Serendipitous Traveler: Day 9, Roussillon

Roussillon sits perched atop ochre cliffs
by Leah Marie Brown
"I have a feeling you are going to love Roussillon," Stephanie boldly proclaimed.  "In fact, I think it is going to be your favorite Provençal village."
We were sitting in the gilded tearoom La Maison Angelina, sipping our ridiculously delicious, overpriced drinking chocolate when Stephanie made her declaration.  It was day one of our Paris-Provence-Tuscany Adventure and already she was making predictions.  By the time I had discreetly licked the whipped cream from my lips - for one always preforms such necessary but unsophisticated acts discreetly when in Paris - the conversation had flowed in another direction.
A week later, I found myself sitting in our zippy rented Fiat, watching the ochre hued landscape of southern France whiz by, and  I thought about Stephanie's prediction.  I wondered if it would come true.  Remembering all of the charming villages featured in my dogeared copy of The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence - ancient villages perched atop cliffs, market towns surrounded by olive groves - each unique - I wondered if it was possible to have a favorite.  I doubted my ability to whittle my list of favorite Provençal villages down to a single choice.
And then we arrived at Roussillon.
Perched atop a dramatic red cliff, Roussillon appears an artist's study in contrasts.  Red, pink, orange, and yellow ochre painted buildings composed beneath a cobalt blue sky.  (Roussillon is, in fact, located in the center of the world's largest ochre deposit.)
With its spectacular prehistoric setting and funky artist vibe, it reminded me of Sedona, Arizona.  Stephanie was right, Roussillon was truly the most breath-taking village I have ever visited.
Door to the Past
Stephanie and I discovered this hand-painted
garage door as soon as we arrived in Roussillon.
As the scene depicted an 18th century garden,
and I am, as you know, a lover of all things
18th Century, I took it as a good omen.
Boule Festive
by Leah Marie Brown
This free-formed, artisinal bread
smelled as lovely as it looked.  I
was tempted to buy it but opted
for a pain au chocolat instead.
By Leah Marie Brown
I am often fascinated by the juxtaposition of different
architectural forms or styles, as captured in this photograph
of two different, but equally beautiful, facades of homes
in Roussillon, France
Be Light
By Leah Marie Brown
This Moroccan inspired street light
captured my attention.  The wrought
iron looks stunning against the orange
ochre building, does it not?

Roussillon Still Life
by Leah Marie Brown
A myriad of bric-a-brac outside a
shop in Roussillon, France.  A
marble statue, baskets of herbs and lavender,
old produce crates, form an intriguing
still life.
All the Pretty Colors
By Leah Marie Brown
This photograph illustrates the many shades of ochre
buildings found in Roussillon, France.  Burnt sienna,
wheat, tangerine.
Town Hall
by Leah Marie Brown
Located in the heart of Roussillon,
the Hôtel de Ville - or City Hall - proves
functional government buildings
can still be lovely.
Some Things Never Change
by Leah Marie Brown
Here a Rousillon resident totes
buckets of grapes, to be used for
making wine.
By Leah Marie Brown
This bucket of grapes, sitting
on the step of a home in Roussillon,
France, seemed quintessentially
Doing my laid-back model pose against
an ochre building in Roussillon,
France.  Photo by Stephanie Mounts.

Leah Marie Brown enjoying the
sunshine beneath a cobalt sky
in Roussillon, France. Photo by
Stephanie Mounts.

1 comment:

Wine and Cork said...

Well, what can I say, I am a bit of a psychic in my spare time ;) Actually, that was an easy prediction, such a gorgeous village and I am so happy you loved it, as predicted :) Your photographs capture its magic beautifully and looking at those gorgeous pics makes me want to tele-transport myself there right this second! Will you come along? ;)