Goodbye Dear France

You have been my home for these past

three months.

I have woken up in an ancient stone village every morning looking out my window to see the fog rolling over your mountainside…

I have walked through your valleys, down your dirt paths, and into your vineyards… I am more then positive nothing will ever top your grapes..

This has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget.  Tomorrow I set off back home.

Au revoir mon amour

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Menerbes

~ Menerbes ~

So the other day I decided to take a hike up to the nearby town, Menerbes.  Walking tends to be faster then biking for this flat-lands girl.  We didn’t realize just how far we had to go till we were coming back, up hill.  It was 9 miles over all… BUT hey.  Now I can say I’ve been to Menerbes, right?

Along the way we kept ourselves entertained with different fruits growing on the side of the road, like fuzzy pears.  Are pairs supposed to be fuzzy?….

And beautiful little old farm houses.  This shot just feels like a painting to me.

Can you see the tan blobs above the tops of the trees and below the mountains?  If you can then yay!  You have spotted out first sighting of Menerbes.  It was quite the moment.

Menerbes was a little bit larger then Lacoste but way smaller then Bonnieux.  It had some nice art galleries.

And some tasty bakeries.  All a small town really needs.

The view from the town.

This friday we are off to Nimes and the Pont du Gard.  So Until then ~ bon au revoir

Artist Jean Pierre’s atelier and hiking to Bonnieux

So today marks my first full week in France.  I feel like I’ve been here forever and already have a schedule I’m unconsciously following.  Yesterday with my treasures of Provence class we visited the mosaic artist Jean Pierre at his studio about an hour and a half drive from Lacoste.  Jean Pierre loves history and incorporating all the history around him into his artwork.  He uses old materials such as ancient Roman bricks, pottery pieces, and tiles.  He feels giving something old a new use and purpose continues it’s life into todays world.  His mosaics were absolutely stunning with such buyers as Sandra Bullock and U2 Pierre’s work scatters the globe.

Here Pierre demonstrates how he himself, along with mosaic artists of hundreds of years past, cut the tiles into precise pieces.

These were some of my favorite.  One day I WILL have these in my shower…

The village where his studio was.

After going through Pierre’s studio we went back to his grandfathers house where we enjoyed the view and visited over chocolate croissants.

…the view.

Pierre also collects old relics from the area.  He showed us everything from ancient roman coins and jewelry to bones.

A very tiny coin that a traveler could keep in his mouth and swallow if attacked on the road.

If you wanted to buy something that was only worth half of what your coin was worth you simply just cut your coin in half to make the purchase.  Simple, right. 😉

A couple centuries ago the towns of the area were struck with a deadly plague that took hundreds of lives.  The people thought that by moving one of the churches to a hill right outside this village would exempt them of their sins thus relieving them of the sickness.  The church collapsed and all that remains today is the doorway.  This village that the door stands in, however, only suffered under ten deaths from the plague.

That afternoon we decided to hike to Bonnieux, a nearby town two to three times the size of Lacoste.  They actually have an operating bus station.  It is about an hour and a half walk there and then and additional hour and a half back [the return journey being up-hill].  The views were spectacular though and definitely worth the exercise.  The path to Bonnieux veers off the road and through old ruins and vinyards.

On the way we found an old stone house.  Nature had taken over long before, but it was a lovely sight from the inside.

One of the many vineyards.

So many variaties of fruit, some of which I have never heard of or seen before line the trails here.  Eating along the way is one of the many perks of traveling by foot.

First view of Bonnieux

And what was the first thing we did upon arriving?    Gelato.

Pure.  Happiness.  In a cup.

That evening a pizza truck drove into town.  The way things work amongst all the small towns and villages in the country is everyone shares.  Their is one main priest and he visits a different church every sunday, roughly in each city once a month.  The pizza truck stops in Lacoste every Wednesday evening before making its rounds elsewhere.

If you take a peak inside of the truck they cook the pies in an actual pizza oven heated by a real fire.  Pretty legit for a food truck!  Everything is made to order.  I tried the cheese and the vegetarian.  Both were superb.  Best road-side pizza I’ve ever had.  The crust was so thin, which to me = amazing pizza.

Favorite food you’ve had overseas?

sandwichs the size of my thigh

So I have been in France now….3 full days…

And I have eaten a baguette and Brie sandwich the length of my upper leg.

On an ancient stone bridge

Rented a bike and kicked my a*d%jfb on the hilly roads.  But came upon beautiful ruins and water stops.

fell in love with blue painted doors with door-knobs in the center

Noticed the abundance of pigeons.  Especially outside the bedroom window.  They are EVERYWHERE here.

Decided I would like to grow my own olives one day

Hiked past lovely vineyards bursting with grapes…….harvest season is fast approaching…

Saw spectacular views of the local farms and vineyards from a trail going around the city

In Lacoste! and a trip to Apt

No sleep, a croissant, and 3 plane rides later I arrived at the Marseilles airport.  My luggage, thank the airplane gods, arrived with me in Marseille.  2 bags from the group were still in paris and one still in Florida.  It is always a gamble.  An hour and a quarter later and a bus through the unreal country side I was at Lacoste…

Lacoste is a medieval city consisting of only 300 residents, including the college.  It looks the same way it did hundreds of years ago.  Small stone cottages and cobble stone streets.  Steep cobble stone streets.  The people of the past that lived here must of all had one thing in common……..awesome backsides.  Which I hope to also acquire after three months of attempting to survive the roads here 😉

The chateau looks out over the whole valley, and a few other towns.

Quite a magical place, I absolutely love it here.

The building on the right is where I’m staying.

Saturday morning we went to the open market in the nearby town, Apt.

Beautiful baked goods, unbelievable produce.

Macaroons.

My first macaroon from a street vendor.  French vanilla.  So Sweet.

Berries.

& cheese ~

Be back soon ❤

Off to Lacoste, France!

Today I depart for Lacoste, France. I will be studying there for 10 weeks and am beyond pumped!  For the duration of the time I’m there my posts will be updates of my travels, good eats, and interesting going ons.

Au revoir

~