Tuesday, May 28, 2013

St Remy de Provence, France

Here's a sentence I have never uttered in my life.
 "I want to go to the south of France."
But, as luck would have it ( meaning my wife wanted to go to the south of France) I found myself in the second week of May walking the stone streets of St Remy de Provence, visiting 500 year old winery's, climbing through castles, renting a house that was built in the year 1200 and walking in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, yes, Van Gogh of "Damn, I just cut my ear off," fame.

This trip to France happened to be an offshoot of our planned itinerary to visit my daughter who lives in Brussels. Heck, it's only a hour or so plane ride from Belgium to southern France, why not go check it out?
I'm so glad we did. What a beautiful area Provence is. It is situated in the southeastern portion of the country.

The shutter on my camera was smoking with overuse as we spent  4 full days soaking in as much as we could. We decided to forego the larger cities and visit as many small historical and off the beaten track towns. One good thing about small towns in France, they each have, one day a week, what they call Market Day. You haven't been to a food market until you've experienced one of these.
When I think of Provence I will always think of lush gardens, flowers are everywhere, they line the back roads just because they can. The sky, that has drawn artists for centuries, is too clear and blue to explain with only words. In contrast to that you have these old rough, tough stone structures that date back hundreds of years.

Anyway, enough of me yapping, here's a little bit of southern France, particularly tonight, St Remy, which was our base for 5 days.

The front door of our house.

 ....on this little side street.

A 2 minute walk to the center of town.

By law, all eatery's in France have to post the menu outside. Love that.

Our first morning, wake up and take a short walk to get some breakfast.

Success. Now, the planning for the day begins.

Our living room, looking into the kitchen.

 I like old stuff. Old buildings, old tables old cars. When I see a 200 year old house in Philly I get goosebumps. Imagine my delight at walking up these 800 year old circular stone steps to my bedroom each night. Who has walked up these steps over the years, I wondered. Were they carrying a sword? A baby perhaps. A cup of tea? A flaming torch? Oh yeah, my mind just went crazy in this house.


SueAnn Lommler said...

Oh my...I am drooling here!! What a fabulous place. I "borrowed" one of your photos. I wanted to abstract it if that is okay?

Joey said...

Wow! Now THAT's where I would go! Great photo journey! ANy ghosts in that house. How cool!

Reena Walkling said...

Awesome photos and journey! We were there about 10 years ago. Beautiful place! And I'm with you. I like the small out of the way places! Have a great time!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Oh my gosh, I love these photos. The house is just fabulous. I might need to renew my passport one of these days....

Donna said...

I love thinking about the stories these old buildings hold! Gorgeous pictures!

Marilyn said...

I would have been drooling at every turn and especially walking up those stairs. I do love France and the south of France is amazing. This was the region we vacationed in about 3 years ago. Love it and want to return. Oh dear, I see SueAnn is drooling too.

Karen said...

Oooh, Mark... amazing!!! 800 year old homes!!.. you got to live in one!.. those stairs!!.. I would have to just sit and rest my hands on those stairs to marvel at the path traveled by so many for so long. I am so enjoying seeing this old city... those narrow streets! .. the old stone buildings, the FOOD!!!...