Claire and I went to “le Wayne’s” last night expecting to meet some of our friends from school. Instead, we made some new friends who were part of the French Foreign Legion.
So, that was awesome. It was definitely one of the best nights we’ve had on the trip. Then today, we went to Eze.
I can say with a lot of confidence that Eze is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Several times while I was there, I was almost frustrated while taking pictures, simply because I couldn’t completely capture how gorgeous it was, and because I couldn’t record all of the senses we were getting: the wonderful smells, the cool breeze, the panorama. Eze is on the sea, but it is perched high above it on rocky cliffs. We started our visit there by grabbing a focaccia legume (focaccia bread with olives and bell peppers… fantastic) and then climbing up into the ville and visiting the exotic gardens. The gardens had lots of cacti, and had cute poems scattered throughout. It also had the best panorama of the coast. You can admire the pictures, but understand that they just can’t show how gorgeous it really was…
Walking through the streets was really cool. The city is built into and on top of the rocks of the mountain. Some shops’ walls or ceilings were simply the mountain itself, and the streets were small and windy and made of stone. We saw some beautiful paintings as we walked around, and looked into the shops and tried on big sun hats and admired the buildings that were grown over with flowers.
After we perused the ancient city and visited a Baroque church, we made a tour of the Fragonard perfumery. There are two in Provence; the one in Grasse makes the perfume, and the one in Eze makes the soaps and cosmetics. They had some of their perfume-making equiptment set up, though, to show us how it works, and had built a model of the lab where the Nose works.
We learned about how they make perfume, watched them make soaps, did some smell testing, and sampled their products. And, of course, had a minute to shop. I just can’t describe how great it smelled there. Imagine the natural good smells of flowers and mountains that would be in the air anyway, then add to that the smells of expensive perfumes wafting through the air on the wind coming from Fragonard. As we approached, Claire and I passed a big lavender plant and grabbed a sprig that just made us melt. The conversation went like this:
Claire: I just want to eat it….!
Me: I just want to rub it on my skin so I smell like it.
Claire: I just want to rub it on my tongue…!!
I think we were a little too excited. Also because it was a taste of where we will be on Monday, touring the lavender fields of Provence outside Avignon.
Wow. I love you, Eze. The smell of perfume stayed in my nose for a little while, and my hands smelled like lavender for the rest of the day. It was perfect.