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).

Blog Gathering in South France #6
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!