Day 32/112: Loving Provence

The main reason for visiting France for me was to spend time in the Provence region. I had visions of markets, grapes, lavender and old villages. We’ve seen and experienced that this week and it was all that I’d imagined and more.

Wednesday was a rest day … it was wet and cold so we went to the next village and did grocery shopping then stayed at the apartment. The girls did decide that they wanted to use the pool but only lasted seconds in there!

Yesterday we headed out to Roussillon, stopping at Bonnieux on the way for a quick walk and admire the amazing views. At Roussillon, we walked around the village, took in the amazing views and tasted some local treats at the farmers market. We then did a walk through Le Sentier des Ocres, an old quarry where they used to extract the ochre sand to use as a natural pigment. The remaining cliffs and needles were amazing to look at.

We then drove over to Gordes, another hillside village. By this time the wind had picked up considerably making it less pleasant to be outside. We had our picnic in the car then ventured out to look at the views and visit the local stores.

From Gordes we went to the Lavender Museum. This was excellent and we all learned a lot. The family running the museum grow the Fine Lavender at higher altitude. Only Lavender grown in that region can use the AOP labelling (like Champagne).

Today we went to the Lourmarin markets. These were amazing. All sorts of fresh fruit and veges, cheese, bread, olives, meat, fabric, linens, artwork, live music. It was great just wandering around seeing the locals with their baskets and lists buying their fresh produce, cheese and bread, mixing with the tourists who were buying fabrics, clothes and art. We got cherries which were so amazing that we went back for more, salami, tapenade and bread. We then had a picnic by the chateaux.

In the afternoon we went to another village on the other side of the river to accidentally find a cable park on a lake. This is a system of cables running in a large rectangular shape with ski tows attached to pull water skiers or wakerboarders around a course without the need for a boat. We sat on the side of the lake watching the wakeboarders … it was fascinating to watch.

Tomorrow we have a big day driving into Italy, where we are staying for three nights to explore the Cinque Terra area, then we’ll be back in France for a couple of days in Nice before we head up to Hamburg next Thursday for Timpersports.

We’ve decided to have a week in Ireland at the end of May before we travel around the UK so we booked that last night.


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