Well I had to leave ‘Le Tour’ for a while, a pesky inconvenience called work! I haven’t been able to tour the blog scene either so hope to catch up on that too and visit you soon ... but here is a little something I whipped up earlier!
Whilst I was gone, ‘the boys’ toured through Provence. Starting at Marseille, they took in wonderful towns such as Aix-En-Provence, St-Remy-de-Provence and Arles, before reaching their destination of La Grande-Motte. Here are some ‘postcards’ I compiled for you;
My impressions of Provence were mostly derived from the media …. movies, books and advertising. Images of lavender, village markets, wicker baskets and antique linens. Back in 1993, I spent a few days travelling through there, and a place that stays firm in my memory was ‘St Paul de Vence’.
Saint Paul de Vence
It is hard to imagine that a medieval village still stands to this day. It was like walking into a book or movie set. St Paul de Vence is built high upon a hill surrounded by fortified walls built during the renaissance. The historic buildings, quaint squares, winding alleys and images of elderly men playing ‘petanque’ added to the surreal feeling. There is a slower pace to life here. A pace I think I might like! For additional information visit the St Paul De Vence tourism site [here]. I still can’t find all my travel photos, so here’s some images I found [here].
Well , two other things come to mind when I think of Provence
The food [Glorious Food] and Vincent Van Gogh.
Let’s get to the Food first! – Herbs de Provence
My first taste of ‘Galette’ came by way of lunch in a village in Provence [don’t ask me which village]. I was surprised to find pizza in France [read naive tourist – I thought it was pizza]. Delicately, crisp, thin, square slices of pastry lightly topped with potato garnished with ‘Herbes de Provence’. My tastebuds found heaven! Heaven in a slice. My only knowledge of pizza slices had been the heavily based, tomato, cheese dripping Neapolitan variety [as was most popular in Australia then]. Later, travelling through Italy, I would learn that pizza ain’t pizza. But we are in France so I will stay on topic.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Herbes de Provence’ typically contains; ‘savoury, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender flowers’ amongst other herbs. If you live in Sydney, last time I looked, the David Jones Food Hall in market street had something similar. Go ahead… give your tastebuds an adventure! AND I found you a recipe for ‘Potato and Rosemary Galette’ [recipe found HERE]. Or another at Martha Stewart [here]. For more information on Herbs and Spices.. go to Epicentre.com [here]
The wonderful Art of Vincent Van Gogh
Well I saved the best for last.
Vincent Van Gogh produced some of his most famous pieces whilst living in the town or Arles [think ‘Bedroom in Arles’]. It was also here where he went a little mad and cut off his own ear. Soon after he was institutionalized following a petition by townspeople, who referred to him as ‘Fou Roux’ [the redheaded madman]. If you need to be a little crazy to find the art within you, then I’m with being crazy!
The image below, ‘Starry Night’, is one of my favourites and was produced later in the town of St Remy, and of course reminds me of ‘Vincent’ by Don McLean;
Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and grey Look out on a summer’s day, with eyes that know the darkness in my soul Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and the daffodils Catch the breeze and the winter chills, in colours on the snowy linen land
For they could not love you, but still your love was true And when no hope was left in sight, on that starry starry night You took your life as lovers often do, But I could have told you, Vincent, This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you
[excerpt of lyrics – Vincent - Don McLean]
Now Back To The Boys
Let’s see how the boys are faring after Stages 3 & 4
Overall Standings After Stage 4
Where’s Cadel? Better not say!
NEXT? Well that depends on when I get a chance to post again.
Hopefully, something from Spain. Somewhere I have never been. I have the same birth day as Salvador Dali, so I might include something from him. Another eccentric artist.
If you have missed a Stage along the way, below are links to previous posts in this series.
‘Le Tour’ Post Archives: