Every year on 15 August my village Mirabel-aux-Baronnies turns into a big flea market cum party – it is the day of the Fête du village!
The greatest concentration of people is always around the wine-tasting stands, where all the nearby cooperatives and many independent wine producers have their wines on offer. You only have to pick up your tasting glass before embarking on your tasting adventure.
All over the village people set up small stands to sell toys no longer in use, clothes no longer in use, trinkets no longer in use, furniture no longer in use, chipped plates, worn-out shoes and well-read books. In the main street artists from the area showcase their handicraft and art work.
I remembered from previous years that some interesting items could be found in front of the church, and this was the case this year as well. There was for instance a whole collection of mirrors, which I went back to photograph a couple of times in the changing light.
If you needed a clarinet, a saxophone, a violin or a cello you might find something to your liking.
No village feast is complete without a band!
Among all the thousands of things for sale my eyes fell on a small table which could be mine for 5 euros. Hmmm. Needed some reflection. When I came back a little later the price had gone down.
Silly me still couldn’t make up my mind whether or not to make this investment so I went home. Then I suddenly realised how much I wanted to have that precise table so I hurried back.
It was gone.
Many of the lovely villages in my corner of Provence have pretty and evocative place names: Villedieu (God’s town), Faucon (Falcon) and my own village, Mirabel-aux-Baronnies (Beautiful view) are just a few examples.
But Villedieu stands out in a special way, namely by having its own motto, and it isn’t just any motto: Noli irritare leonem, which translates as ‘Don’t irritate the lion’. Not bad for a village with 506 inhabitants. You can see it here, engraved underneath the fighting lion.
But by all means, don’t let this fierce motto deter you from visiting Villedieu, you surely won’t irritate the lion!
I warmly recommend having a drink in the shade of the plane trees on the village square where you can contemplate what life might have been like here in medieval times. What made the inhabitants of this now so peaceful place liken themselves to an irritable lion and who was the enemy?
My last post was about the enormous water masses at Victoria Falls. Well, the little river Eygues that flows near my village Mirabel-aux-Baronnies in southern France can’t really compete with the mighty Zambezi. There is no water fall, for instance.
The name Eygues (you can also spell it Aygues, Aigues or Aigue if you like) means “water”, by the way. Not a very innovative name for a river, but of course it is descriptive.
What is nice is that you can go for a walk along the river, there are six parts totalling some 30 km or so. It starts – or ends – in St Maurice-sur-Eygues, where you will be immersed in the vineyards and can easily, if you are a wine lover, start dreaming about the end product of the grapes.
Don’t you agree that the grass looks like a signposting saying “Look this way”?
I actually did look the way indicated by the grass, and discovered some photogenic leaves:
If you would like to immerse yourself in the river after the strenuous (no, only joking, it is rather the opposite of strenuous) vineyard immersion, I’m sorry to disappoint you: at least around St Maurice it is not allowed, nor is it particularly inviting with all the shrubs and thorny branches you would have to pass through: