Friday in Five, live from Provence 2

20 Aug

Villeneuve-les-Avignon street art 3

This week’s Friday in Five comes from the thoroughly charming village of Villeneuve-les-Avignon in Provence, where I’ve been privileged to stay while travelling through some of France’s most beautiful southern districts.

Provence is already famous for so many things: wine, food, history, culture.

For me, though, the memories are more personal.




IMG_2525Driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, on the ‘wrong’ side of the car for the first time, I found myself dodging other cars, cyclists and surely-lunatic runners on an unspeakably narrow route all the way up Mont Ventoux, otherwise known as the Beast of Provence.

My reward? Views all the way to heaven, the realisation life can still surprise me, and… bonbons!IMG_2517



Then there was Carcassonne, one of Europe’s most famed and best preserved medieval cities, overrun by tourists and sweating with late-summer fervour. Knights jousted in the tiltyard, and the charismatic and supremely knowledgeable Jean-Francois Vassal gave insights into the life of a thirteenth century knight.

But the real magic happened at dawn, before the hordes returned…
Carcassonne at dawn 2Carcassonne at dawn









Carcassonne at dawn 3


















In Orange, there was a Roman theatre, built early in the first century AD and survivor of Christian disapproval, Visigoths, wars, fire andencroaching housing developments. In the awe stakes, its scale was matched only by its acoustics.

Theatre Antique d'Orange 5, 10816


And behind the theatre, the Orange markets were rich with colour, noise, flowers, cheeses, spices, bags, garlic, and fresh truffles – another first on a trip full of firsts.

Orange market bagsOrange Market garlic







Truffles from Orange, 180816


Finally, Avignon.

Papal palace from Villeneuve-les-AvignonRomantic city of legend and intrigue, capital city of Christendom in the Middle Ages, its immense fortress-cum-palace, the Palais des Papes, soars above its ancient walls.
On a scorching summer day, the small, private studium where successive Popes read and reflected must have been a welcome relief from both the pomp and the oppressive heat.



Tomorrow I return to Paris, City of Light, City of Love, my favourite city on this wondrous planet.

Meantime, I’d love to hear what you’re loving this week! Drop me a line or leave a comment? I’m always happy to share!

Au revoir!

Gracie x

7 Responses to “Friday in Five, live from Provence 2”

  1. Servetus August 20, 2016 at 6:37 AM #

    the south of France in the summer is amazing. Amazing!

    I learned recently that I can get my lemonade at Starbucks blended. It tastes a little like a lemonade snow-cone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gracie Macgregor August 21, 2016 at 7:37 PM #

      Amazing is right – a week was nowhere near long enough. Lemonade blended? With ice, do you mean? Sounds perfect for summer. My son was a big fan of adding a dollop of icecream – we call it a spider. I confess I’ve never been to Starbucks in Oz – I shall check it out to see if they’ll blend my lemonade for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Servetus August 22, 2016 at 2:32 AM #

        Lemonade with ice cream? Intriguing.

        Yeah, you order a regular lemonade and ask them to put it with the ice that comes with it in the blender. I never went to a Starbucks (or rarely) until I moved to Florida, where the local store was the most convenient option for my needs. And now, well, after another movie to Wisconsin, I’m grateful they are around.


  2. annacampbell August 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM #

    Fabulous photos, Gracie. And loved your text. Had to laugh – a very good friend gave me one of those bags recently. You can get them at Caloundra markets. You didn’t have to go all the way to Avignon after all! Snerk! Happy travels to Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gracie Macgregor August 21, 2016 at 7:39 PM #

      Wait til you see the bag I DID get! Italian leather, French made. I love it!


  3. mardichapman August 21, 2016 at 12:06 PM #

    I really appreciate your early morning shots…before the tourists are out of bed! Such good advice on travelling. I’m not naturally a morning person but I remember when we lived in Zimbabwe, the best animal viewing was in the early morning and yet, so many visitors missed the action at the waterholes because they had to have a shower or a coffee or a breaky to get going…:)


    • Gracie Macgregor August 21, 2016 at 7:43 PM #

      Thanks, Mardi, I always think early morning is the very best time of day. I can find a bit more quiet inside myself as well as outside.


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