city at night

city at night

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Summer of 2012 - Provence

It's a long drive from Madrid to Switzerland, and my cousin Werner suggested that we stay overnight at the home of some friends of his who live in Provence, France.  As it turned out, we stayed two nights and I was able to do a bit of sightseeing.  Our hosts were very kind and hospitable.  I had never been in France before, and I found Provence (or at least the little bit that I saw) to be very beautiful. 

We stayed in a tiny hilltop village called Clansayes.  In the Middle Ages it had been a fortress of the Knights Templar.  After the expulsion of the Knights Templar, the village fell into decline, but in recent years the abandoned stone houses built into the hillside have been bought and renovated.  It is a very charming place.  My hosts drove me down to the nearby town of Saint Paul Trois Chateaux, another very picturesque place dating back to medieval times.  It was market day in the town square, and, in spite of my lack of French, I was able to buy several bars of locally made lavender soap as gifts for friends back home.

Looking down to the Rhone River valley from the hilltop village of Clansayes

The remains of the Knights Templar fortress atop the hill at Clansayes.
The statue of the Virgin Mary was a much later addition.

A typical street in Clansayes

Fields of lavender were everywhere, although the peak of the blooms had passed.

The charming town of Saint Paul Trois Chateaux.
The tower of its medieval cathedral is in the background.
The market in Saint Paul Trois Chateaux

Street scenes in Saint Paul Trois Chateaux
After a short visit in this delightful corner of Provence, it was soon time to hit the road again.  Next stop...  Othmarsingen, Switzerland, the home of the Swiss branch of my family.


  1. Provence is so lovely! (I was there in spring 2011.) Your photos are beautiful. I can almost smell the lavender.

    1. Thank you, Meredith. I must admit that France had never been high on my list, but one day in Provence changed my opinion. Even though the lavender blooms were passed their prime, their was still a whiff of their aroma in the air.