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Once is not enough

Posted by on March 25, 2013

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.

Roussillon ochre

Roussillon ochre

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.

ochre cliffs

ochre cliffs

I couldn’t resist buying some stunning ochre pigments which I hope to make into watercolor and acrylic paints for upcoming paintings.

 

cemetery in Roussillon

Roussillon,the town
Roussillon,the town

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.

Lacoste

Lacoste

 

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.

chateau Lacoste

chateau Lacoste

so warm

so warm

Wherever you are, it’s nice to find a friend to enjoy the sun with. And a little snack.

Lourmarin cafe

Lourmarin cafe

just a little snack

just 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.

Chateau Virant

Chateau Virant

hiking Sainte-Victoire

hiking Sainte-Victoire

Naïf dancing in Nice

Naïf dancing 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.

a suave frenchman

a suave frenchman

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

 

 

 

 

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