January 1, 2011


    Sidewalk in Peyrnes-les-Fontaines
    The flowers. Yellow broom, red poppies, many flowers I know as weeds brought here by early European settlers as medicinal herbs. 

    The smells. Smelling the world around you while traveling on a bike is marvelous … jasmine, old grape vines burning. The Mediterranean. Herbs, rosemary, sage, thyme. 

    The colors, the light on the stone, the sky, the water. On the old walls and buildings. On the trees and orchards. 

    Garden detail Aigues-Morte
    The fields.  Vineyards everywhere. And almonds, figs. Little vegetable gardens outside houses. Rice fields. Salt fields and salt mounds. Tall cypress borders. Fields terraced up hills.  

    The art and architecture. History in the mountains, the hills, the towns. 

    The heat of the sun, near the Mediterranean and in the Luberon. The welcome shade of the ancient plane trees on the Canal du Midi. 

    The food. Inexpensive cheese, olives, bread, sausages. Fish soup. Grilled fish. Mussels. Oysters.  Pommes frites. Steaks, sausages, cassoulet.

    Door at Abbaye da Silvacaine
    The tiny little cars. They were everywhere in towns and are not on the market here. So small that they could be backed into a parallel parking place sideways, nose out to the middle of the street, and fit. 

    The details The attention to detail everywhere, in buildings, gardens, yards, doors, flower pots, streets, fields. 

    No garbage on the sides of the roads. No littler. I’ve never seen that here, where there are always empty beer cans, these days even empty vitamin water bottles, and trash on the roadsides.  

    The French. Everyone was helpful, no one was rude. People went out of their way, without being asked to help us.


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