Vincent Van Gogh, after cutting off his ear, admitted himself to the psychiatric center at Monastery St. Paul de Mausole, located in St. Remy. During that year he produced 150 paintings of the country side surrounding the city, including Starry Night. St. Remy is also the birthplace of Nostradamus (1503 – 1566), an apothecary and seer who published collections of his prophecies that became famous worldwide. ‘Les Prophetics’ (‘The Prophecies’) has rarely been out of print since it was published in 1555.
We stayed in St. Remy for three days and nights at a wonderful hotel just a few blocks from the city center (Thank you Betsy for finding it). There is so much in and around this beautiful village to explore that Betsy and I think it would be the perfect place to rent a house for two weeks to experience Provencal small-town living. When walking down one of the narrow winding streets you might come upon a beautiful old fountain, a shady square, an interesting shop filled with all things French, a restaurant with a menu that excites your taste buds, and, of course, many boulangeries, cheese shops and wine stores that call you inside – at least to look. Okay, we often bought something!
It was after noon when we drove into St. Remy, and since we knew many restaurants in France close at 2:00 or so, we checked into our hotel, put our bags in the rooms, and headed out to find the best restaurant. Since Ed speaks and understands French quite well, he was our chief scout. Here he is on Rue Victor Hugo checking out the menus. I was looking at the food on the plates of the people eating at the restaurants as we walked along the street. The restaurant we chose was perfect! Parfait!!!
Camembert salad was on the menu in many restaurants, which makes sense since Camembert is one of France’s most famous cheeses. It was created by Marie Harel in 1855 in Camembert a village in Normandy. The piece of cheese on my salad was enough to feed the entire table!
We met a delightful couple, Emily and Jeff, who were sitting at the table next to ours. They live in Maine and were on their honeymoon. I’m such a romantic so I thoroughly enjoyed talking with them and feeling the energy of a beautiful young couple just beginning their life together.