The weather forecast today was for cloudy skies with some rain, so naturally it turned out warmer and mostly sunny.
Knowing that there was a small brocante (antique) fair in the tiny village of Paradou, near Maussane, we decided to take the opportunity to hop in the car and visit it.
Being Sunday, and with the first good weather in a log time, everyone was out on the roads, but they slow down on Sundays and driving is a lot more pleasant. David made a quick trip into town before we left and got a couple of items for the larder, plus a baguette and breakfast pastry for tomorrow, then we were off.
The road through St. Remy, St. Etienne, and Fontvielle was gorgeous, with the sunlight filtering through the leaves and dappling the road. Unlike normal weekday driving, folks were relaxed and courteous, so driving was a pleasure. We pulled into tiny Paradou and hunted for the place de marche. Being as small as it is, the place turned out to be the parking lot for the school. We looked for a parking place nearby, passing the spot clearly marked with the big “P” for parking with all the empty places, and parked next to a burbling stream by the town hall. A short stroll and we were at the fair.
After about 15 minutes, we had visited all the stalls with nothing putting a dent in our wallets. David wanted to buy something from the SPCA stall, to at least support them, but there really wasn’t anything, so eventually we left and strolled around the heart of the village taking photos.
At around one pm, we hopped in the Opel and headed down the road to Maussane for a bite to eat. David dropped me off in the town square to find a table somewhere and motored off to find a parking spot. I went to La Place, which always has nice food, but all of their tables were booked. The combination of good weather and it being a Sunday had filled not only the roads, but the tables.
David showed up and we grabbed a table at Cafe le Fontaine, which – for no apparent reason – has a huge blue and white cow over the entrance to their interior dining area. I had a burger (my first in weeks) while David had andouillette (sausage) made by the village butcher. With a bottle of rosé, it was perfect. We mostlyjust enjoyed the sun and looked wistfully at all the dogs that had brought their humans out to lunch. We miss Lucy.
After a very leisurely meal, we strolled down the street to the car, and headed out of Maussane to Eygalieres, taking the small road over the Alpilles. There was little traffic, but countless cars stopped along the way – folks who had gone out to picnic in the fields and vineyards along this very scenic route. The road winds through vineyards and olive groves, then through small canyons in the granite hills, and then back into vineyards before reaching Eyaglieres. It’s a short drive, easy by day, but a bit too twisty for nighttime, especially after a little wine.
The center of Eygalieres was alive with people, all enjoying the increasingly warm weather. Folks were dancing on the sidewalk outside the Bru restaurant and down the street at Café la Place, so we parked the car and pulled up a table in the sun at Café du Centre, which also had music going. An hour or so of relaxing and people watching, and we headed home.
I cooked a chicken for dinner, a yellow (corn-fed) farm chicken that I had bought on Saturday. David cut some fresh rosemary from the garden and I stuffed the poulet with lemon and herbs, rubbed it with olive oil, and put it on a bed of carrots, celery, and onions. I tossed some potatoes into the pan and into the oven it went.
In due course, we were seated at the kitchen table feasting on a simple but delicious dinner. Life can be good here in Provence when the weather cooperates.
Tomorrow is another holiday, apparently because it is 10 days since the last holiday. More time to relax and enjoy life here if the weather is good.