mit_souko (mit_souko) wrote,

Down the Rhone

We continued down the road, seeing on occasion a nice chateau or manor house.

We stopped on occasion at some small town along the way and visited it. One of the more memorable excursions was to Les Baux de Provence.
Les Baux is a village perched in the hills, dominated by the ruins of a castle. The lords there were important rulers up until the 13th century. Only ruins remain of their stronghold. The village lost its population little by little until it started reviving in the fifties. This was started by a famous restaurant and hotel started there then, using the older houses . Soon another joined it, and tourists started coming, joined later by various artists and craftsmen. Unfortunately it is heavily visited, and it gets crowded in the summer. At least no cars are allowed and they have to park below.

The approach to the village

A bit closer, you can see the village clustered on the right, and the castle ruins dominating it on the hills. And lots of cars and buses parked below!

Along the way, you are likely to see a lavender field, or many, as it is characteristic of the region. Luckily for us, they bloom in June-July.

The scent of lavender is everywhere. Hard to resist the soaps and sachets!

The next important city we visited is Avignon. The pope resided there in the 14th century instead of Rome, so naturally there is a palace of the Popes one can visit, and it gave importance to the city. A well known theater festival is held there every year.

Our next important stop was Arles. That will have to be my next installment.

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