A Feast for the Senses: The Picturesque Village of Les Baux-de-Provence
“Everyone who comes to visit, always asks me to bring them to Les Baux-de-Provence!” Michel told me. I can understand why. Beauty is not only something that pleases the eyes, but also pleases the other senses and this is how I describe Les Baux-de-Provence.
The scenery from Avignon to Les Baux was truly unforgettable–passing through vineyards, Sycamore tree-lined roads, olive fields, and hilltop chateaus. It somehow didn’t feel real. It’s like watching a scene in a travel show or in a movie. Except I was in it. I read somewhere that travel can sometimes feel like a dream. When you’re jet-lagged, it can be hard to tell whether you’re actually awake. A good hard pinch is often the only way to know for sure. I think I have pinched myself quite a few times during this trip. 😜
Perched on the top of the rock, Les Baux-de-Provence is located in the foothills of the Alpilles mountains. It is listed as a heritage site that has won titles such as “one of the most beautiful villages in France.” Before going up to the village, both Michels mentioned we were going to an “art show with music” first but with their limited English, I couldn’t visualize such description. My expectations were low but what I didn’t anticipate was I was about to experience a mind-blowing, out-of-this-world, totally immersive and exhilarating experience!
Carrières de Lumières is a sound and light art show in a magnificent setting–in a limestone quarry! The art of world famous artists, with the use of numerous video projectors and 3D audio, are projected onto the quarry’s floors and walls accompanied by enchanting music. I have never seen anything like it!
This year’s art were of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo’s. After forty minutes of mesmerizing visual and sound, I was still in a dreamy state when we walked up to the village of Les Baux. (Visitors must park in the lower part of the town and walk up to the historic village).
Wandering the old cobblestone streets, visitors will find charming cafés, souvenir shops, and art galleries. This dreamy, medieval, semi-ruined Provençal village is definitely well worth the visit especially for its picturesque setting and breathtaking views.
Michel suggested to go to La Reinne Jeanne for lunch, a French/Mediterranean restaurant that has gotten excellent reviews. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a table. It’s really too bad because the food seemed delicious and the restaurant had a nice view.
We could another restaurant that wasn’t too crowded. As we sat, the owner/server explained what’s in the menu, then she suggested (speaking in French) that “the mademoiselle can have a burger.” The three of us laughed once she left our table. First, she called me a mademoiselle (ahem, I’m maybe too old to be called that). Second, she suggested for me to have a burger. “Perhaps she could sense you’re from Texas!” Michel laughingly said.
The Dejeuner du Jour were explained to me as follows: lamb, duck, beef, and fish. I asked for fish since I rarely eat meat (except for chicken and occasionally pork). Somehow something was lost in translation because my fish turned out to be squid. It’s a good thing Provençal cooking is delicious. My squid was perfectly cooked, not rubbery at all.
On the drive back to Avignon, we stopped at a perfume “museum.” I wasn’t overly impressed with it and probably the least of my favorites among the things I did/see in the Provence area. I wish we had gone to a winery instead! 😜
My pictures couldn’t capture the beauty of Les Baux-de-Provence but it was definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. I just wish it wasn’t very touristy but when a place is this beautiful, France has no choice but to share it to the world.