The next day, the four of us travelled inland and back in time. We began in the fortress town of Les Baux, perched above olive groves and among ruins. Looking up at it from below (you can’t drive up, you have to walk), you can hardly tell where cliffside rock ends and ruined castle begins. The pedestrian only streets, though touristic, echo with the clatter of bygone hoofbeats, and every angle of the tiny town offers spectacular views over the patchwork countryside below, and the vine-laced ruins of one of the Middle Age’s most formidable strongholds. It was one of my favorite places on this trip. We sat on a terrace in a restaurant that I was so excited by, that I forgot to even look at the name. There, we nested like birds, jutting out over a stoney cliff, and ate the best salads we’d ever seen, drench in the olive oil pressed from the groves below. While touristic in the summer, it was barely brimming when we were there, and the shops along the tiny streets offered some fabulous culinary insight: Camargue sea salt, the pastes of Provence, as I call them, flower jams, and, of course, the many shades of liquid gold olive oil. I could have stayed there forever, frozen in time.
Next we headed to St. Remy, but then left right away after taking one turn around its “typical” streets, and continued on to Avignon. If Les Baux is a medieval town, then Avignon is a medieval city. I had never been there before, but somewhere between the ancient turreted walls and the Petit Bateau shops, I fell in love. And yes, I danced sur le pont d’Avignon, and then ate a spectacular meal at a restaurant called Le Moutardier, on the site of the old mustard factory to the ancient popes of Avignon.
flavored with garlic, saffron, and red pepper
Tuna, Haricot Verts, Hard-Boiled Egg, Potatoes, Anchovies. Olive Oil an Garlic Dressing.