It was a trip like no other. Just me and my daughter for three weeks in Portugal, Madrid, Barcelona, and the southern region of France known as Provence. I can’t describe our entire journey, so I’ll offer a glimpse of Provence, which had been a dream destination of mine until, together, we made it a reality in 2017.

Just as I had imagined, Provence holds a magical quality. From hills dotted with charming villages to city centers featuring broad avenues and upscale shops, Provence offers Old World charm and artistic refinement.

Lavender fields are plentiful in the countryside of Provence.
Mont Sainte-Victoire was a favorite subject for Cezanne. We also visited his perfectly preserved studio.
Van Gogh lived for a time in Arles, where he painted the night sky and street lights reflecting on the Rhone River.
Aix-en-Provence is famous for its many fountains.
Visual treasures awaited us around every corner.

We used almost every mode of travel on our trip, but explored each destination primarily on foot. I don’t think I’ve walked as much in my life! But every step was worth it, especially at the end of each day when we typically would climb up several flights of stairs–usually made of stone–to unwind in our comfy accommodations with great food and drink and stunning views!

As planners, my daughter and I mapped out each action-packed day in advance. In addition to museums, historical sites, and a few guided tours, we left plenty of time to wander.

In open-air markets we bought hand-crafted earrings and mused over odd antiquities. You might guess that I was drawn to the wide assortment of fabrics. The textiles of Provence reflect the variety and character of the region with their rich Mediterranean colors and traditional motifs and borders.

It was a hard choice, but I finally selected several gorgeous fabrics in yellows and blues for a quilt (or two). How could I resist?

As I reflect on this trip of a lifetime, I’m glad we didn’t wait for some better time to go. “Don’t postpone joy,” my daughter likes to say, and she’s right.

We have wonderful memories and photos, and–before too long–we’ll have a finished quilt to remind us of our travels and, of course, the joies de la vie!

(All photos in this post are mine. Please do not use them without my permission.)

Published by Sharon Carrier

Artist - reflecting the world around me through creative textile expression

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