Week 18 – Provence – when too much is not enough

  • Sunday we headed for the Luberon Valley and it quickly became obvious that every corner, every town is another “wow” moment. First things first though – Adrienne has dreamt for years about being in a field of sunflowers and finally we found a field all pointing the right way, so in she went…
Tip toe through the turnisols
  • It was then on to Lourmarin, another ridiculously beautiful little town. But, joy, after trawling through at least 500 shoe shops Adrienne finally found sandals that met the criteria and bought 2 pairs – both on special so even better, and with luck I will be free of sitting outside shoe shops for at least a few weeks.
Sunday lunch in Lourmarin
Lourmarin’s “thing” is artists and Sunday is the artist market day. We were tempted but we already have a number of paintings to get home
We felt that Meriton would see the parkland in front of the chateau as wasted and throw up a 25 storey apartment tower – lucky this is not Sydney
The view as I turned around from the chateau photo above
  • But there are many more villages to see so we headed off
This one is for our family – “Bonnyox” has been a running joke since we visited in 2003, but you had to be there to get the moment. Andrew and Anna – enjoy!
Bonnieux not Bonnyox
  • ┬áNext stop was Roussillon, another of the “plus beaux villages de provence”, it’s claim to fame being the ochre that dominates the colours in the village. It is a mineral found rarely in the world but is shared by, (amongst others), “Uluru in Australie”, (fun fact for trivia nights). The following photos are just the start here
Roussillon and the Luberon
Heading toward the lookout in the village
No, Adrienne, I cannot steal the door and get it in my suitcase
Note the steps on the right to get to the bell tower – I bet there was no handrail when this was built
A beautiful village on the edge of the stunning Luberon
  • We went for the “Ochre walk”. The area that is solid ochre – fine dust everywhere and some poor fools had sat down in it – throw those clothes away
The “Ochre” walk is quite a thing
They call it the “mini Grand Canyon” – those are quite big trees at the top
  • Monday we felt that a training walk for our Camino adventure, (next week in Spain), was in order so after some discussion with our hosts we headed for Vauvenargues and a hike in the Montagne Sainte-Victoire National Park.
    Being an ex Boy Scout I had a map – took a photo at the entrance to the trail
    Am I fit yet?

    I’m knackered – that climb was tough – hope it’s cooler next week in Spain
  • But around the next corner – lavender fields – Adrienne back in heaven
    Adrienne channelling her inner hippie

    Fields of Lavender – sadly already harvested but still smelt nice
  • We completed the circuit in about 2 and 1/2 hours and headed home via the Boulangeries Paul – bread and pastries to break any dieter’s resistance. We added a nice rose wine and gave in very easily.
  • Tuesday was an official rest day ahead of Richard and Carolyn Davies arriving to join us on the Camino. Adrienne had worked out that the mis-shapen apples in the garden are a heirloom variety – ideal for cooking, so gathered some up and cooked a crostarta pie for our hosts – very well recieved. They thought they were just “ugly” apples and were going to cut the tree down.
  • Carolyn and Richard arrived about lunchtime on Wednesday, so after the requisite “picky lunch” we headed for Aix-en-Provence. And did we shop – mais oui – Carolyn was out of the gates fast and into the thick of it.
Aix Hotel de Ville – you can’t hide a shopping bag
  • Thursday we went to Peugeot to see if our car was repaired – but “il est mort”, (new gearbox required), so hire car until we go to Spain on Saturday.
  • But then on to Cassis in the Parc national des Calanques. Yet another impressive piece of natural landscape. The calanques are a group of inlets that look like fjords but are not. We did quite a long walk, stopped in town for lunch and then went across the road to the beach.
Parc national des Calanques
Cassis beach – not your normal Australian sandy beach, but the people pack themselves onto the stones and rocks wherever they can
Everywhere we have been in Italy and France there are boats of every size moored – they love getting out onto the water
  • Friday, our last day in France before heading for the Camino. Today we’ll visit some more villages in the Luberon, but these are for the next blog.


One thought on “Week 18 – Provence – when too much is not enough”

  1. Fine penmanship and photography, lovely spot Provence, you see why the great masters loved to paint it so much, the light and landscape is just right mostly. Good to see you guys enjoying things and great updates.

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