The landscape of Provence is a piece of art. It's no wonder that Vincent Van Gough was inspired to create over 150 paintings in Saint Remy in his final months.
During a bike trip through Provence with VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, I enjoyed a walk through the Promenade dans l'univers de Vincent van Gogh outside the grounds of the St. Paul Asylum, where Van Gogh sat with his easel to create his now famous pieces.
As you make your way from one Van Gogh creation after another, you learn his passions, his struggles and personal style. Our guide shared his diary entries, describing his fascination with olive trees in particular since they exude a silver color as the wind blows through them.
The highlight of the walk was a step inside the room where Van Gogh resided during his time in Provence. As you enter onto the French country pavilion, you'll look out the window towards swaying cypress trees - this is where he painted his iconic Starry Night.
Despite my minimal art knowledge, I felt honored to be in such a unique and special place in history. The asylum is still a working hospital and the room in which Van Gogh resided now serves as a gallery. Patients are encouraged to create their own works of art and they are sold in the room as a tribute to him and his famous creations.
After my walk, I enjoyed a homemade French meal in a local home arranged by my VBT trip leader. This was a perfect night in Provence.