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21 September 2018 3 comments

Our trip to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, one of the most beautiful villages in Provence I've ever seen, comes with a bit of a backstory..

First there was the small issue of the car. On collection, at the start of our holiday, rather than the manual we'd asked for, we'd found our hire car to be an automatic - something F assured me 'wouldn't be a problem' and 'was all in hand'.. (we did get the hang of it, as well as driving on the left, after a few near-painful jerks out of the multistory carpark at Arles..)

After having had consistently beautiful weather for the entirety of our stay, the afternoon we'd planned to visit MSM (I think we can all assume I mean Moustiers and not the supplement at this point ;), it was forecasted dark clouds and rain. And to potentially rain hard. We kept checking up on the weather but it looked like our luck was up.. it was due to stay dark and potentially stormy for the whole afternoon and evening. We'd not time to reschedule to another day because of the travel times involved so thought heck, let's just go. F put on his best driving loafers and we hit the road.

I've got to say the drive was beautiful.

Hilltop towns like Apt, each building a different shade of watercolour. Avenues of plane trees with their exquisitely mosaic bark, craning over like nature's cloisters. Sharp, hairpin bends scaling down the mountain sides, with their tops all shrouded in a slowly descending mist. I was somewhat awakened from this mystical descriptive journey in my head when a bolt of lightning and hideous roll of thunder clapped down on what felt like the roof of the car. F loves thunderstorms so he was pretty jolly about it. I squealed like a child and cowered into my cardigan.

Outfit details

Nautical cardigan c/o, Broderie cami (similar), Navy culottes, Tan tote, Nude ballet flats, Tartan umbrella (similar).

And of that cardigan.. it was the perfect piece for our visit. Warm and snuggly without being overbearing, it kept it's shape whilst hanging nicely from the body, and of course, the nautical/French navy and white stripes were a fitting nod to the location.

We drove through Valensole too, but of course in September the lavender was well and truly fin - it would have made for quite the spectacle though.

We got to MSM after a couple of hours, and it bloody threw it down. A short, sharp shock that lightened up to somewhat of a persistent drizzle, although we both managed to get quite wet in the few seconds we spent outside, hopping from a cafe to a shop..

But as the sun started to break, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie started coming to life - and to be frank, I really like the photos even though it was a bit rainy and not the perfect, sunny shots you might be accustomed to seeing on some blogs - they tell the story ;)

The village is beautiful, set 'in the shadow' of an imposing outcrop, which gives MSM a feel like no other Provencal village we visited.

Some aspects were the same - pretty pastel buildings, another beautiful and unspoiled view, but others felt special and unique, like the Bondil pottery, and the waterfall that runs through the middle of the village.

Probably due to the weather, it was lovely and quiet too. F and I wandered around arm in arm, huddling underneath the umbrella like in our own little French story.

Incidentally, the forecast from earlier in the day was entirely wrong and the rain/clouds were merely part of a localised storm that lasted all of a couple of hours..  (pretty much just the time we were there, damn you BBC weather). As we walked back to the car, the sun streamed over the village and mountain tops.

Storytime aside, I'd very much recommend a visit!