European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Provence, France, p.1

Apr 18, 2011


Entry No. 6: Provence, France

Continuing with CB's European Honeymoon-Inspired Travel Journal series, remember all my teases about my impending trip to fabulous Provence? Well, the photos are finally edited and today I get to share with you Part One of our incredible escape to this magical slice of French countryside. Like I said last week, I firmly believe that this location would make for a dream honeymoon ... J and I were swept away with the beauty ... the landscapes, the lighting, the incredible architecture and the phenomenal history make this region such a fun place to see and enjoy - perfect for a pair of lovebirds! ;o)


We stayed in the charming city of Arles and I instantly fell in love with the rustic stones and the faded pastels that made up the sweet homes and shops lining the twisting cobblestone streets.

Our first afternoon in the area, we headed over to St. Rémy, a quiet and beautiful little town that seemed perfectly nestled in between fields of olive trees and lavender. Vibrantly-coloured wisteria draped many terraces and framed the cutest of doorways:


I loved the casual elegance spotted everywhere ... random flowerpots scattered behind faded French shutters {ps. Did you know they typically have non-louvered shutters to protect against the strong Mistral wind that can spontaneously blow through the region?} and cheerfully-coloured pet birds basking in the sunshine. Such a happy place.

Next, we drove to the outskirts of St. Rémy to visit Clinique St. Paul, the sanitarium where Vincent Van Gogh stayed for 15 months after his "ear incident." Van Gogh's time at St. Rémy was his most prolific, painting around 300 canvases. The grounds were breathtaking and we even got to see his old room {which he painted a few different times}:


Below is the gorgeous view Van Gogh had from his bedroom window ... please try to imagine the lavender fields in full bloom. ;o)


And below is a photo of the delightful olive orchards that surround the sanitarium. If you're a big fan of Van Gogh, you would recognize many of the subjects of his paintings just by walking around the grounds ... the twisted trunks of the olive trees, the gorgeous irises in full bloom, the tall cypress trees creating shadows against starry skies {yes, Starry Night was painted during his 15 months here! How cool, right?!} ... Being a pretty big Van Gogh nut, I really enjoyed this visit. {If you want more Van Gogh, check out my museum recommendation from our trip to Amsterdam.}


We later headed back into the town of St. Rémy and enjoyed a relaxing lunch at one of the adorable streetside bistros along with some very important shopping! ;o) I picked up a bundle of fresh lavender and fresh wheat to decorate with at home, along with a fabulous new bag for when I head to the fresh produce markets {see below}.


This was just our first day ... I have lots more to share but thought I'd break everything down into several posts. Coming up: Arles, Aigues-Morte, Ste. Marie de la Mer and Avignon! I'll end with a recap of my favorite spots as well as my top tips for visiting. Hope you enjoy and happy honeymooning!

If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Hope you enjoyed this installment of the European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal! And to catch up on my other European travel entries, just click here.

{All images by me}

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