Nicholas Delbanco recently wrote a piece for the New York Times about revisiting Provence with his wife, 40 years after his honeymoon there. We enjoyed it so much we had to share it with you here. . .
He began the article with “The difference, for the traveler, between a first and repeated visit is crucial. To “go back” is not “to go.” Yet old, familiar places retain a kind of magic, and all the more so when the memories are shared. For our 40th wedding anniversary year, my wife, Elena, and I returned to the place where our marriage began: the South of France. We planned to visit old haunts, the area we’d once called home.”
Delbanco is the author of “Running in Place: Scenes from the South of France,” which is a commentary on three decades of travel in Provence, sometimes with friends, sometimes with a lover, then with his wife and daughters. This latest article in the NY Times is more of the same – we love how he juxtaposes his early escapades (friend to the author James Baldwin, neighbor to Julia Child, penniless newlywed and deliverer of propane tank) with the luxury and pleasure of this recent trip.
Some places are recognizable and comforting to him, others have disappeared, and a few have improved. The landscape and the artwork are still breathtaking, the people still gracious and welcoming.
“Eating well is the best revenge,” DelBlanco says near the end of the article, and he is generous in sharing the list of restaurants and inns he visited on this trip.
Travel is almost always delicious – the sights, the meals, the sounds and the scents. Travel to Provence, we believe, is the most delicious way to go, and DelBlance does a great job of convincing us it’s time to go back. Been to Provence lately? Ready to go again?
Photo credits: Ed Alcock of the New York Times