France (Part 2): Provence

Gordes

Originally Published on Urbandesis.com

The second half of our vacation took us deeper into the heart of Provence (The first half was in French Riviera). We stayed a week in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, in a small village called Maussane Les Alpilles. Another week, another town, another 4-bedroom villa, another swimming pool (and a covered one too this time)! And two families all geared up for a comfy stay, and a few day-trips to enjoy the surrounding beauty.

As we travelled from the Côte d’Azur, across the Verdon Gorge, to the South-West of France, the landscape and the atmosphere changed so much that we seemed to be in a different country altogether.

PROVENCE

Think Provence and you envision fields of lavender and olive trees. But Provence is much more than lavender and olives. Villages perched on mountaintops, historical monuments, vineyards, narrow cobble-stoned lanes, roads lined with plane trees are just some of the things that you can find in this vast region.

A refreshing change from Singapore, is the slower pace of life. You haven’t fully enjoyed Provence till you’ve had a long lunch in the middle of the day, at a village square, while sipping on chilled Rosé. The cost of the wine is another refreshing change by the way.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

St. Rémy is a traditional Provençal village, full of history. Within the village itself are boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés, and even a famous fountain or two.

Just outside the town, sits the Archaeologic Site of Glanum, which dates back to 6th century B.C. when it was inhabited by natives. Around the 2nd century B.C., the town came under Greek influence through trade with Greeks via Marseille and around the 1st century it was colonised by the Romans. Glanum did not survive the collapse of the Roman Empire, it was destroyed and abandoned in the 3rd century AD and thereafter lost and forgotten till excavation began in 1921 and the lost town came back to light. continue reading

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