Medieval Villages

As many of you know I live in Southern California where real estate development is king. Most of the major new home developers are headquartered there. In fact Bryan, my fellow traveler here in France, recently bought a new home in Northern California build by a developer in Newport Beach. And in Southern California once something starts to show a little age, whether the woman gracing the shopping malls pushing baby carriages or the 35 year old building downtown, the attitude is to tear it down and rebuild it — make it look new and young again.

Ahh. But Europe with its rich and colorful history it is hard to knock down the solid stone structure that have melded with the landscape for centuries. Today we took a ride to explore a few of the medieval towns on the eastern Riviera. There's nothing like walking through narrow cobblestone or travertine lined walkways and imagining the people that lived there so many years ago.

We took a trip to Saint Paul near Vence. Popular for its artist colony and famous artists who spent time there including Picasso, Miro and Chagall. Then a drive through Bar de Loup (sp?), Tourettes until finally stopping in Grasse which is known as the fragrance or perfume capital of France. We actually toured a perfumerie museum (musee du perfumerie) where we learned about extraction of essential oils, aromas and more. The hills of this part of the Riviera are home to acres of oranges and lemons. In fact, Bar de Loup hosts an annual Orange Blossom festival.

I'm unable to elaborate more because the clock is ticking here and daylight is burning. So enjoy the photos and I'll catch up later.

Photos: (1) Tower and light in Saint Paul artist medieval village; (2) Late afternoon sun basks Tourettes in a golden glow.