But wait, there's more!
A fairly typical village in the Luberon region, not far from Aix-en-Provence. This and the view of rampant poppies were taken during a spur-of-the-moment tour that began while perusing ads in the Tourist Information Office. The coming visit will find me with several (better) cameras at the ready.
I love petanque (boules), always played studiously and with a fun camaraderie, often in vacant lots or in parks whose designers are wise enough to leave great stretches of hard earth over which these metal balls may be skillfully lobbed. Scoring is precise, of course, but chatter with friends remains mellow. People whose fathers probably played in the same place, and back for several generations.
Taken on another trip to the Luberon, this stone face recalls the time when nobility repaired to fine (protected) estates on the hilltops, leaving the valley floors for their peasants to till.
Aix-en-Provence surely has the most lovely farmers market anywhere in the south of France. Vendors cope with curious tourists and regular customers alike in the same spot of this town square day after day and week after week.
Above and to the left are photos of Cassis, several miles beyond Marseille, towards the southeast. We have a fondness for the place, although predominant catering to the whims of tourism has discouraged more visits.
Ribbed vaulting detail of the Cathedral of San Sauveur. The lofty nave is noticeably peaceful within, the only sound coming from the massive 18th c. pipe organ (if you're lucky enough to be present during practice for a concert the next day). A beautiful cloister is adjacent, and a baptistry whose sunken font dates from the early sixth century. The structure was built atop a Roman forum, whose artifacts may still be seen.
Our apartment is shown here. What a pleasure to discover an available habitation such as this: entirely furnished according to Provençal taste, with nary a stick of IKEA items to be found. It's a splendidly nostalgic site for our last week in Europe, 2024.
Click to see our street outside
A cab to Marseille Airport, at the end of this heavenly week, for a flight back up to the Veneto (mainland just north of romantic Venice. An agriturismo is there, with colorful fish in ponds, fierce looking goats, gentle donkeys to pet...before beginning the long flight back home a place to decompress for a couple of days,