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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

A Pleasant Day in Provence

FRANCE | Wednesday, 12 June 2013 | Views [448]

I had a fabulous afternoon. After a nice sleep in today, I walked into the city centre to catch a bus to St. Remy de Provence. After doing some research last night and the long day I had, I decided against my original plan of seeing Aix-en-Provence, tossed the idea of going to Marseilles instead, played with the boring but relaxing option of staying in, then finally settled on checking out this typical Provencal village.

The bus ride took a little less than an hour, passing through some classic Provencal scenery. Even though I'm a little early for the lavender, the French countryside is absolutely gorgeous. Poppies surrounding a solitary house, olive groves soaking up the sun - it's just a visual form of bliss. This is what I came to Provence for.

Just when I thought I got all I needed from Provence with the bus ride, we arrived at St. Remy. It's a small quaint town but bustling after its twice-weekly market and with tourists. I can't help that at least 80% were over 50. I guess I'm just an old soul at heart. =)

I spent most of my time at St Remy visiting St Paul de Mausole, an old asylum where van Gogh was admitted after he chopped his ear off. The building and its surroundings are hauntingly beautiful and are reminiscent of the paintings van Gogh did during his time here. I really enjoyed the insight St Paul provided about van Gogh's time there and treating mental illnesses. It was a strange treat to walk through the halls, rooms and gardens knowing that once upon a time, the talented but troubled van Gogh did the same.

Going to St. Remy today was the official and final reminder of how one should travel Provence - by car; Even though it was a very doable bus ride from Avignon, seeing it today made me think of all the other beautiful Provencal villages I missed out on because they're only accessible by car.

I'm leaving Avignon tomorrow and heading for Nice. I'm not sure how long I'll be there but it'll be my last French city before I head for a whirlwind tour of Italy!

Tags: art, buses, cities, european adventure, flowers, outdoors, sightseeing

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