If you've been following the blog these past few weeks, you've probably noticed a lot of the flower talk going around. With the coming of Spring there's been a literal explosion of flower fairs & markets, and we were lucky enough to visit a very lovely one in the village of Ollioules last weekend.
Ollioules is about 15 minutes to the north of us, just off the "autoroute" between Toulon and Aix-en-Provence. The village is very well-connected and makes a great jumping off point for exploring either the beach cities (Sanary-sur-Mer, Bandol, Cassis, etc.) or hitting some of the other spectacular villages in the area. The nearby village of Le Castellet is my all-time favorite, and the undisputed "shabby-chic" capital of our region - with boutiques taking the term "French county" to a new level.
During the rest of the year, Ollioules is host to other popular fetes, including the Fete d'Olivier which celebrates one of the glories of Provence - the beloved olive tree. And just around the corner, and duly noted in my grand calendrier, is Le Printemps des Saveurs - the best of local restuarants at petits prix (small prices).
Besides the flowers, fetes, & food, I love visiting these "out-of-the-way" villages because you never know what you'll discover. Each one seems to be famous for one thing or another, and sometimes it requires a good look around to get a feel for the particulars. Along with having quite a quirky name, Ollioules is also home to a host of potters and local artisans. Just a quick turn off the main square & you'll find a street dedicated almost exclusively to artist studios or ateliers.
Like so much of Provence, Ollioules is a great place to get lost for an afternoon, or two, and enjoy a brief glimpse into village life - as it was, and pretty much as is remains today.
Do you have a spot nearby that "transports" you to another time or era?
Tonight we're off for tapas in our own, much larger, "village"...bon weekend a tous!