St. Peter's Blog 'The Colors of the Provence' from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – North Wales, PA's Blog

The Colors of the Provence

Image Saturday, Jul 30, 2016
Author: Pastor Andreas Wagner

Dear visitor,

This summer I had the opportunity to spend extended time in Germany and Europe with family. I am very grateful for this experience. In the following blog entry I describe my impressions of the Provence. We traveled there in the beginning of July.

 

 

I had never been in the Provence before, only heard about it and was eager to visit and experience the region. It turned out to be one of my favorite stops.  One of the advantages when you travel for an extended time is that you see more clearly the shifting landscapes, and they start to make sense.  Traveling down the Rhone valley I understood at once why so many of the early Roman settlements spawned in this area. It feels like the natural way to travel north from the Mediterranean, avoiding the high mountain ranges that extend far down on the eastern side.  To me, what I remember most of the Provence is the colors. The region is known for its blue lavender fields  and that's not just advertising. You can see and smell them; it's a soothing and (I venture to say) healing color. There are big sunflower fields everywhere. Something about a field of sunflower faces in full bloom just makes you happy. I know, sounds cheesy, but it's like nature's smiley faces, only more innocent than human ones.

In Avignon we stayed in Hotel Montclar, which turned out to be a run-down, near the train station type of establishment.  The back side of the hotel was pretty nice and that was the side which was advertised, of course. However, we had a decent apartment and the staff was very nice. One of the guys, whose name was David (pronounced in French, of course!), was so nice and happy that he could practice his German that he pointed us to a few beautiful villages in the area which we would have otherwise never chosen to visit.   And so we experienced a wonderful market day on Sunday, July 3 in a town called LÍsle sur la Sorgue. The center of town had that beautiful medieval feel to it that is such a great trademark of many old European towns: small streets, old houses, church plaza, a stream with watermills and everywhere good cheese, good smoked sausages, clothing in Provence colors, such as yellows and blues... It was just a wonderful experience and we had some wine and cheese and Mediterranean food at the river bank.

The next village was even more stunning, Rousillion, a marvel of a village on top of red rock, yes red rock, almost like in Sedona! And again, just walking through the old streets and enjoying the colors of the landscape, the stone houses and the flowers was just soothing and relaxing.  I loved Rousillion!  It's a one-of-a-kind place.  We also were able to meet with one of our first au pair girls, Katrin Knecht, who traveled from Stuttgart to Avignon by train to meet us there. We hadn't seen here in probably ten years and had such a nice time!

We concluded our Provence trip in the city Arles, another great place. But honestly, what sticks with me most are the colors of the Provence. I think I will be able to  imagine them when I need my fill of beautiful, natural colors.


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