Picture Perfect | Provence || France
“On the bridge of Avignon, we are dancing, we are dancing. On the bridge of Avignon, we are dancing all around”
We couldn’t curb our enthusiasm as we started seeing the beautiful french countryside through the window of the super fast TGV on our way from Paris to Avignon, our first destination in picturesque Provence, as we kept humming this french children’s song to each other over and over.
Come and dance through the South of France with us and sing along:
“Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse. Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse tout en rond”
Fresh off the train, we rented a car for our road trip, but realized quickly that it became useless if we wanted to roam the insides of the first town on our trip: the old town of Avignon.
We parked the car outside the walls and saddled over to Velopops, Avignon’s rental bikes, and went to discover the secret’s of this town.
Movie posters alongside every little street and actors dressed up their roles handing out flyers to their performances indicated that this place becomes an immense theatrical stage during the summer months.
Don’t miss the gigantic Cour D’Honneur du Palais du Papes on top of the old town of Avignon, once the Pope’s residence and today, not only a beautiful historical palace to visit, yet also one amongst hundreds of show places for theatrical events at the Festival Avignon.
Our next destination on our road trip was Arles, a town that is to photography what Avignon is to theater.
What a pleasure walking pass pastel colored houses to see diverse photo exhibitions – each housed in yet another beautiful historic building- and meeting likeminded photography enthusiasts. The “Rencontres d’Arles”, an annual photo festival founded in 1970 lasts throughout the summer months and not only offers exhibitions, but also photography classes, panel discussion, book signings, projections at night amongst others.
Arles also certainly offers many motives to be inspired to shoot some pictures yourself of course. Don’t miss the church of St. Trephine, the Roman Baths of Constantine and our favorite: The Amphitheater. It also boasts great views over the rooftops of Arles.
#fromavignontoarles #changingperpectives #arles
Anybody who knows me, knows how I can’t live without tons of salt and how I love anything pink, so how could I not go to the site where my dreams are made of. The Salins du Midi in Aigues Mortes is a saltwork that produces 500 000 tons (yes!) of salt a year in iridescent salt lakes that shimmer in shades of pink and blue.
Off to the best start, after an hour drive from Arles, we just missed the choo choo train, that leaves every 30 minutes. But as a clear blessing in disguise, we now ended up with just enough time for a heavenly salt tasting before boarding our ride through the marshes. Just moments into it I couldn’t believe where I actually was. As I was standing on salt, surrounded by pink salt lakes, an old quote came to mind: “The cure for everything is salt-water, sweat, tears or the sea”.
Heading from the pink salt lakes in Aigues Mortes towards the seaside town of Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer in the National Reserve of the Camargue the scenery was just too unreal to be true. It wasn’t until detecting white wild horses on both sides of the roads that I thought I was imagining things and that it finally would be time to wake up from this continuous daydream.
So here I was, trying to get back to reality, as I was relentlessly pedaling my bike along the beach and the marshes, but for what it’s worth, I may have only fallen into a deeper dream. Maybe it was just sheer reality in the Camargue, where I found myself in front of flocks and flocks of wild pink flamingos as far as the eye could see.
If you aren’t up for a bike ride or are traveling with kids, consider the “Parc Ornithologique de Pont Gau” as an alternative. Flamingos, herons and other birds can be watched closely and safely from this bird parks trails.
#daydreamer #saintesmariesdelamer #flamingosforever
To savor the flavors of the Provence we strolled along the famous Wednesday market in Saint Remy. Most provençal markets usually open around 8am and end around lunch time at 1pm. Enough time for us to mingle with the locals, see the world in everything but black and white, soak in the different smells of seasonal veggies and the Herbes de Provence and challenge our taste buds to new flavors.
My favorite refreshment on a hot summer’s day was the Lemon Verbena Sorbet with a hint of mint.
Red wine is and has always been my drink of choice. On this trip though, I cheated a little bit, as I was indulging in the regions most famous Bandol Rose quite a bit.
Over half of the wine production in the Provence is rose and it is pretty much what people here consider their choice over water.
Nevertheless the Luberon produces delicious red wine as well, so I was not to miss out and go on wine tastings in the Bonnieux / Menerbes area.
Recommendations include Chateau la Canorgue (where the Good Year was partially filmed) and la Cave de Bonnieux. Alternatively, simply just order my favorite red “Chateuneuf du Pape” with your dinner to enjoy a true provençal treasure.
we feel free like a bee
The vivid colors of the lavender fields in the plateau de Valensole are magical and you can easily find lots of fields in all sizes, shapes and shades of purple on either side of the main road. You can stop and breathe in the fragrant beauty at any spot of the 800km2 plateau, but it was only when we took some of the roads less traveled, hiked up small hills, walked pass a few wells and looked behind huts that we found wonderful lavender, sunflower and grain fields, all neatly placed next to each other. I will never forget the perfect moments zipping through from one field to another …feeling free like a bee.
#breathinginlife #freelikeabee #50shadesofpurple
Each place we stayed at on our voyage was very different and always set the mood for our days that we spent in the respective area. The recently renovated generous rooms at L’Hotel Particulier was a perfectly laid back gem in the middle of the old town of Arles and served as a great location for our day trips into the Camargue.
The sophisticated Hotel de Tourrel boasts 7 unique and graciously designed rooms in the heart of Saint Remy and with its nouveau mediterranean restaurant served as a perfect relaxing oasis in between destinations.
With vibrant views of lavender, la Bastide de Capelongue, a chic upscale french country house in Bonnieux sets the perfect mood to breathe in long summer days in the midst of the Provence. From here we explored the depth of the Luberon, but always returned “home” to indulge in double starred Edouard Loubet’s excellent kitchen.
Custom made 100 Grams of Sun Hat: Eugenia Kim
Long Colorful Dress: Figue
Long Yellow Dress: Rhode Resort
White Jumpsuit: Alice Mccall
Bathing Suit: Solid and Stripes