Wednesday, September 24, 2014
24.09.2014 - 25.09.2014
Woke to dreary skies that soon turned to rain so we had a very leisurely breakfast and finally decided it was a museum day. There was a mysterious "Musée" marked in the middle of nowhere on our Michelin map so we decided to find it and see what it was. We drove around Saint-Remy-de-Provence on the 99 and turned north on the D570n looking for D80. As it turned out, it was D80a, a very small road, so we missed it the first time but finally saw a sign to a perfume museum. Mystery solved. We drove down a very narrow, wet, country road to the Musée des Arômes du Parfum, parked, paid and entered. Fortunately the aroma was not overwhelming. They had an amazing collection of old stills and a short movie explaining the distillation process. There were perfume bottles, dried flowers, a smelling station and a cute cat. Fun, but didn’t take too long. There is a small but nice boutique at the entrance. [Musée des Arômes du Parfum, Ancien chemin d’Arles 13690 Graveson-en-Provence; +33 (0)4 9095-8172; fax: +33 (0)4 9095-8520; http://museedesaromes.com/; e-mail: email@example.com; perfume-making and other visits: http://museedesaromes.com/tarifs-nos-visites-bioaromatic/]
Back in the car, we decided to try for parking in St. Remy even if it was market day because we knew the market would be ending and the weather was bad which might discourage other market goers. Luck was with us and we found a parking place at the tourist office, whipped out our trusty umbrellas and walked to Le Bistrot des Alpilles (see Sept. 17) where we had enjoyed a lunch with Carol Lynn and David a week ago.
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The restaurants were all packed so we weren’t sure we’d get in, but we did and got a table by the window. It was pouring rain and I got a tiny bit of spatter from a leak in the awning, but the window seat was so much fun that I didn’t ask to be reseated. Everyone outside was trying to escape the rain in various ways and it was most amusing to watch.
I got the souris d’agneau again and Ed got a dorade that came with an odd little platter containing green beans, cauliflower, half a potato and two huge snails. I cheerfully ate the snails and cauliflower and he enjoyed the rest of it. My lamb was fork tender and served with gnocchi. We ended with a dark chocolate mousse. Super lunch. We really like this place.
Next we set off to find two local museums and found the Musée des Alpilles first. Edie told us about it and it’s a local ethnic museum full of photos, paintings, costumes and farm implements in a lovely historic building. It was perfect for a rainy day and we thoroughly enjoyed it. [Musée des Alpilles, 7 Rue Carnot (at Place Favier), 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence; tel: +33 (0)4 9092-6824; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web site: http://www.saint-remy-de-provence.com/le-musee-des-alpilles/]
The next museum was Musée Estrine and we found it quickly. It's located on a beautiful square. We'd seen it on earlier trips filled with people sitting at the outdoor cafes. Today, it was very quiet in the rain. The museum has a small permanent collection, a strange visiting exhibit and a Center of Interpretation of Van Gogh with two interesting films and a time line, all in a well-renovated historic building. Definitely worth a visit if you’ve visited St. Remy’s other sites. The ticket lady is a veritable art encyclopedia so feel free to ask questions if she’s not busy. [8 rue Lucien Estrine, 13210 St. Remy-de-Provence; tel: +33 (0)4 9092-3472; http://www.musee-estrine.fr]
Walked back to the car in the rain, stopping for bread at a small market. Fog is setting in for the night. A perfect night to curl up with a good book . . .