Dawn at London Heathrow airport

Out of the grim reality of getting to Heathrow before dawn comes the beauty of the sunrise as we climb the steps on to the A320 aircraft.

Tartelettes aux fraises

Luscious tartelettes from our local pâtissier in Marseille. I’m assured that this is everyday business but they tasted pretty special to us. Chocolate wings, Crème Chantilly with a hint of Marc du Garlaban, and of course fraises (sweet strawberries from Carpentras in Provence) on a bed of almond paste in a fresh case of Pâte brisée. It all makes a pretty special treat and a summation of our travels this time.
Enjoyed with a taste of Génépi des Alpes and a Gianduiotto from Piemonte.

A culinary journey in one dessert, now back in Marseille.

Jardin d’agrumes du Palais Carnolès - Menton

A windfall grapefruit on a bench amongst the citrus trees and contemporary style sculptures in the Jardin d’agrumes du Palais Carnolès in Menton. A calm place within the bustle of Menton on the French Riviera.

Michelin tyre factory, Cuneo, Italy

Unfortunately no visit was possible but just seeing the vast size of the Michelin factory site in the heat of the plain just outside Cuneo was an awe-inspiring experience as a long-time rider on tyres with the Michelin name on them. The handouts show Michelin Cuneo as the company’s largest site in Europe for manufacture of tyres for use on cars and light trucks. There’s a railway station just outside the factory gates as well as a spur to the autostrada with some interestingly tight and steeply-banked curves that could be used for informal testing of tyres.

Barolo hills, piedmonte, italy

Barolo hills, piedmonte, italy

The patchwork of vineyards of the Barolo D.O.C. and neighbouring villages in Piemonte, Northern Italy. The soil looks light and sandy and the Nebbiolo vines here yield one of the world’s most highly-prized red wines - and a rather good grappa.

More photos: Barolo D.O.C. hills