Imagine a little village in the south of France where the main industries are farming and pottery. Can you think of a place that is more “down to earth?” (Pun intended!)
Friday I took off later than planned to meet Unity and her friends at the market in San Quentin la Poterie. I had quite a time finding Geoffrey’s car in the multi-level car park where we left it. I thought it was a black Citroen. It is silver.
Then I was stuck in traffic trying to get around Uzes and on the right road to San Quentin. Did I mention Geoffrey’s car has 5 forward gears and I haven’t driven a stick shift car in years?
Finally at my destination, only fifteen minutes late, I literally ran into Unity and Tom in the market. They were also running behind.
For a few minutes we tootled around the farmers market …
After a quick lunch, we parted ways and I headed off, walking through the winding village streets and into the dozens of pottery shops.
Many stores have the artist’s workshop attached. Most if the artists were there busy at work in new creations.
When they say San Quentin is world famous for pottery, they mean pottery of the finest kind. Not to discount our fabulous potters from western North Carolina, but I have never seen so much magnificent pottery. Each shop I visited was better than the last.
After drooling through the pottery shops, I headed back to Uzes to pick up Unity from her hair appointment. She wanted me to drive her back to her village so that I could find my way back to her home when we visit next week.
What a special treat. The drive from Uzes, past San Quentin is beautiful. First there’s a well-traveled road lined with huge “blanc” trees, planted by Napolean to shade his marching troops.
Then we drove down narrow country roads flanked by bushes of the brillant yellow flowers.
When we arrived close to Unity’s home and village, we passed acres of fruit trees with branches drooping under the weight of their abundant crop of cherries and apricots. In between were rows and rows of grape vines.
We started climbing up curvy, narrow and bumpy roads to reach Unity’s home which is near the summit of the hill in the tiny farming village.
The home is spectacular. Built in the early 1800’s of stone and wood, it is refurbished with all the modern amenities, including a swimming pool on the terrace that overlooks the farmland below.
Unity is an artist, so you can imagine how unique the home is with her art work and collection of other artists all around.
I would have taken photos, but I didn’t want to seem gauche or to invade her privacy. Needless to say, it is fab -u-lous.
Later I made my way back to Uzes to discover the city was celebrating the midsummer festival of Saint John. Every two blocks around the town there were music groups and people gathered around singing and dancing . A street party par excellence.
Believe or or not, I passed up the festivities and returned to the apartment to recoup from my busy day.
Voiture pour la journée
View a San Quentin la Poterie artist at work