What can I say about my women's club weekend in Provence? It was wonderful! It was four days filled with friendship and laughter, wine at lunch and dinner, art and history, beautiful scenery, and shopping. We visited the charming towns of Aix en Provence, Arles, Les Baux, Nimes, Avignon, and Cassis. I practiced my very, very rusty French,, and developed friendships with some wonderful women.
Gorgeous Market at Arles
The highlight for me was visiting the sites associated with Van Gogh. I felt as if I had stepped into one of his paintings when I saw the garden he painted at the hospital in Arles, and when we ate lunch at the cafe featured in this street scene. And visiting the St. Paul asylum in St. Remy where he painted some of his best known works was really fascinating. I also visited the workshop of Cezanne in Aix en Provence. What a striking difference between the lives of these two men! Cezanne, the son of a wealthy man, worked in his purpose built atelier with a wall of windows looking out over his beautiful garden. Van Gogh had his workshop in a mental hospital which also overlooked beautiful gardens but obviously had a very different feel. It was overwhelming to realize that Van Gogh painted 142 masterpieces during the 13 month period he resided at the asylum. It is absolutely amazing.
Van Gogh in Arles
The weather only interfered with our plans on the last day when torrential rains cancelled our planned boat trip and we took shelter at a local winery for tasting session. Not a bad way to spend a rainy morning!
Such a beautiful weekend in Provence!
When I arrived home on Sunday evening I felt refreshed and relaxed. I was so happy to see my family! The boys had made signs for me and all 3 kids were waiting at the door with the biggest smiles and the biggest hugs. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go away for the weekend, and so glad I have them to come home to. I hope you had a beautiful weekend, too!