Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

I was convinced that this village was somehow associated with three chateaus; I think Simon believed this as well because he mentioned not having found the third.  However, according to Wikipedia the other name for this village is Saint-Paul-en-Tricastin and Tricastin isn't from the Latin for three castles.  It's after the Gaul tribe of Tricastorini.  This research took me down the road of Gaulish vs Gaelic vs Celtic and I've never been able to find my way back to some of the fun things I found, but never mind.




Compared with sweltering Avignon, St Paul was practically perfect.  It was hard not to envy Simon his beautiful new village life.





Simon pointed out some of the gems he'd found. As always in Europe, you have to look all around to find directions, instructions, little surprises.  Sometimes to find anything that's not downright ugly.  


I can't say I found very much in St Paul that could be called ugly.




Mind, the village was polished up for the Tour de France which had just passed through.  Bill would have loved to have seen the stage which started here, but logistics such as road closures, etc., were against us.


If I loved the turrets and balconies in Prague, I'd have to say I fell in love with French shutters on this trip.  



Mind, I love the huge window shutters that are unfolded during the opening credits of Downton Abbey, but somehow the sun-faded colours of the outside shutters in France are just as special.


The flower basket, the old archway and that dog just sort of captured what I thought living here might be like.


There may be a clock on the street lamps in the village square, but in the evenings those tables are all occupied by very leisurely people.


This village and surrounds were liberated on the 27th of August 1944 by the 3rd Infantry Division of the American Army in WWII.


I know that it's not just because of the Tour that the village was looking lovely.  Everywhere we went there were window boxes full of flowers.  It makes a huge difference.





Simon remarked on this very old house with the really ugly stairs and porch.  We agreed that it was all picturesque but for that concrete slab.  I have the feeling these people don't have much money...but they still have a flower garden.



The streets were never straight, only winding.  There were old water fountains, not the kind for show but to provide water to the inhabitants.


Lace curtain and window box - x
Faded blue shutter - x
Stone bench with black cat - x

Voila!  Perfect.  


I hear that Americans have occasionally attempted to book rooms at the Hotel de Ville.  This doesn't work very well, it being the Town Hall.





Another little treasure.


Or perhaps some black humour.  He looks a bit nervous up there!


Living in England I've come to love church bells chiming the time.  However, our tummies told us it was time to eat.


We ended up at LeReveDebout (The Dream Standing) restaurant.  Delish!

4 comments:

vintagefrenchchic said...

Aaauuggh! These posts are killing me, Shelley. Just gorgeous. And now I learn you have been to Prague too (sobbing).

Guess what? The church bells chime every day in my little town at noon and 6:00PM. I love hearing them.

Shelley said...

Heather - I put up with the miserable English weather for many reasons, but one of the main ones is because travel to exotic places is so easy from here. I used to do short haul flights from OKC to Dallas in the same way that we can cross the Channel on the ferry with our motorhome and wake up in an amazing place. I love my life here and feel really lucky to have the experiences I've had. I think it's wonderful that the church bells ring the time where you live. I think my enduring aural memory of my home town is the sound of the lonely train whistle in the wee hours of the morning, about a mile away. Makes me homesick for my childhood just thinking about it.

James said...

Hello Shelly dear, I just wanted to let you know that I am still enjoying your every post.

Shelley said...

James! How lovely to hear from you! I was just seeing the title of your last post yesterday and wondering how you are. You have no idea how you've lifted my spirits. Thanks so much for leaving a note!