By summer I mean, 2 days, and by Provence, I mean the movie set like town of Apt and surrounds.
Technically my first encounter with France was Montpellier. I got off the train and smelt the distinct waft of … the unwashed. I had heard the French were a bit smelly, but I thought it couldn’t possibly be true. My cousin told me later, in the ‘good’ old days, the French used to bathe once every six months, (whether they needed it or not) Not being one to let first impressions get in the way, I boarded the next train and was on my way to somewhere hopefully a little easier on the nose.
After about 2 minutes I saw my first vineyard and thought, things will be ok. And they were. I was collected from Avignon and taken to my cousins home in Apt. You know when you see those movies and around every corner is another amazing view. Well that’s because around every corner is another amazing view. As a side note, the women of France should be given a medal for managing to negotiate those many and varied cobbled laneways and streets in heels. I had trouble staying upright in jandals. (however, now have a great selection of shoes to choose from after a concerted effort today)
I drank wine and … something that starts with P (I think) that was lovely and a bit aniseed-y. It’s not that I drank more than my share that I can’t remember the name, it’s just that I’ve forgotten what it was called. (which is a shame, because I might like to buy some) I ate bread with dinner, and breakfast, and lunch. I said Bon Jour and Merci and Au revoir, and when I was in town wandering the streets in the rain, (only for about 1/2 an hour) I encountered a toilet that I had absolutely no idea how to use….and then another one…and then just before I started to panic, I fled to the pub at 10am in an effort to find a ‘normal’ loo. (nothing to do with wanting more of that drink that starts with P)
I even managed to have the very pleasant waft follow me around thee countryside on my very brief sightseeing tour. Apparently the people just up the hill had cut their lavender that day, and the smell drifted around the sights with me.