Friday, 17 May 2013

Scenes From Provence

Our trip to Provence, Nice and Cinque Terre was nothing short of spectacular and I’m still feeling (slightly) relaxed despite being back at work. I fell in love with Provence even more than I thought I would – the rolling hills, beautiful fields of flowers, wineries and decadent food – everything is just so perfectly French and refined. We made a little village called Bonnieux our home for three nights and it was a great hideaway nestled in the hills above the Luberon valley. The drive from Marseilles was easy and scenic as you drive on these little narrow roads sprawling with greenery and yellow and purple flowers. Our bed and breakfast, Les Terrasses du Luberon proved to be a great base and the owners were lovely and gave great recommendations for restaurants and nearby villages to visit during our stay. One was L'Arome, a great (but pricey) French restaurant where we went our first night. The seared scallops were delish!

The Luberon valley, and all of Provence for that matter, is a place I’d love to go back to…maybe rent a house with the rest of my family and stay for three weeks, spending lazy days walking through villages and markets and tasting wine. Here are a few scenes from our trip…

This was taken when we first arrived to our B&B in Bonnieux. Although it was a bit overcast, it was still warm and the valley had this beautiful haze of lush greenery.
We passed this field on our drive from Bonnieux to a nearby market for lunch. I love the vibrant yellow colour and I would've gotten knee deep in it if it weren't a swamp underneath! The matching pants weren't planned, I swear. 
Later that day, we browsed fresh produce, lavender and handmade goods at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market on Sunday morning, our first full day of adventures. Lavender is all over Provence but unfortunately doesn't fully bloom until June.
Here we are on the top of Les Baux de Provence, a beautiful village about an hour from Bonnieax that's built in the stones. There's an old castle called Ch√Ęteau des Baux that you can tour on the top of the mountain, but the best part are these scenic views. 
We visited the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse on our first day and it was absolutely beautiful - a surprising find as I really wasn't it expecting it to be that cool. But the water was a pretty turquoise colour, and as you can see, the surroundings and little village were picturesque.
One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine region where we tasted some incredible red wines and enjoyed the sunshine with fresh baguette sandwiches. Highly recommend visiting this area!
Sampling away local wines for free, a nice perk in a pricey place. We picked up a few bottles to take home....we're saving one for our last weekend in London but we ended up breaking in to the other one in Italy.  
I found this beautiful painting on a wooden driveway door in Roussillon, a little village in the Luberon valley that's known for it's red pigmented architecture.I love the romantic feeling of the artwork.
This was our local wine tasting spot near our B&B in Bonnieax. We'd stop by after our daily adventures for an afternoon taste before watching the sunset.
Here are the rustic buildings in Roussillon. You can see how the pigment has dyed the buildings, very cool. 
Vineyards and fields of purple flowers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape - simply gorgeous! We stopped to take in the view and a few photos on our way home.

Next up I’ll be sharing scenes from our time in Aix-en-Provence and St. Tropez which were our stops on the way to Cannes. More on our tour de Provence to come soon!

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