Friday, September 4, 2009

"Peter Mayle" Country

Today was dedicated to exploring what Anna likes to call "Peter Mayle" country: the area of the Luberon made famous by his book, A Year in Provence.
We started in Bonnieux, having a small coffee at a table right next to the water tank of sorts you find in the center of town. Anyone who has seen the movie A Good Year will recognize this landmark from the late-night dinner scene in the film. Haven't seen it in a while? Rent it! Great fun, and lots of scenes from Provence will make you long to visit this lush and beautiful country.
Our next stop was Lourmarin. Of all the little villages, small hill towns and large cities we have explored in Provence thus far, this one intrigues me the most for its beauty and charm.
I took this photo from the parking lot outside town, because if you look very carefully at the tiny window in the upper right-hand corner, you will see that this apartment is available for rent! Well, one can dream...
For more photos of Lourmarin, click here.
We met the funniest French bulldog in Lourmarin. Never got his name, he was so excited to have some attention, he jumped up on us again and again while we tried our best to capture a good photo of him. A local Frenchman told me the dog was so ugly, he was to be executed within 10 days if someone didn't claim him. Of course he was joking, but honestly, the dog was so ugly he was adorable--I'm sure you know the type. I'd love to take him back to the states with me, but alas, this is not possible...
Gordes is a famous Provencal hill town, and this is not the very best picture of it (midday, the light was flat), but nevertheless, the view is breathtaking. It was quite easy to explore on foot, if you don't mind climbing lots of steep streets and stairs. We saw several small art exhibits and did a tiny bit of shopping before heading out to our next stop...
This is Roussilon, or a small part of it anyway. The cliffs you see here are just magnificent, very high and impossible to climb, but famous for their striations of color that indicate the commercial value this area has long been known for. Ochre pigments have been sold here for centuries; Roussilon is situated in one of the largest ochre deposits in the world.
Anna knew of an art-supply store just outside the city center where you can purchase dry pigments, brushes, acrylic medium and paper to make your own paintings with the famous colors of Provence. I purchased a few small baby-food sized jars of pigments that I found on sale, and I look forward to having a free day soon to try my hand at painting with them.
I've never mixed my own pigments before, so this should be a treat!

1 comment:

TesoriTrovati said...

So wonderful to be able to travel like that. That is why I am actually reading A Year in Provence as an armchair traveler. I also finished reading My Life In France by Julia Child. Fascinating and someplace I dream of visiting. Enjoy the day! Erin