Monday, November 14, 2016

St. Saturnin-les-Apt

One of the pleasures of visiting with Naomi was being able to be just a touch more an insider in this small village. Her street is dominated by the local church. In the photo above, Sweetie heads toward the church, which is lit in the bell tower as dusk has settled on the town. The church is surrounded by beautiful old town houses with massive doors and shutters.

We went to a local restaurant, just a short walk down her street,

and enjoyed a delicious meal and some liquor call Marc, which tasted a lot like Scotch to me.

Marc is a digestive for after dinner and similar in nature to a brandy or cognac.  It is very popular in Provence, perhaps because it is produced (I believe) from the grape must left over after grape juice is extracted for making wine. There are many great wineries in Provence. Every meal seems to start with wine, which is not a bad thing. There is also always a profusion of baguette chunks or slices available. The key for this to happen if you are in charge of providing it is to remember to shop for it in the morning when the boulangerie has fresh bread all ready for you.

I wish I could tell you what I ate at the lovely restaurant, or even the name, but I was so tired by then that I just enjoyed and didn't really retain anything other than the memories of it being delicious and enjoyable, with lots of great conversation around the table.

The next day Sweetie and I decided to stay in St. Sat and rest and enjoy the town while Kate and Naomi took off for a day of exploration of other towns in the area.

I hiked around St. Saturnin-les-Apt and took photos. I love the colors, just as I did in Roussillon.

Although it was a bit of a hike uphill, I took a photo of the ruins at the top of the town. Not the best shot, but it looks very Provencal to me.

There is a building opposite the church where someone has gone to amazing lengths to grow a beautiful garden, all in pots and other containers. It adds such beauty to that corner.

Later in the day we went into the church. Here is a photo of a bust of St. Saturnin himself, found in the church.

St. Saturnin, a first century bishop of Toulouse, was sent to Gaul (the Roman name for what became France) as a missionary. He was a martyr and numerous places in France are named after him, including St. Saturnin-les-Apt in the Vauclause. His feast day is November 29th. He was killed by being dragged behind a bull, may have been a disciple of Christ and may have been at the Last Supper. The Catholic Church at this time was very young and had little or no power, so it was heroic to be a missionary to Gaul.

There are a number of altars in the church and an amazing pulpit (no longer used due to damage), plus more statues or busts of saints, including this one of St. Catherine.

It is a lovely little church and we enjoyed the bells that rang out from its bell tower a number of times a day. (See photo at top of post.)

That evening we ate at Naomi's and I cooked dinner. Cooking in France is a long-held dream and I loved it that my first attempt at it was in Naomi's kitchen. I'll tell you more about that, and about our adventures the next day in another post.

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