The problem with Provence is that it would take months to adequately take in the key sights. So you can imagine with only six days available to you, you are grinding your knuckles as casualties are sacrificed off your list. One such sacrifice we were not prepared to make was a daytrip to Avignon and the mighty Pont du Gard.
I did not realise that Avignon was a walled city and being a lover of walled cities, hence I was delighted as we navigated our car through one of the many city gates. The city was surprisingly compact and a treat for the senses with an abundance of leafy trees lining the sidewalks, cafes spilling out with people enjoying a midday wine and a soaring Cathedral reminiscent of something that should be perched in the mountains (maybe Hogwarts?!). We meandered around taking in the expansive squares, and gazed out at the remains of the Saint-Bénezet bridge, also known as Pont d’Avignon. It was only the heat that drove us to our next destination as I could easily pass the time in one of the many cafes hidden amongst the sprawling cobblestone streets. Continue reading “Provence – Avignon, Mt Ventoux & Canyon du Verdon”
When it comes to Provence, I am generally speechless. A google search of “how would you describe Provence?” yielded no results. Therefore I am left alone in this unchartered territory….
How do you describe string after string of hilltop villages forged from stone, perched in calm serenity, wrapped in rose bushes so delightful even the sunflowers dance in appreciation? How can you convey a quaintness of centuries past, battles fought and won, castles whispering you their secrets whilst vines climb amongst the ruins, reclaiming their ground? How can you explain the scents of fresh crispy bread from the village’s only bakery, the crisp acidity emerging from the fruit on display every morning in markets across the valley’s, the wafts of harvested lavender drifting across the fields? How can you forget the sound of little feet pittering and pattering barefoot across the cobblestone, the laughter of the local butcher, ‘oui, merci’, insects chirping in the warmth of the dusk, the falling of olive leaves in the slight breeze, or the trickling of an underwater spring giving life to the village?
This is the mystery and delightful pleasure that is Provence.
It is a place you simply have to see for yourself, however I will use the words available to me to give you a tour of this not-so-well-kept-secret. Continue reading “Provence, the Lubéron”