"Faites que le reve devore votre vie afin que la vie ne devore pas votre reve"
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thursday, July 20, 2017

strolling through Uzes, my favorite Provence village

Last time we talked about Provence, we spent time with the Romans,
nothing like a good epic peplum to cool down on a hot afternoon.

But now, let's put on our sun hat on, 
and go stroll down the streets of my favorite little town: Uzes.

Here are a few rules/guidelines for this adventure,
but it applies to any villages/towns in the region:

1- find a place to park, most of these little places are not car friendly,

2- expect to get lost because you are looking everywhere,

3-you are going to want to live there or buy everything you see,

4-eat the local ice cream by the fountain, there is always one in each village!

case in point, at the place aux herbes in Uzes.

This little town is beautiful, with a castle,



little streets,


little shops,


and neat places to hang out.

We visited 3 or 4 times, it might seems like a lot,
but on the first time, it was almost overwhelming,
and as we revisited the place, I liked it more and more.

It is a touristic location but it felt like people really lived there,
even on Saturday morning, the infamous market day:

le jour du marche.

It gets a little busy, and everything smells: lavender, olive,
 goat cheese (a favorite), saucisson sec, herbs....

You are probably thinking, this is all well
but what can you bring back from this place,
besides memories and a taste for fancy ice cream?

Well, many things if a sealand container is in your future!
At least that how I felt.
 Alas for me, it was just a corner (or 2) of a suitcase,
so I had to keep it small...
So instead of purchasing the large beautiful pots d'Uzes:

pictures from the website,

I only got a small one:


which is actually perfect.

Also  I was very tempted to totally redo all the house linen
in this store : Sud Etoffe.


So many beautiful linen, bedding and curtains,
the prices are quite reasonable.

But once again, reason took over....
 just a few kitchen towels
and a small tablecloth came home with me.

It was so hard to choose!

The part where I resisted the least was the french basket,
sold everywhere (store and marche)
very typical, even if it is not made in France.
I remember having one in high school/college but without the leather handles,
this one is more pleasant to use!
And quite useful to go to the market, or to the beach...


with a fouta from Sud Etoffe and some espadrilles (from the local grocery store),
and they were made in France!

So yes I brought back some little pieces of our sunny vacations!
And a few more things...until next time.

Happy day!



Sunday, July 16, 2017

visiting the antique Provence

For me, Provence is lavender, olive tree, cicadas and Roman history.

Everything is of course intertwined but let's start by visiting Roman ruins.

Actually in the region of Nimes, most of the buildings have been nicely preserved,
better than in Rome. The amphitheatre is smaller of course,
but it is the most complete one.


There are others in the region like in Arles,
but let's stay in Nimes a little longer.
I took few pics of  place as it was ready for some summer concerts
and less visitable.
It is still totally worth going in, and walking on the top row of the coliseum,
quite a view.


There is also the only complete Roman temple, known as la Maison Carree
with its beautiful columns.


Inside there is only one room where a movie is shown,
quite interesting, in French with English subtitles, about
the arena, this temple and of course the pont du gard.

picture from here

This pont du gard, an aqueduct built to bring water to Nimes
is one of the best attraction in the region,
probably why it is an Unesco monument.

When I was a child, we could walk on the top of the aqueduct, 
as you might be able to see in this old photo:

I am about 8.

Now we can just walk on the side of the first row, much safer,
and also cool down in the river.



Something we also tried for the first time was kayaking the river,
passing under the bridge.
I totally recommend this if you visit the area, it was a fun 3 hour family activity,
and the views were awesome,
but not camera friendly, so just memories!


Now let's leave the Romans for the little villages with their pretty streets
which will bring us to the lavender and olive trees.....next time!

Happy day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

our trip to Provence

I am back from a wonderful vacation in Provence,
in the South of France.
Mon Cheri and I had been talking about it for years,
pretty much ever since we got married!
We do travel to France every few years,
but it is usually to visit family in Brittany, like in 2013.

Brick Master at the Pont du Gard.

Well this year, we took the plunge and traveled all the way to Provence:
flying to Paris, taking the train to Avignon (the old papal palace city),
renting a car and driving to the region of Nimes to our rental house in a little village.
We spent 2 weeks there discovering the region, all of its good food
and great weather.

Here is a picture of the house we rented!

Next week I will share what we visited and what I brought back....
Now, I am back at work, trying to overcome jet-lag.


Happy Bastille day!


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