pissaladière ++ and of course Côte de Provence wine.

Some family and friends where invited to the welcome party too and we had the most wonderful time talking in an interesting array of languages! Mostly we used English, but also French accompanied with some Norwegian and Swedish. We sat up late into the warm Provence night eating, drinking and talking.
Blog Gathering in South France #1
First night at our blog gathering; good food, good drinks and making good friends – what more can you ask for?

All this was topped off with this wonderful dessert:
Blog Gathering in South France #4
A local speciality served with coffee and Eau-de-vie of the Garlaban.

Let me end this first post with some more from their servings showing French food traditions from Pierre the Chef:
Blog Gathering in South France #5
Breakfast served outdoor in sunny 35C (95F).

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Another of Pierre’s specialities; Daube de Boeuf

Blog Gathering in South France #7 Blog Gathering in South France #8
Left: Saffron Rouille and Right: The best calamari I’ve ever tasted!

It’s impossible to express everything we experienced at Claudie and Pierre’s in words. However I do hope this gives you an idea of how well we were taken care of; What wonderful hosts they were and with what tasty French food which we where served. If you look through these pics and read between the lines, you might understand why we call this a life time experience. If you click and read Claudie’s blog Lazazandcruisers, as well as DianeCA’s and the other guests; Mrs. Lifecruiser and TorAa’s blog – they’ll give you some more from their prospective.

A lot more was experienced during our stay in South France and the trip back to Norway by car with Tor and his wife Anna of course – so stay tuned!

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  1. Oh looking at all these great foods is making my appetite remember Pierre’s good home cooking! Claudie is very lucky there! We had such a wonderful time and I want to thank all the Lifecruisers and Lazazandcruisers for the wonderful moments we shared. Special thanks to our hosts Claudie and Pierre. Unforgettable!

  2. How wonderful! Iy looks like such a good time. I think Claudie and I would have much in common. We both love to cook, to entertain and to have many guests!

  3. This actually brought tears to my eyes, Renny, because when I think of heaven, I think of good friends and good food (banquet!) and good conversation. THIS is what it’s all about! Time stands still. It’s eternalized!

  4. That looked like a fantastic time and I would love to meet Claudie! I cannot believe Tor was there also…that must have been a fun gathering with lots of vino and friends.

  5. Thanks my dear,dear friend for a wonderful dedication to our common hosts during a wonderful, out of life meeting and experience.
    In fact, it was real.
    As you so often said:
    “Is it real. Do I experience in real life these wonderful moments together?”.

    Yes, we did

  6. Your pictures are wonderful! If I could eat again all, I would do it!!! Now I just begin to wake up of the gathering since it was a such wonderful experiment! I could think I was 20 years less and enjoyed like a teenager along the day and the night!!! because of course we couldn’t stopping laughing! the last days with the Captain it was each time 4 O’ clock in the morning! After more than two years blogging fast each day together with some famous events in our virtual life now it was the reality! can’t wait to read our adventures on your blog because you are a such good teller!!!

  7. Lucky you to be able to travel and connect to people around the world! And what a great experience…

    The food looks awesome as usual. You guys are a magnet for great culinary experiences, one day, I really want to share your table! ;-)

  8. Yes in southern France and in Italy they know what hospitality means ! and it’s true people life are sometimes very different to what they seem in virtual life !

  9. “Vive la France” and their excellent cuisine!!

    I see, you and Diane – and all the other guests too – had a wonderful time in South of France. The pictures tell it all :) Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you, Renny, also for visiting my blog and for your kind comment there.

    Sue’s Daily Photography

  10. Well – I’m sure Amazing and full of memories might sum it up! I am so curious to know your drive back. I’d assume that’s when you visited Switzerland and you are just leaving me hanging! :-)

  11. What a fabulous time you all had! The Food looks glorious and my mouth is watering just looking at the pictures….! How GREAT to have all this time together—A WHOLE WEEK! I look forward to reading more and seeing more pictures!

  12. What a wonderful opportunity for all of you to meet. I bet Claudie and Pierre were just so excited preparing for the event. That food…oh, yum. I just adore Continental food (actually I just look food, full stop!).

    It’s going to be interesting to see more photos and here more of your trip, Renny.

  13. Renny, what a fantastic event! I am glad you had a great time! Maybe time to organise an Oslo bloggerfest – beer and chatting on a weeknight – what ya think?

  14. Still today we spoke with Pierre about our gathering!!! So marvelous memories we have now! And today we went to the beach we were all together near Bandol! Now Pierre decided to go always at this beach! I saw several fishes with mask and tuba!!! I remembered the good time we had all here!

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  16. Hey again,

    Mmmmm…delicious table! Pierre is a blessing: I love crudités and tapenade (we eat it a lot of it here at home too)!! Superb feast!!
    The dessert looks delicious…I must confess I don’t know this one though…yummy!

    Yes, you were definitely pampered by Pierre and Claudie: God bless them! :D

    Now, with this post, you have made me want to eat LOL… ;)


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