Yesterday, I went to Castellet to visit with my new friend Marjolaine. She is a wealth of local knowledge and such a humorous person. Her English is amazing along with the other 3 or 4 languages she easily has at hand. As we walked around her village it was similar to taking a guided tour through French history… and the history of her village. She spoke about the Italian immigrants from a hundred years ago that now lend their names to many of the town’s people. She spoke of famous artists and writers who are buried nearby. Each turn of the steep stone narrow streets were underlined with stories. “Gene look at that staircase… Gene… why do you suppose it is wide at the bottom and very narrow at the top?” Before I could answer and get it wrong… she said it was for the sheep to be counted…. the shepherd would stand at the top and count his sheep as they passed… one by one. Clever. And then we came upon a fountain. Every village has at least one. This particular one was almost 250 years old. I said…”wow.” Marjolaine said… that was “young”. The streaming water emerged through the lips of two beautifully carved stone faces and spilled into the basin. “Our Mairie carved the heads… do you want to meet him?” Duh… of course! The Mayor is a brilliant artist… a sculptor, painter and drawer. And so… I got one minute with the Mairie.
A treat. A great face. Thank you Marjolaine.
It has been an unforgettable experience being in Provence for the winter. The kind and generous people. The beautiful landscapes. Their rural life. I am one lucky guy.
I do hope the posts have been helpful and inspiring enough to plan a trip to come here and photograph Provence.
It has the power and beauty to change your life.