Land of Light and Sun, brimming with history
"The ancient Provençal version of Genesis maintains that prior to introducing Adam, the Creator realized he had several materials left over: large expanses of celestial blue, all kinds of rocks, arable soil filled with seeds for a sumptuous flora, and a variety of as yet unused tastes and smells from the most subtle to the most powerful. "Well", He thinks, "why don't I make a beautiful résumé of my world, my own special paradise?" And so Provence came into being. ..."
I couldn't find a better introduction or write a better synopsis, therefore...
Go to the original site and continue the reading of Introduction to Provence !*
* Sorry, a dead link! I know! A friend - former "Kind Reader" and proof that my pages are (sometimes) read - informed me about it. But as I told you already, I cannot find a better introduction! Therefore I'll keep this one! Copyright or not! I found it under "http://www.roughguides.com/RG_WWW/morebks/pro_int.html"
But you could read this:
" Close your eyes and the words "Provence Côte d'Azur" will open a flow of images of sun basked sceneries. So much has been said and written about it that these impressions seem unreal ..."
or this: "... From Bandol and its turquoise waters to the sandy Lavandou, passing by Saint-Tropez's hip crowds for the isolated coves of Saint-Raphaël, Cannes' prestigious beaches or the animation of the Cap d'Antibes, the nautic activities of the Ruhl resort in Nice or the sunny microclimate of Menton, the never-ending choice ... . "
I cannot copy the whole text (they have a copyright!) and you would miss a lot of nice pictures. Go and see for yourself at : http://www.ghs.fr/avm/en/avm26.htm#impressions .
Now some news: Believe or not! There is further evidence that these pages are read - sometimes! Another "Kind Reader" - and friend now - informed me (just in time for the new "edition") that he has found the "working" link to the above mentioned page and he thinks it would be really worthwhile to put it back on my - our - page.
Here it is (but, please come back after reading!) :
Introduction to Provence
Let's hope this link will stay up a bit longer than the first one and restart reading at : "... . This paradise encompasses ..."
Welcome again and thank you for coming back. Did you enjoy the trip?
I see, you still have Provence shining in your eyes!
Roman ruins, medieval castles, sun-parched landscapes with sandy beaches and rocky hillsides, lonely, resplendent wilderness and modern, pulsating cities?
Our modern highways - quite jammed sometimes- didn't impress you very much? Those overcrowded "race tracks for tourists" neither?
But you loved that little narrow road, cut along steep slopes and granite cliffs, which led you trough vineyards , laden orchards, quiet olive groves and green valleys to this picturesque Provencal village with its colorful market ?
And you don't remember the name of the village?
What a pity!
There are so many!?
But you remember the name of this little restaurant there and its famous dishes ? And you went there several times?
And you recommend "la cuvée du patron"? One of those irresistible rosé wines of Provenc e?
Aha! I see!
And you got some gourmet ecipes recipes from the "chef" himself?
And you still have this incredible air of perfumes, this mix of fragrances, in your nose? I could not imagine the overwhelming scent of lavender , rosemary , thyme , sage - these world famous " herbes de Provence " - which are not only used in local gastronomy - and you take some with you back to the States for your grill parties - ...
... and ...
... now you have lost your thread?
Aha! I see! I must say that your sentences are quite long too!
And that your ears are still full of the most characteristic soundof hot, stillsummer evenings in Provence : the steady rasp (AU, 224KB) and - almost- deafening chirp " de cigales "?
And that you have forgotten to tell me about the smell of mimosa and eucalyptus, of flowering orange and lemon trees? And ... and ... and ...
Stop, my dear friend! That is enough! We both have forgotten that you are a virtual traveler back from a virtual trip through Provence. Let's come back to reality and our kind reader.
To you! Yes!
Our traveler was a virtual one, but what he has experienced is reality. There is a unique magic to Provence with its timeless sceneries, year long sunshine and riot of scents, colors and sounds. You too will succumb to its spell like so many others.
" In Provence, the play of light is whimsical, at times soft and gentle then dazzling and bright. Countless 19th and 20th century painters and writers have fallen deeply in love with it. Follow in the footsteps of the painters of light as we set off to discover Provence ". ...
Please do not leave without having read at least Louisa Jones' article about " Les Jardins de Provence ". It could be, however, that you prefer the less esthetic but much "tastier" subject of " Food and cooking in Provence " or some other literary works of people who have been inspired by this region. This link will lead you to a selective recommendation for further reading.