La Vie en Rose: Provence

30 July 2015

Let’s jet back to France, friends! On Tuesday, it was time to say au revoir to Paris and hop on the TGV to the countryside. We spent just two days in Provence, but we packed a lot in (and it still felt relaxed!). Get ready, peeps, because this will be the most photo-heavy post in the series.

Pont du Gard:

Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct near Remoulins. It was built in the 1st century!! It’s the highest of all the Roman aqueduct bridges and apparently one of the best preserved. Reading more about this wonder gave me such an appreciation for the precision and skill required to build it so long ago — it’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. We spent about an hour here, walking across the bridge and sitting down by the water. (We wished we had our bathing suits on so we could have gone swimming – lots of people did!)

pont-du-gard

pont-du-gard-river

beneath-pont-du-gard

Nîmes

Nîmes is a city in the Languedoc-Roussillon region with a history stretching back to the Roman Empire. We paid for admission to the Nîmes Arena, which came with an audio guide. The guide was definitely informative, though shocking at times — to this day, there is still actual bull fighting in the arena, which made me a bit uncomfortable. After finishing up at the Arena we wandered the town for a bit. It was kind of mind-bending to be reminded over and over again how much history there is around every corner, not just at the official landmarks. (For example, the Roman temple below was built in 19 BC, and it was just hanging out next to random modern buildings!)

nimes-arena

nimes-arena-audio-guide

nimes-arena-outside

maison-carree

nimes-town-square

nimes-park

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue:

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a tiny town on the Sorgue River. When John planned a trip to France for some of our friends last year, he sent them here, and it was one of their favorite stops on the whole trip, so we knew we had to go, too! We had lunch right next to the river (there are tons of cafes back to back – I can’t remember the name of the one we chose!) and gelato while strolling and poking into a few of the antique shops.

lisle-sur-la-sorgue

sorgue-river-france

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse:

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is feels almost like what I imagine a Gypsy encampment would, but with more permanent structures. The main attraction is the source of the Sorgue River, the biggest spring in France (the fifth largest in the world). We were surprised by how much colder the air felt down next to the pool!

sorgue-river-fontaine-de-vaucluse

fontaine-de-vaucluse

fontaine-de-vaucluse-source

us-at-fontaine-de-vaucluse

Gordes:

Gordes is a tiny town perched on the side of a mountain. We’re not really sure how people live or work there, because it’s basically a maze of ridiculously narrow streets. Maybe it’s just retirees, who simply enjoy the beautiful view? For a tourist, I think the only attraction is to stroll around and get lost, which we did — and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

gordes

em-in-gordes

walking-the-streets-of-gordes

gordes-view

gordes-streets

provence-blue

Aix-en-Provence:

Not too many photos from our time in Aix, but we had a delicious lunch at O Bagel. We also wandered around the Aix Cathedral and popped into Le Petit Souk, a home goods, party supplies, and kids store from which I wanted to buy everything.

avignon-fountain

Le Domaine de la Rose:

Finally, I need to tell you about our accommodations! We stayed at an inn in Orgon, Le Domaine de la Rose. It was our biggest splurge of the trip, but definitely worth it. Everyone who’s been to Provence seems to have a favorite place to stay — we got several effusive recommendations when planning — and I know we’ll be doing the same when friends ask us in the future! The grounds were so beautiful, our dinner at the on-site restaurant was perfection, and the kitchen garden was out of a dream. Highly, highly recommended.

mas-de-la-rose

provence-fields

mas-de-la-rose-gardens

raspberry-fields

potager-du-mas

potager-du-mas-meal

orgon-breakfast

If you’ve been to Provence, what towns and sites were your favorites? I’d love to hear!

Up next: Cassis by the sea!

8 Responses to “La Vie en Rose: Provence”

  1. Kim

    My French grandparents live in a tiny village outside of Nîmes… It warmed my heart seeing that you guys visited the Pont du Gard and Nîmes; so many of my fondest childhood memories took place near those sites! And I’ve been to most of the other places listed as well… the south of France has so many idyllic corners to offer. Glad you enjoyed! :)

  2. Gorgeous photos! Provence just looks like a fairy tale!

  3. Kristina

    This was my favorite post so far, just because reading it was like taking a trip down memory lane. In middle school I spent three months living and going to school in Provence. I have great memories of my time there and the Fontaine de Vaucluse is definitely one of my favorite sites.

  4. Kate

    Noticed when you originally posted the photo on Instagram and had to comment here: your hair looks fantastic in the last Fontaine-de-Vaucluse picture!!

  5. Oh my goodness, Emily! I love your photos. They take me back to studying abroad. :) I agree with you about the arena thing–I remember feeling very disturbed being at The Coliseum, thinking about all the Christians who lost their lives there. Looks like your trip was absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing your awesome photos. :) xo

  6. Oh, too much to love about this post. Provence is my happiest place! I loved seeing the towns you explored and the delicious meals you ate. Thanks for sharing all of this, Em!

  7. Abby

    Hi Emily! I’m planning a trip to the south of France and remembered you went this past summer! We are playing around with the idea of renting a car and hitting multiple towns like you and John! How did you go about doing that? Did you reserve one before? Did you get an automatic? I’d love to hear that whole process! (Feel free to email me if there is a lot of info! [email protected].) Appreciate all the tips! Thanks!!!

  8. Em

    @Abby Sent you an email, but in case anyone else reading has the same question! We did rent a car in advance, through AutoEurope, and we did get an automatic. We picked it up at the train station in Avignon and dropped it off at the Nice airport. The whole process was pretty seamless, and I’d definitely recommend it! (Although we did run into some VERY narrow roads in Mougins!)