Our trip to Provence

Very tired after flying all night into Paris, picking up the TGV to Provence

Our cottage in Provence

View from our cottage

Another view from our cottage

Visiting a hotel balcony in Gordes

We are here in Provence with our friends from Glendale Chet and Becky. Chet's cousin lives in Paris and has this wonderful home, two houses really, in the heart of Provence, which he only uses in Aug. We are lucky enough to be staying in these cottages while we tour the surrounding villages for our 10 day stay here. We have spent the last few days in the small villages of Provence in southern France experiencing charm at every turn, be it the blue shutters on every window of every ancient stone home and building, crumbling stone on the exterior of all the buildings looking perfectly picturesque as if deliberately created that way for visual effect, from the massive wood doors closed to silent interior courtyards of the residences causing us to constantly wonder who lives in there anyway, to the interesting products of the olive oil face creams, well, olive oil everything, to the very French designed sweaters and scarves, to the knife store so beautifully displayed that it makes me want to own one, something I really have no interest in, Oh and then there is the food, the baguettes, the multitude of goat cheeses, the wines, the tarts, the pain au chocolats, the cafe lattes (not like home for sure), the fresh green salads with the perfect vinaigrettes, well, after that, it's hard boiled eggs and yogurt for me today.

Every morning Art walks up the cobblestone road above our cottage to pick up the fresh baked goodies at the local boulangerie. The sheep on the land below us are led by their owner, (same family for past 400 yrs) as they go up to the hills above for the day, their bells tinkling all the way up and around 5P tinkling again as they descend. The local church tower bell chimes every hour and every half hour, and I love it so much more when I hear it in the middle of the night rather than groping to look at a clock to see the time. So soothing.

Yesterday we went to the village of La Coste. It appeared more run down than the others. We were hungry around 4 when everything is closed so we sat at the only open, very small modest cafe right on the little narrow passage that was the main street tight between the buildings. We struck up a conversation with a fat cheerful friendly English-speaking Patrice who was roaming thru with four other men appearing to be sizing up each crumbling building. It seems that Pierre Cardin has bought up most of the town, including the little cafe, and is in the process of restoring it and Patrice, a well knows artist and sculptor for NASA among other things, is his lead designer. Just about then Pierre came strolling through. He is a spry 85 yr old who, with the exception of his great looking jacket and stylishly disheveled hair, looked pretty ordinary. He has already restored the Marquis de Sade castle on the hill above us and lives there occasionally. Apparently there has been a lot of photo spreads of it and his work there in our local architectural magazines. So we kept occupied talking to Patrice as well as watching them chatter about the buildings around us.

Today Sat we are off to more villages.

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