France (Vincent Van Gogh’s St. Rémy)

th0VVQZFSAWhile in France this October, we visited St. Rémy-de-Provence. We walked a mile or so out of town to St. Paul-de-Mausole, the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh spent the last year of his life (1889-1890).

We walked past olive trees, fields and tall cypress trees, taking in the same landscape that inspired Van Gogh’s paintings during this period.

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The building and cloistered garden at St. Paul-de-Mausole were lovely and peaceful.

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This is Van Gogh’s room…

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where he had a view of the garden outside. Being there, I felt a connection to the artist and his calm refuge.

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France (Marseille streets)

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One evening, before the restaurants opened, we wandered around Marseille in the Le Panier section of the city. The streets were alive with families playing and socializing before heading inside for the evening. This city is gritty and real, but has an appealing esthetic quality. I loved the pastel shades of the houses and window stutters. Every narrow street had a story to tell.

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France (Canal du Midi)

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Last month, my husband Rob and I went on a barge trip along the Canal du Midi in France. We were part of a group of 18 friends who rented 3 barges for a week. Rob put together photographs he and I took, along with videos of the trip. He made the film for our barge friends, but I really like the way it came out, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of the world.

Canal du Midi

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France (doorways w/vines)

La Redorte, France

La Redorte, France

Let’s go back to our recent trip to southern France. Among the gazillion pictures Rob and I took of doors and windows, there are more than a few which feature trained leaf vines and other plants. It was so odd to see vegetation growing out of the pavement, with no dirt in sight. I love the way a bit of greenery frames and softens the straight angles on the buildings.

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France

MillePetit, France

Mille Petit, France

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Argen, France

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Argen, France

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La Redorte, France

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La Redorte, France

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Bram, France

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Marseilles, France

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Marseilles, France

Polly’s trip to France

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Polly doll had a wonderful time on her first trip to France! She got up close and personal to a large face and was introduced to some delicious food.

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She saw a model of what the city of Marseille would have looked like in ancient Roman times.

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She loved the brightly painted doors and shutters…

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and even met some of her own kind.

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She took in the view from atop the village of Les Baux-de-Provence…

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and climbed sedimentary rock.

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She saw some amazing wild life.

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She saw the same places where Van Gogh lived in St. Remy…

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and took shelter under some mushrooms.

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In St. Remy she visited the Glanum archaeological site…

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and touched the ruins.

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She navigated the Canal du Midi…

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and walked around the medieval city of Carcassonne. It was a splendid journey!

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France (lock houses)

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During our visit to France, we spent a week navigating a barge along the Canal du Midi. There were were many locks to go through and each had a cute  lock house, all with signature red tile roofs, and green doors and shutters.

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The canal was beautiful, with tall plane trees arching over, creating a shaded waterway. Our excursion included 18 friends from home, 9 couples who were divided into 3 boats. The barges were like floating Winnebagos, with accommodations for sleeping, cooking and eating aboard. Like renting a camper, you are given a key and simple instructions and off you go! Some of us rode bikes along the side path, faster than the barges, which puttered along at 5 miles an hour.

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Each lock had a keeper who operated the lock, which in this case lowered us down.

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I was so taken with the charming lock houses! The canal took us to several towns and villages, which I’ll be showing in future posts.

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France (store fronts)

Toulouse, France

Toulouse, France

We’re home from a wonderful trip to France, where we spent the first week gallivanting through Provence. Then, we piloted a rented barge along the Canal du Midi from just outside of Toulouse to Argens. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been culling through 1000+ photos, grouping them in my usual collections of windows, doors, streets, misc., etc. I thought I’d start the tour with the iconic images of French store fronts. I’ll be posting more photos over the next few weeks and will be sure to feature Polly’s adventures, too!

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

St. Remy-de-Provence

St. Remy-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

St Remy-de-Provence, France

St Remy-de-Provence, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

St. Remy-de-Provence, France

St. Remy-de-Provence, France