Provence and FriendsThursday, 19 July 2007
Eygalieres – Le Baux -
As the village of Eygaliers is rubbing its eyes and stretching awake, we park in front of the patisserie and walk up to its highest point, then on the way back, peek into the small and plain church. Yesterday, when we came through we couldn’t have parked in the village if we had wanted to, this morning it’s no problem. We got a regional specialty, sacristans, from the patisserie. They’re pastries about a foot long, twisted with almond paste. The best ones are topped with toasted sliced almonds. Two grand crèmes on the shady sidewalk tables of the bar next door go real good with the sacristans.
A smiling white haired gentleman walks with his cane up the sidewalk and sits down at the table next to ours. He shakes hands with one of the denizens at the bar and we can hear he’s an American. He tells us he’s
We were eager to get back to La Bastide’s pool before checkout time. It’s really an unostentatiously comfortable place. The name suggests it was a farm that was at one time fortified for defensive purposes but it has long since lost any military feel. It's full of inviting spots to relax and enjoy.
After we’ve had enough sun and swimming, we enjoy a delicious lunch on the terrace,
then drive off through the plane tree allees (one of our favorite sights in the south of France, and this area has some of the most extensive) toward the Cathedral des Images at Le Baux.
Each year the 30 foot high cubes left under the mountain by bauxite miners are covered with images from strategically placed projectors, using the massive white walls as projection screens.
This year’s theme is visions of Venice with Vivaldi music and much bigger than life photographs and videos of gondolas, shimmering water, interiors and exteriors of villas, frescoes, a carnival at La Fenice by night.
We join the mostly French tourists who are unhurriedly taking in the music and images.
As we head south past Le Baux's ruined mountain top castle, we’re hoping to avoid the Tour de France bikers racing through Mausanne. But as we approach, there are cars on both sides of the street.We don’t make a U-turn until we see hoards of people in the street craning their necks looking westward. So back we go 4 kilometers to Le Baux. As we were passing through Le Baux this time we see the Tour de France helicopter circling the ruined castle for one of those shots designed to show viewers some of the countryside the racers are winding through. I think the top of our car was on international television. When we get a chance to watch the daily Tour coverage, we always hope for more helicopter shots - love to see the countryside.
We get to the highway to the
The courtyard floor is still a little sticky after over 36 hours of uninterrupted drying and we’re having guests in an hour. I quickly start thinning the stickiest spots with mineral spirits and that helps. We'll just tell Tony and Carole not to stand in one place very long or they might not be able to move when it’s time to go. Anne made us an awesome appetizer of dates, parmesan, and walnuts to go with a sparkling mango sangria. We had some perfectly crunchy gazpacho before walking to L’Amandine for our main course, then back to La Belle Cour for a berry crème fraiche napoleon extravaganza. Tony and Carole's daughter, Mirada, who lives in our next-door studio popped in for a bite before going out. We got more ideas from them later about some improvements to the charm-starved studio that will make it more desirable to renters.
We chatted on the cool breezy courtyard till midnight.