Thursday, April 22, 2010

Provence: Day Four - Part 1

Rousillon, the town of the Ocres
Tuesday morning, April 13

We'd put off our visit to the village of Rousillon due to the awful weather and hoped for sunshine.  We got it.  It was a gorgeous, blue sky, sunny day as we returned to this quaint spot to look at the dirt.  That's really why were there, to marvel at the naturally occurring pigment in the dirt there, and probably try to get away with a little.

But first, there is always breakfast.  We found a tiny bistro and took a seat on its even tinier balcony, where there was just enough room for two 4-seat tables.  I liked the man who clearly ran things, and likely owned the place, straight away because when he came to retrieve our order and I asked him in my best French if he spoke English, in HIS best French he replied, "No, but I speak very good French."  We ordered cafe and asked if there were pastries available, as the menu made no mention, and the old man smiled and went back inside.  Along with our steamy coffees, he brought with him a plate with 2 croissants and 2 other kinds of pastries, one with a little chocolate and the other, a kind of heavenly custard.  Of course we cleared the plate, and it was delicious as we gazed from our seats down into a deep, green cut in the land below us.  A lovely way to start the day.

When we went inside to pay, I didn't at first understand what our friend was asking us, but then it became clear that he was asking how many of the pastries we had eaten (so he could ring them up, I presume).  When I when I threw my hands up and said, "All of it!" he laughed, we laughed, and off we went.

The trail was short, less than an hour, and wound us through a protected park area where the crazy colors are all around.  We ended up buying some pure ocre from a shop in town - you mix it with whatever you need to and you get gorgeous paint.  It's a nature-loving artist's dream.

Hey, what's that 
sneaky shadow hand doing?  Perv.

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