Several years ago, I did not have a taste, un goût, for Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel. I found him too crude, too intense, in short, too much. However, I’ve gotten over it over the past year or so as Tony has softened. His newer No Reservations episodes are artistic, and most importantly, respectful of the cultures he’s exploring, from Saudi Arabia to Buffalo, NY to, you guessed it, France. Whilst browsing through our DVR this evening, I was ecstatic to see we held his Provence episode. Of course I turned it on, because how can you turn down sweeping panoramas of views like these?
I am far less familiar with the rolling hills and countryside of France’s southern regions than I am with Paris up north; however, a weekend jaunt during college to the country’s south including, Arles (inspiration to Van Gogh), Avignon (scene of the infamous pope drama so many centuries ago) and Marseilles (home to many passionate fishermen and football aficionadoss), convinced me that France’s southern culture had just as much to offer as my beloved Paree. As a 19-year-old I craved big cities and fast pace, but were I to expatriate now, I think I’d pick the slower pace of the sud. Temperate weather, fish and veggie based cuisine and fields of lavender sound just right. Find out more and watch Tony’s Provence preview here: