Monday, April 16, 2012

Bucolic charm in the Var

Fluffy sheep munched happily on tender green grass. A creek burbled with melted snows and cherry blossoms shook their show overhead. It was just such a pinch your cheeks kind of moment when we arrived in Collobrières. 

For just over a week, Remi and I sliced across the roads of the Var region with Ben, our Golden Retriever in tow. Although it is fairly close to our home in Arles, it is a land that we knew only in highway passing blurs. And what a fine discovery it was. Enchanted is a word that is completely appropriate.

Some smarty in a tourism office had come up with the idea that the Var is the "Provence Verte" or green Provence and I can tell you, they earned their pay that day. Gone is the rushed brush of Olé chants and prickly rosemary, of site-lines cut only by a stone block mas and cypresses straining upwards. No, softness is to be found everywhere with the tickle of new buds and the sweetness of a village life that seemed to be much more from the antan, the olden times. 

My ankles wobbled on the uneven paths as my eye zoomed from detail to panorama and back again. Petered out patina, a wash of fallen blossoms...

...hanging gardens to be reclaimed as the sun went down...

...ruins that have forgotten and been forgotten...

...and kittens playing on a lace background. Who appreciates these kinds of things anymore?

Clearly the folks in Collobrières do. Their village radiates a well-kept pride.

But I knew that we had chance on our side. We roamed completely alone and this on a holiday weekend. There was room to see.

We chose a cheery terrace for lunch. And then, ladies and gentlemen, on the day before Easter...

...I ate the Easter Bunny. And he was good. 

The sun was a balm and our shoulders fell with a whoosh. How delighted we were to stumble upon a village that was dream-worthy of the "maybe we could live here" kind. Little did we know how many more we would discover in the days ahead...  


  1. LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and want to you have twitter & facebook?
    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  2. Thank you Maria! I am no longer on FB and am not on Twitter--I am old-fashioned! Will look forward to finding your blog and also wish you a wonderful week ahead. :)

  3. Lovely! You do have a way. Look forward to more.

  4. I love your photos - what a fabulous place - so serene and charming... Peace and quiet is such a luxury. I love how the plane trees are starting to pop leaves in your last photograph.

  5. I just love this sort of history in the buildings and ruins I could be very happy there. You didn't eat the Easter bunny fast enough because he left two chocolate bunnies on my hips, eat faster next time please...;) I love seeing life through your eyes you could be a one woman tourist bureau!


  6. Thank you for that delightful journey to the Var. Such colouring! And all that amazing stone. Who laid the wobbly cobbly streets, then? They are very charming if difficult for walking. Are they more lumpy because it is a higher rainfall? xx

    1. Yes Virginia, there were built in rain gutters even in the oldest of streets. Apparently, when it rains it really pours in the Var!

  7. How beautiful, Heather. Thank you.

  8. Your pictures and your description of your visit to the Var and to Collobrières are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Your roam in the Var sounds totally wonderful Heather... Can't wait to hear more... xv

  10. Sister! You've outdone yourself; what a beautiful post!! The colors are amazing, in window shutters, flowers, and the vibe is storybook peaceful. Lucky you for going there and lucky us for showing it to us! And how much do I want those kitty lace curtains? Very very much.

  11. Looks like just the place to revel in the wonders of spring! "Charm" is the perfect word to describe it. Glad you enjoyed such a lovely wander down uneven paths and cobbled lanes.

    Thanks so much for your encouraging and oh-so-kind words today. They are much appreciated! XO

  12. Hello Heather:
    This all looks to be so absolutely wonderful. What a discovery! And to have this whole region so close to home is an additional bonus. How we should love it all.

  13. Thank you so much for your kind words everyone!!

  14. So so romantic Heather, how lucky to have this little secret so close to you!! No people on a holiday weekend you were blessed...but the rabbit wasn't :)
    Your pics tell a great story and transport me there!! What about those blue shutters? mmmm
    Thank-you for taking the time to comment on my new site and giveaway and I am sure I could unpetrify you...your support and kind words are appreciated.

    1. Oh hooray--your comment made me realize that I hadn't properly signed up for your new, AMAZING site. Took care of that pronto. :) Gosh, I am sure that you could unpetrify me but that still doesn't mean that I am "bien dans ma peau" and that shows, doesn't it?

      As for the blue shutters--Remi thought that I should have cut that photo but I thought that it was so lovely that the shutters looked like they were dyed to match the sky...that wasn't photoshop!

    2. Whoa - that pic with the blue shutters was one of my favorites, too! Let's hear it for going with your gut! : )

  15. How lovely! I love going along on your journeys (even if it is only virtual).

    ~ Clare x


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