Weekend in Provence

Franck & Paco, (Les Garçons), friends from Mexico and Paris, have a home in Fontveille, Provence and each year in June they hold a party that extends over three days. We drove down from Nice on Friday and stayed close by with friends at their lovely farm house on the outskirts of the village. Friday night was a served dinner for 16, Saturday night was a themed (Black & White) party of about 50, and Sunday afternoon was back down to 16, before we headed back to Nice. Most who attended held in common that they spend time in Mexico, actually that’s where most of us met. As June is quite hot in Puerto Vallarta, Provence was a much better choice of venue for the event!

Les Garçons purchased their property a few years ago and completely renovated it. The home is perfectly situated for them on the outskirts of the village, close enough to walk to the village but far enough away to not bother any neighbors with their parties. And the land in front of them is protected, meaning their views of the olive groves and ruins of a castle on a hilltop, will not be ruined.

Pool Terrace

On Saturday we were told we should take in a stone quarry (Carrieres de Lumieres) that is nearby in the commune of Les Baux. I was not given any further information, so I had no idea what to expect, although Florence and another friend I was with, did. We paid for our tickets and then walked through a door into a very large dark room that had colored lights flashing off and on and music from the 60s playing – I thought at first it was a nightclub. Slowly my eyes and my mind started figuring out what was going on around me.

The quarry before the show starts

The room is part of a quarry that is no longer in use. And the way they removed the white/blond limestone in huge blocks, left certain sections as columns to support the high roof, as they continued to cut out the rock. The space it encompasses is massive, and you can walk from one room to the next, taking in a the audio/visual experience portrayed on every wall (including the floor and ceiling) of the quarry. Rather than trying to explain it further, check out the photos below (or the link above), many taken from the same location, to get an idea of what it is all about. I highly recommend it. We took in the “Flower Power” and the “Picasso” shows.

We also visited Arles, with its massive Roman stadium right in the might of the small town. The stadium is so large that in the medieval ages the villages was inside the stadium, and they used the walls of the stadium to protect themselves from outsiders. Unfortunately our stay involved too much entertaining. Next year we’ll stay longer and bring the bikes, as Provence is fantastic for biking.

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