I’ve always been drawn to France. I love the country, the cities, the ancient ruins, the towns falling off hillsides, the wine, the normality of drinking wine at lunch.
And one of my obsessions is Provence. I always repeat doing things I really love. So Provence. Right down the bottom, above Marseille but below Avignon. Though Avignon is where I start. You could go for weeks, a village a day if you want to move that fast, or you could dawdle around, a village a week, and stay in each place and discover every special part of it.
So I start in Avignon. Palace of the Popes.
How great is this hall, the soft arch of the ceiling against the hardness and strength of the vertical walls. No wonder they hold up for centuries.
Busing along, a village a day …. Gordes, high in the mountains. The cobbled street. The cobbled house. The cobbled pathway. The doors. Doors with deep deep history. The view. Free for everyone.
Rouillson, the Ochre city. Here, they mined ochre for dyes until chemicals took over. Well, my short version of history. Just look at the photos. I was totally taken in by the colour the minerals create in the land, and you see it in the houses. Brilliant orange and yellows, well ochre.
And if you can only do one place. You have to see Bonnieux. It’s a wonderful hillside town with so many great experiences. The local wine bar, the local restaurants, the market on Friday, the lavender products, the most amazing maze of streets all leading to views to stun you. Medieval buildings alive with all the comforts of today, done simply.