From Gaillac, France to San Casciano, Italy via the Côte d’Azur

Cannes, France © 2014 Mufidah Kassalias

Before day had broken on a mild mid-January morning in the South West of France, Sean and I were on the road once more.

After spending four-and-a-half months in a hamlet just outside of Gaillac in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France — where we embraced a hermit-like existence as dog carers and guardians of a 100-acre property nestled in the hills above the town — Sean and I have now moved on to the Tuscan village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa, 15km southwest of Florence.

Sunflower fields have been replaced by olive groves, but both landscapes are full of vineyards, Gaillac being one of the oldest wine-producing regions in France due to its location on the banks of the Tarn river, on the main route for transporting Roman wine to Bordeaux and Northern Europe in the first century, and San Casciano being in the south of the Colli Fiorentini (Florentine hills) area of the Chianti region. Continue reading

Fog, Inverted

Pier and Poplars Inverted

Pier and Poplars, Inverted © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias

Yesterday we woke to a thick fog hanging in the valley, so I headed off with my camera to see what I could capture. I first edited the images as black and white, then inverted them. I’ve included both versions here as there are aspects of each that I like. Continue reading

Sunflowers and Vineyards


Sunflower © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias

We arrived in South West France to fields of bright yellow sunflowers — tournesols worshipping the sun with enthusiasm and energy to match their stature — and vineyards covering much of the land, stretching in cross-hatched patterns to each horizon. Continue reading

Slow Travels Instagrammed: A Snapshot of Our Nomadic Life through Retro Filters

Above: Auvergne and Aquitaine Regions in France. Instagrammed July and August 2012. Continue reading

Stops Along the Way

Bergerac on the Dordogne

Bergerac on the Dordogne © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias

In mid-April Sean and I drove 560 kilometres (350 miles) north east of Burgos to Bergerac in the Dordogne region of France. Although we’d enjoyed our time in Spain, making friends and immersing ourselves in northern Spanish life, it was time to move on, to return to the UK for the spring and summer, and to run our Write from the Heart writing workshops. Continue reading