The day began with a trip to the outdoor market in St. Remy-de-Provence. St. Remy is a short drive from the house in Fourques. After the challenge of finding parking, Becky, Catherine, Ganesan, and myself walked to the market and found a sprawling scene of colorful tent covered stalls full of goods from the region. Crowds of people swirled through the aisles of the market. The booths were entwined amongst buildings and trees of the old town, in the plaza and down the narrow streets. Along side the
avenues used by the market, were stores and shops built of rock and plaster with window shutters painted with the pastel shades common to Provence.
In the market, all sorts of goods were available. We focused on buying food for the house, finding beautiful vegetables, cheese, fresh eggs, olive oil, meats, and fish, all abundantly available. After completing our purchases, we found sausage sandwiches dressed with mayonnaise and mustard at a popular nearby cart. We lunched, sitting on the steps of the church, watching the crowds go by.
On the way back to Fourques, we stopped at Les Baux-de-Provence. The GPS guided us in the “back” way on a road that was both scenic and winding as it passed amongst large white rock outcroppings and scrub oaks. As we crested the
hill, we could see the perched village of Les Baux-de-Provence camouflaged amid the rocks of the next ridge. We found parking and climbed our way with the other tourists into the old, walled town where we wandered about viewing the sights. Structures in the village often use the natural rock outcroppings as their foundations. They emerge from the rocks as if they are growing extensions of the hill itself sharing the same texture and stone types. The monochromatic colors of the stone of the village gave it a dry and almost barren look. It was striking. Viewing the countryside from terraces of the village added to the remote feel of the place.
From Les Baux, we headed back to Fourques to prepare for a group dinner. Ganesan arranged dinner at L’Atellier de Jean Luc Rabanal, a Michelin one star eating establishment in Arles. (We were reminded by the staff to not call it a restaurant for reasons that were not entirely clear). The fixed menu, the only option, featured somewhere around 15 small plate courses. Many of the dishes were vegetarian or strongly featured vegetables. The food was excellent, as was the setting and the presentation.
At the time we finished dinner, there was only one taxi working in Arles. To get back to the house, the taxi driver shuttled back and forth and took us in two groups. It seemed as if we closed down the city.