Memories of France find it’s beginning way back in time when I was only six weeks old and my parents took me with them on a road trip to France, in an old Beetle. Quite adventurous. We went to Brittany and of course I don’t remember anything about it. But it wouldn’t be my last time visiting because since then, France would be our destination for the summer holidays. So it wasn’t the lavender I remember being a little girl but the smell of sea and the feel of sand between my toes. Those vacations bring back some lovely childhood memories.
Growing older, having children of our own, we also want to discover another part of France and we traveled to the south. It was not the Mediterranean I fell in love with, but the countryside of the Provence, the Luberon. The Luberon region, east of Avignon, hides some of France’s most wonderful villages and lovely landscapes. Charmed by its atmosphere, the only thing I could think of was: ‘I could live here’.
The Luberon terrain, the vineyards and olive trees are decorating the landscape. Even the abandoned buildings are charming the-midst the wind sculpted trees. It’s a rough landscape with mountains of limestone and the mistral wind blowing.
There is spectacular Roussillon, famous for its magnificent red ochre cliffs. This enormous presence of ochre gives the earth and its surroundings that distinctive rich color. It’s like an artist’s pallet, with the infinite combinations of colors, in a wide range from yellow to purple with all the shades of pink and red in between.
In the Provence, there are the colors of the earth, yellow, red and ochre in contrast with the color of the blue sky. In combination with the fields of lavender down in the valley, in many shades of purple and blue, and the light of Van Gogh and Cezanne it is marvelous. And ever since that first time, it’s my favorite destination.