We were excited to leave Italy and enter France. It felt like we crossed from a third world country into a modern world. The highways got wider, grocery stores had better selection, the weather was much cooler, and our mood was improved.
We had a very lovely time in Provence. The biggest contributing factor to our relaxing visit was the French Château that we stayed at. The Château was located near Avignon, nestled amidst orchard prairies with a creek running through the property and horse pastures. Every morning a rooster awoke us and every evening was concluded with goodnights to all the farm animals like the baby chickens, cows, cats, dogs and horses. The kid’s favorite animals were the two dogs, one was as Australian Shepherd named Whistler that mostly stayed with the horses, and the other was a fat lazy mutt named Kellý that was begging for food every morning at breakfast: a French breakfast of toasts with homemade jams and fruits from the orchard. The Château had a swimming pool and a game room so we didn’t need to go anywhere.
The Château itself was hundreds of years old, built out of stone and even though it had modern amenities like air conditioning and flat screen TVs it felt very antique. All the furniture and décor was vintage, the floors were cricking and there was a musty smell all throughout the house with ancient spider webs in places you couldn’t reach. Sometimes, we ate dinner at a communal kitchen that felt like a movie set. It had a massive wooden table with large ornate candleholders and chairs that took all your strength to move an inch. The only thing we were missing was period clothing. The whole experience was very unique, even our car was parked in a barn that used to store wine barrels dating back to the 19th century.
During our leisurely excursions we saw many beautiful lavender and grape fields, we visited markets, small villages with castles, and a theatrical city of Avignon with it’s grandiose Pope’s palace.