Today we headed west towards the very delightful town of St Remy de Provence with it’s amazing Wednesday morning markets. The drive itself is very picturesque, the avenues lined with plane trees, a history lesson already given regarding Napoleon’s planting of them to protect his troops from the harsh weather as well as providing security from attacking forces.
Driving in to St Remy can be a little deceiving as the old town with the beautiful cobbled lane ways, cafes, restaurants, piazza’s with musicians playing in earnest are all hidden from view until you wander in to the midst of the town.
I always love seeing the excitement on our ladies faces when the see such an array of stalls to choose from always returning laden with different colour bags filled with goodies but first stop the ATM! It is rather dazzling and tantalising and perhaps even a little daunting at the amount on offer from fruits, olive oils, cheeses, soaps, clothes, shoes and jewellery on offer not to mention the hundreds of people milling around looking at these fabulous products. It is hard not to be lured by the artisan products on offer in to taking some of this exquisite Provencal merchandise home.
Interestingly, although St Remy is the birthplace of Nostradamus who was born here in 1503 most people associate St Remy with Vincent Van Gogh who found great inspiration here after admitting himself to the Saint Paul Asylum from May 1889 to 1890 where he produced close to 150 of his superb works inspired by the light, hills, buildings and flowers he saw.
After an impressive lunch once again at our favourite, Chez Fanny Restaurant it was onto our special treat back up the hill to Les Beaux where the Carrieres de Lumiere spectacle features the works of van Gogh presented in a magnificent light and sound show inside the excavations of a former stone quarry. And just to bring in the Australian link….. for those of you who didn’t know Alan Bond brought Van Gogh’s painting ‘Irises’ in 1987 at Sotheby’s for the impressive sum of US$53.9 million at that stage the highest price paid for a painting.
Imagine just one of the largest stone quarries you can and then add 10% for good measure because this place is ‘humongous’ to say the least. Then imagine walking through a door that does nothing to give away the overwhelming experience awaiting you. The door closes behind you and you step in to another world as the sounds explode around you with the most beautiful images of some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings.
Home now for another sumptuous dinner prepared by our wonderful Joelle, but first, a bit of time for show and tell and some relaxation.
Bonne nuit, a domain.