Music & Markets April Easter Festival, 2015
We’ll walk in the steps of another great artist who was inspired by the south of France, Van Gogh. Driving north through the Alpilles, we’re charmed by the yellow carpet of wildflowers under the olive trees. Van Gogh colors – yellow and blue!The carpet continues beside St. Paul de Mausole outside of St. Remy de Provence, where Van Gogh checked himself in after the ear episode, and spent a prolific year of painting. Easter is early this year, so there are just a few pansies in the cloister – not warm enough for more blooms,and just a lone iris in the fields (last year we were here later and the garden was a purple haze!). Continuing in the steps of the masters, we’re enveloped in the Giants of the Renaissance, this year’s theme at the Carrieres des Lumieres in Les Baux. The cavernous rooms of a disused bauxite (yes, it’s named after Les Baux) quarry provide gigantic screens for richly hued photographs of locations or artworks, all accompanied by glorious surround-sound music.What a thrill to be immersed in the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, noting details impossible to take in in the actual room in Rome. Well this has been a full morning – now for some delights for the palate after all these other sensory pleasures! And where better than the wonderful Bistro du Paradou? Today’s Prix Fixe lunch begins with a Frisée Lardon Salad, and unlike previous meals it’s not plated, just brought in a big bowl for us to dish out ourselves – fun!And then a favorite cool weather French specialty, cassoulet – we’ve never had this here before either, and it is one of the best we’ve tasted! And you know what’s next, right? That amazing cheese platter, in which we make a hefty dent 😉After dessert and coffee on the terrace, we’re on our way back to Aix, passing a surprising addition to the Maussane des Alpilles town hall – knitted patchwork cozies on the huge tree and the balcony and lamposts!I glance down a side street as we roll through the town – “Oh please stop!” This wisteria draped cottage just cries out for a photo!
An evening concert of clarinet, viola and piano in the elegant Jeu de Paume,
then it’s time for a bit more to eat before we turn in for the day….crepes at Crepe Sautiere, in an old olive oil mill in the center of town. This one has a bump in the middle – ice cream!Bonne Nuit, Aix.