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No. of Recommendations: 10
I spent some time in Provence as a kid. My Dad was supervising the construction and startup of a plant at Berre l'Etang outside Marseille.We lived in the managing director's villa on a high hill overlooking Aix-en-Provence. Aix to the east. Mont Saint-Victoire to the north. In fact, Cezanne must have painted Mont Saint-Victoire from our back yard, the semblance being so remarkably similar.

This was the time before the autoroute put Aix on the map. It was a small university town and a hub of strictly local commerce, olives, apricots, almonds and Pastis. Lovely tree-lined boulevards and wonderful, ancient cafes basking in the summer sun or shivvering in the cold whithers of the winter Mistral. We would go down to the Deux Garcons on Sunday morning allegedly to have a coffe and a pain-au-chocolat, really to peruse the incredible college babes that gathered there to enjoy the same amenities or to parade up and down the Cours Mirabeau as we did ourselves, me and my father and little sister on Sundays, me and my compagnons from school during the late weekday afternoons once school was out.

On weekends we would drive around Provence..... to Arles and Avignon, to Nimes and Isles-sur-Sorgue, to Durance and Dijon and in the summer to the Carmargue and Saintes Maries de la Mer, where Van Gogh painted his famous Boats on the Beach and the gypsies would congregate in the late summer to worship the Black Madonna. We would hit the weekend markets and pick up bread and olives and goat cheese and picnic by a stream alongside the road. I remember being awed by Pont-du-Gard and Mont Ventoux and the purple lavender of the countryside and the yellow warmth of the sun and the bitter cold of the Mistral howling down out of the Massif Central and the calenques along the coast west of Cassis and the incredible topless babes on the beach there, all brown from the sun and glistening with sweat and oil.

There is no where more sensuous on God's Green Earth than Provence. Even now Provence is a veritable Paradise. I travelled around France on a number of occasions, every trip an absolute wonder, a feast to the senses, layers upon layers of delicious memories. You may deride the Frenchmen, but their country is one of the most beautiful on Earth and Provence rightfully claimed by the Romans as Provincia Nostra.

Jimbo
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There is no where more sensuous on God's Green Earth than Provence. Even now Provence is a veritable Paradise.
Ah, yes. Tuscany, too.
Our favorite locale is around Avignon and Arles, although Aix is also a lovely city. We've stayed in St. Rémy on our vacations there, van Gogh country, at a wonderful small hotel dressed up as a villa. It's been a while, and M. Hiély has since retired, but lunches and dinners at Hiély-Lucullus in Avignon were nothing if not sublime. The sounds of the cicadas, the cypresses, the vestiges of the Roman and the Romanesque....Sigh!
Schvitz
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<<You may deride the Frenchmen, but their country is one of the most beautiful on Earth and Provence rightfully claimed by the Romans as Provincia Nostra.>>

Just like Utah - such a beautiful place wasted on such annoying people.


-chris
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Just like Utah - such a beautiful place wasted on such annoying people.

Au contraire, the annoying people and radioactive waste are part of the charm, acting to keep the bulk developers and evil subdividers away away away so the place will still be nice for whenever we get back to visit.
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Au contraire, the annoying people and radioactive waste are part of the charm, acting to keep the bulk developers and evil subdividers away away away so the place will still be nice for whenever we get back to visit.

But those people have so god damn many kids. It's so cheap to plow a couple dozen acres of desert, plumb a few fire hydrants, plant a Taco Bell, two Pizza Huts, an Olive Garden, and bingo! you've got a subdivision.
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I spent some time in Provence as a kid.....

...We would hit the weekend markets and pick up bread and olives and goat cheese


Yo Jimbo,

Beautiful childhood memories, good for you, Provence smiles down from above on all children. Myself, I remember being a kid and watching cars waiting in line at the gas station during the fuel crunch in '74, walking that line with buddys and collecting money / issuing pre-paid receipts to drivers of those waiting cars, selling the explanation that this is to expedite the opportunity to fill their tanks. As we hopped the subway the thought occured, Provence is smiling down from above. Also remember fondly, skipping school when the Cubs were at home to direct and park cars a block off Clark & Addison. I knew who was gone during the day, and was able to put 2 cars on each rowhouse front yard.

When Provence smiles, the whole gang smiles. We would take the money friendly strangers joyfully gave us and buy imports, a feast for the senses. Sticks from Tai, Gin from England, and Cab Rides from drivers representing the entire UN.

I can relate to your younger years, Provence smiles on all of us.



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