Thursday, 14 January 2016

France - A Feast for the Senses

Sorry – I’ve been absent for a few weeks.  Christmas and New Year’s and now getting back to our normal routine – those sorts of things.  I know you know what I mean.  But now it is January, a quiet month with less to do because it’s cold and rainy and dark outside, and the inclination to huddle indoors under a blanket while sipping a steaming cup of tea is strong.  What better time to do a little reminiscing and share with you the trip we took to southern France back in mid October, an area called Provence to be exact, an area full of French culture – beautiful food, beautiful architecture, relaxed people, stylish and artsy, rich in history.  It’s bordered on the south by the Mediterranean Sea keeping the climate pleasantly mild in the middle of autumn, and every time you cast your eyes to the northeast, there are the mighty Alps providing a stunning background to an area that doesn’t really need any help being any more spectacular.  And did I mention the language.  Ohh la la, but is there a more lushciously romantic language than French?  If there is one thing I regret about visiting France it is that I did not learn how to speak French before going.  I could have listened to the conversations all around us in French for hours, despite the fact that I could barely understand a word.  It’s like poetry for the ears, soft and pleasant and soothing. 

We had been in southern France for meerly an hour when I felt it safe to say that France is a feast for the senses, where warm earthy colors very pleasing to the eye surround you, stunning food creations and their wonderful smells greet you at every turn, and I already mentioned the allure of the French language. 

As soon as we landed in Marseilles, we picked up our rental car and off into the countryside we drove, heading for the apartment we had rented in a small town called Robion, but we were quickly distracted by the city of Aix-en-Provence which we passed through on the way.  

I don’t need to say much from here on out.  Pictures speak a thousand words.   

We were only is Aix-en-Provence for a couple of hours, just long enough to wander the streets and discover that we had so much more to discover here in southern France.  And long enough to start what would be a week long love affair with French cuisine.  

As we walked the narrow streets, we passed window after window displaying impossibly beautiful food, finally giving in to its call and buying fresh bread and soft, sweet, melt in your mouth beignets which, although we intended to save for later, didn't last in our hands for two minutes.  

We stumbled upon a wedding that was about to take place, the bride arriving in this adorable little old white car that was quickly decorated with flowers after she and her dress had burst out of the tiny backseat and disappeared into the church.  Down the street, we ran into another wedding party.  

It was Saturday after all, the day for weddings, but this time the bride arrived in a sleek black car.  Arriving at weddings in fancy or unique cars seems to be a thing here in Europe.  We see it all the time at the church just up the street from our house in England, and now, here it is again in France. 

We walked around Aix-en-Provence late into the afternoon until it was time to head to the little town of Robion where our home away from home awaited us.  This little Robion apartment would turn out to be one of my favorites out of all the places we have rented while in here Europe.  

A little quirky - you had to use a large spoon to turn on the kitchen light which was in the ceiling...but really it was just perfect, cute and comfortable with a beautifully tiled bathroom...

a master bedroom that had it's own little loft...

and the girls got the loft above the kitchen and living room all to themselves.  

Last but certainly not least was the huge terrace that sat high above the rooftops of the town of Robion, with a magnificent view of the French countryside spreading out for miles and miles beyond.  

The perfect place to sip a glass of French wine and stare at the beautiful French roofs because yes, even the earthy colored French tiled rooftops are exquisite.

We enjoyed some refreshments and snacks out on the terrace as soon as we arrived at our quaint little French apartment...

and Eric wasted no time getting some good shots of the view.  

He took a lot of photos during the trip, like he usually does on all of our trips, but these from France that I'm going to share with you over the next few days, they are some of my favorites.  Like this one of Leah at the end of our first day in southern France...

And this one of the girls together with the view from the beautiful terrace as the backdrop...

And this one...

And one more...

because they are all so darn cute I couldn't pick just one to share.  

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