Guest blogger, Emily, continues on her time in Provence last summer.
We’re off – exploring the immediate countryside, driving on narrow, hilly two-lane roads past grey-green olive groves and rolling vineyards nearly ripe for the harvest. This is not Linda’s car (!) but an adorable old “deux-chevaux” (two horsepower)… a Citroen 2CV, which used to be ubiquitous throughout France. These little cars originally were designed after WWII with the French farmer in mind, and were priced low and styled to maneuver comfortably on tiny roads and across ploughed fields. There aren’t so many around anymore because replacement parts are hard to come by. This fixer-upper was parked next to the mairie in the nearby village of Peypin d’Aigues, with a “for sale” sign asking 2000 Euros!
This small square with it’s traditional fountain, sits right on the main road in Peypin d’Aigues and offers a shady place to rest and watch the world go by.
One of the delights of Provence is the long alley of trees bordering roads throughout the countryside. Usually they are plane trees, many more than 200 years old. This road leads to nearby La Tour d’Aigues, one of the larger villages in the area.
The centerpiece of La Tour d’Aigues is a once majestic Renaissance chateau. Sadly, only the facade remains, as it was a casualty of the Revolution. However, it still is a living part of the region where spectacles and expositions are held. Stadium seats are behind the facade.
The chateau also is a gathering place for the men of the town. Men young and old come here to play lively games of “boules” or “petanque.” (same game, different names) Sometimes they play in front of the chateau and other times they can be seen at the bottom of the now dry moat, tossing the metal balls with great precision and great seriousness.
This charming little stone chapel stands alone beside the road. It must be quite beautiful when all of the lavender plants surrounding it are in bloom in the summer.
At one time (maybe still?) the schools were segregated – one side for boys, the other for girls.