Much has been written about Vincent Van Gogh’s life, the famous Dutch painter who led an expressive, tortured life. This statue le voleur de tournesol (the Sunflower Thief) by Gabriel Sterk may just capture the essence of Van Gogh’s work – as you never quite look at sunflowers, irises, olive trees or wheat fields the same way after seeing his paintings.
In 12 days, Ginger and Nutmeg had explored the northern part of Portugal from A to Z, they drove from Lisbon to Porto and beyond the Douro Valley. The early September weather cooperated, and the summer tourist crush had started to wane, leaving the rugged, windswept coastline devoid of summer crowds — picture perfect.
When Ginger and Nutmeg first ventured to Provence they felt prepared for the adventure. After all, it was not their first trip to France, they had previously biked in the region, and they had read Peter Mayle’s books – so they were confident in their basic understanding of the region.
And basic it was!
Nutmeg would like to share five Provencal myths for consideration as you pack your bags for the south of France, with visions of purple lavender fields and olive groves dancing in your head.
The Coachella Valley:
Palms to Pines
Golf holes to Polo fields
Hiking boots to Stilettos
Date trees to Dance floors
Swimming pools to Concerts
Ginger and Nutmeg are ‘relative’ newbies to the Palm Springs area and want to thank their friends for the locals’ tips. Nutmeg has created one of her ABC lists to provide all G&N readers a snapshot of the valley.
Is the data from twenty-four US Government satellites circling the globe correct?
Could the information provided from map-reading “back-seat” drivers be more precise?
Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale) commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille in Paris. Two years running, our village attempted to host fireworks on the 14th only to be stymied by the wind. Leave it to the Parisians to have their traditional parade on the Champs-Élysées. Eygalières was going to party the night before.
18h: Sounds of the band testing their equipment – CHECK!
Nutmeg is coffee-obsessed if a cup is not in her hands within 30 minutes of her feet hitting the ground in the morning it’s best to stay away. What is odd about her addiction is that her first encounter with coffee was while visiting her grandparents in the West Indies and she hated the bitter brew.
Now, just a few years (or so) later she’s hooked. Needless to say when a new java option appears in town Nutmeg feels it is her duty to investigate. Continue reading
The centuries of Anglo-French wars are overwhelming, even for those most dedicated to the subject. Battles for geographic territory and ideological control started in Roman times. In one short post, it would be impossible to provide sufficient detail on this lengthy history of conflict.
Instead, here is a list of a few of the famous engagements:
- 1066 – The Battle of Hastings – the Norman conquest of England, by William the Conqueror
- 1337 – 1453 The Hundred Years’ War – technically 116 years and numerous battles
- 1755 – 1763 The Seven Years’ War – the fight over control of North America which the British won
- 1779 – 1783 The American Revolution – the French aided the American rebel troops in forcing a British surrender
- 1792 – 1802 The French Revolution – the British were opposed to the anti-monarchical ideals of the French
- 1803 – 1815 The Napoleonic Wars – in 1810 the French Empire at its broadest reach, then Napoleon was defeated
And so on…
The game of pétanque, sometimes called boules is a form of religion in Provence. Most villages have an official or unofficial boules pitch. The more elaborate centres will even have a “club house” offering refreshments.
The word pétanque is Provencal in origin from the word petanca, which means “feet anchored”. The game in its’ present day format started in La Ciotat (on the Mediterranean coast) in 1907. Other similar games are bocce, bowls and horseshoes.
The idea for this hike came from a friend at the International Hiking group of Provence. The twosome needed to find a short hike that was not too far from the house, so they would have enough time to get the car to the mechanic.
Nutmeg consulted her “Must Do” list for Provencal activities; it was February so a day at the beach was not rising to the top of the chart. Not too far down the list, was this walk, les Gorges de Régalon a short, challenging hike that was close to home. (Walking in Provence West Guidebook).