What do you do in Provence? Lots. What make the top of the “Bliss” list?
1. Festivals. Of the local kind. We have our favorites, built around our favorite foods or products. The French celebrate every quality crop and artisan product from cherries to melon to wines….Find the best of the local festivals and street fairs and enjoy the pomp and the weekend.
2. Bulls. (No not that kind!) Not many people know about the bull fights, the running of the bulls and the other “cowboy” activities. Find the best time and spot to combine all of these. And see something most people don’t ever get to see!
3. Roman ruins. Most people don’t realize that France has ruins of many thousands of years of age. And, they aren’t behind glass, walled off, or patrolled by park guards. They are a wide open part of the countryside and landscape and they can be built into your daily experience. For example, we often take the 2,000 year old Roman road (or the ruins of that road) on our walk into the village for market day. We picnic on a more than 2,000 year old Roman bridge –and go swimming in a hidden swimming hole that’s part of a more than 2,000 year old Roman aquaduct.
4. Art. Practically every major painter lived and/or painted in this area. Renoir had a home here. Van Gogh lived here. Cezanne too. Chagall. Yep. Cocteau painted, or rather, drew, a chapel. Matisse. Picasso. Leger. The list is endless. Being able literally “see” what they “saw” is eye opening and helps you to both appreciate and understand their art.
4. Nature. For seasonal wonders, spring might even outdo summer –though it’s a close call! Poppies and cherry blossoms are ethereal. But, lavender is pretty remarkable too! You decide!
5. And nature’s bounty! Nowhere else can you eat like you do in France. The simplest things will shock you with the intensity of their flavor. Knowing the origin of your cherry or egg or tomato was only a few yards away, and picked moments earlier only adds to the enjoyment.
And that’s just for starters. Hope your spring or summer vacation is Blissful.