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Aventure en Provence

April 10th, 2013 klkuts14

Despite the fact that I have been here for a total of 9 months now, it has taken me this long to realize that France is a diverse country. I thought the United States was an anomaly due to its west and east coast differences and the fact that the south is a region of its own to which many new Englanders know not of fried chicken. America, however, is nothing like France in its regional differences because although we may have coastal abnormalities (apparently fluff was just introduced to the West coast several years ago), France is composed of 27 regions in which, to my experience, none of them are identical. In case I haven’t mentioned it already, I am currently dwelling in the north eastern region of Alsace, which despite what people may think, is nothing like what people typically think of as France. In fact, if you combine Pinocchio, a pig festival, the Irish potato famine, and the French language, voila, you’ve created Alsace.

This weekend, we had the experience of travelling with Malou to the southeastern most part of France known as the beautiful region of Provence! When people say they are going on holiday in the south of France, this is the place they are talking about. We left Friday morning at 5am sharp for the six hour train heading straight for the sunny quaint city of Avignon. When I was little, my mom went to Avignon and brought me back this cute little floral skirt and matching tube top…unfortunately I don’t think I could pull this off today. Instead, when I bought many postcards and toured the famous pope palace in the heart of the gated city, which was the home of nine popes during the 14th and 15th century. From this historic tour, left the sunshine and headed to the city of Arles, in which it poured cats and dogs the entire day. However, no rain can rain on our parade! We then ventured through the ancient roman ruins following a guide who had no intention to subject herself to the weathering elements, so it was a bit of a hastened tour. After stopping at a cute little sandwich shop where we all indulged in the excessively delicious amount of olive oil and avocado, we then made our way back to the train station, snapped a few photos of the Van Gogh’s inspiration landscapes, and found ourselves in the coastal city of Marseille. Here, we saw many a boats and continued to immerse ourselves in the Marseillaise culture, architecture, and massive precipitation. Marseille also happens to be the European cultural capital city for the year of 2013! Quelle coincidence! Lucky for us, we woke up the next morning and the sun graced us with its presence once again! We left Marseille and its delicious bouillabaisse behind, and headed to our final destination, Aix-en Provence! This magnificent village is full of fresh markets, beautiful architecture, and French flower shops! All the fountains, outdoor cafes, and flourishing gardens made me feel once again that I was truly in France. Don’t get me wrong, I love Strasbourg and the Alsatian storks, but once one goes to the south, it’s really hard to return anywhere else.

So, now I am back in Strasbourg where the sun is finally beginning to shine again. Yet, there is still a large part of me that just wants to return to the lavender fields, the breezy ocean, and the quaint villages that scream “heart of France”. All I can say is that this trip and my entire experience in France would not be possible without my wonderful French filles who really just make this year worthwhile. Merci for all of you dedicated bloggers! I will be praying for sunshine next week when I’m home studying for finals! (Can you believe it, I’m almost done with classes?) I have to make the most out of this next month! Go big before we go home…vacation plans TBA. A plus!

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