This Sunday was probably one of my favorite days during my first month in Montpellier. My host family took me to a place called “Les Baux-de-Provence” which when they first mentioned it, I figured they just meant the region Provence as in “Aix-en-Provence,” but this was completely different and a really beautiful area!
The surrounding rocky formations reminded me of the Calanques in Marseilles and it felt great to be out in nature again! It was a sunny day with perfectly blue skies.
The first part of the day around noon we went to a musuem that is in a cave! It’s called the Carrières de Lumières and it was one of the coolest exhibitions I’ve ever seen. They were showing paintings by Picasso but instead of at a normal musuem, the images were projected onto the walls of the caves. You basically walked into a different dimension the moment you arrived and additionally it was all set to music which heightened or softened the mood depending on the artwork. The pictures don’t do it justice because the experience itself was unexplainable!
Afterwards we all found a place to French picnic in the grass. I was with my host family and the mom’s brother and his family. Everyone had packed delicious food from homemade quiches and tarts, to salad and chips. It was so lovely and I’m so spoiled!
Next we made our way into this picturesque little village that led to a medieval fortress, mostly in ruins, with a lot of history and gorgeous views. They had catapults and other old machines on display and I learned a lot! I took a children’s guide booklet in French at the beginning to follow along which was perfect for me to understand everything. The small mountain range is called “Les Alpilles” and the countryside is full of olive trees to make “l’huile d’olive” or olive oil!
Les enfants were having a lot of fun! Being an au pair is strange in a way cause you’re kind of not a child or adult, so I switch my time between both groups and just have fun with it! I get the opportunity to speak lot’s of French with the parents and they are willing to help me out. Still sometimes I find myself in the midst of a French conversation that I can’t keep up with… so that’s when I head over to see what the kids are doing and get dragged into a game or something.
At the end of the self-guided tour we walked around the little village a little more and explored the shops like the Savonnerie (shop with various handmade soaps), a candy shop where the kids all got multi-flavored giant swirly lollipops (thanks to my generous and caring host dad), and other touristic shops.
Last week I taught a Thriller dance (see Funday Angel post) and the family wanted me to teach them the choreography to try! Funnily enough there was a man and a woman in the village dressed head to toe, makeup and costume, in a bridal zombie fashion, apparently for a photoshoot. So once everyone quickly learned the dance, we performed it by video with them in it! It was all so impromtu and funny and it was the perfect way to end the day before taking the drive home. I love being part of the shenanigans of a young family!
Overall, I’m so lucky to have been welcomed into this family and have the opportunity to share experiences with them. From day 1 they have been so kind to me and I hope in return I can spread some of the English language to their kids.