Before I get started, just a reminder to you, the faithful reader, that if you don’t see the pictures I’ve posted on your “update,” go to the main site (www.karenmerriam.com) to see all the photos in a better format. Also, all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them twice. Enjoy!
One of the great pleasures of living in France for a year is the opportunity to visit and explore favorite places more than once. It seems that I never tire of the Lubéron with its small ancient villages perched on hilltops, its protected forests, pastures and vinyards, and of course its famous ochre cliffs on which the town of Roussillon is built. I lived in Roussillon for a month over a decade ago, and still marvel at the beauty of the place.
On a chilly day, Colleen, Ken and I found warmth on the paths that wind through the ochre cliffs that dust you with pigment as you stroll.
I couldn’t resist buying some stunning ochre pigments which I hope to make into watercolor and acrylic paints for upcoming paintings.
I was totally delighted to find that Colleen shares my interest in french cemeteries (which Ken decidedly does not) so we had a good stroll through Roussillon’s town cemetery that holds a magnificent view of the valley below.
Finally, under the heaters on the enclosed terrasse of a local restaurant, we enjoyed omelettes among families taking a pause on their Saturday drive in the country.
This little street in Lacoste, another “village perché” in the Lubéron, is typical of the pathways that lead to the chateau or church at the top of the hill. In this case, the chateau was formerly owned by the Marquis de Sade, but is now owned by Pierre Cardin & company. Hmmmmm.
Wherever you are, it’s nice to find a friend to enjoy the sun with. And a little snack.
To work off all that good food and sight-seeing that Ken, Colleen and I accomplished in the wonderful days of Colleen’s visit with us (which included a long enchanted weekend visit to Paris!) we had to do a bit of walking. One day we walked half-way up Mt Sainte-Victoire, east of Aix; another day we found a beautiful old vinyard that is part of the Chateau Virant estate winery, west of Aix; and we hiked along the Calanques south of Aix. Another glorious day in the Chagall museum in Nice began with a little dance with the sculptures at the International Museum of Naïf Art, also in Nice.
It’s still hard to keep the right balance between wonderful meals and lots of exercise.
We’re still waiting for Spring to begin in earnest. Europe is still under the spell of the wicked witch of the north who is blowing her icy breath from west to east, north to south, including us all in her spell. We’re lucky if we have daytime temps in the low 60s(F). It’s a bit painful to read that temps in SLO are in the 80s these days and there the green grass is fairly leaping out of the earth along with flowers and lizards! Am I homesick? Well, just a little, until we too can jump into the warm embrace of Spring here in southern France. But you can see that Ken is ready for any season – outfitting himself as a proper frenchman to take on any task.
We send you greetings and love from Aix-en-Provence, and will be happy to welcome you if you find yourself in our neighborhood! Send us YOUR news and pictures, too. Karen & Ken