The plan for the south of France was to slow down and just enjoy the experience. So despite having an extensive list of things to see, some of which involved driving one or two hours to see, we have decided we just want to amble slowly and take it in . . . .
this post actually covers two days.
We discovered that Monday is a quiet day in Provence with many shops not opening, well everyday shops anyway, souvenir shops always seem to be open . . . . Lol
We used Monday to explore Apt ( where we are staying) and take a drive to one of the lovely little villages. The Luberon ( an area in Provence) is known for its lovely villages. Each similar but unique in its own way.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
This lovely village is centred around a river. As you walk along the banks of the river you reach a point where there are rocks but no longer any water and eventually an immense cliff face, for a very long time people were perplexed as to the source of the water. They now know that the source off water comes from an immense underground network of waters that are the result of rainfall and melted snow from one of the local mountains and this network network of water only reaches the surface at Fontaine de Vaucluse. The water is crystal clear, the green you can see in the image is the plant life under the water. This looks like a quiet flow of water, but just 3 meters higher there are Rapids and a slalom kayaking course, which looked very challenging. We had a lovely lunch here and enjoyed looking through some lovely little shops.
Today we headed to
Gordes was on my bucket list, mainly because one of my favourite films was filmed here. "A good
year " starring Russel Crowe, based on a book written by Peter Mayle. But also obviously it's pretty
picturesque and I do like a good phot opportunity.
We arrived at Gordes in time for their local markets, the markets were really interesting and had all sorts of homewares, clothes and food available.
We went for a little wander around the winding steep narrow little streets, and found some lovely spots to take some gorgeous photos. The above street was really very steep and was used by vehicles as well. I m not sure I would want to drive anything much bigger than a mini around these streets. The houses were just charming.
I loved this window isn't she just gorgeous.
Abbaye de Sénaque
Abbaye de Sénaque is an active Cistercian abbey with monks in residence. This beautiful abbey welcomes visitors, however guided tours are only available in French. The rows in front of the abbey ( in the image) are lavender and in mid June are a perfusion of purple, if you google the Abbaye you are sure to see images, despite the lack of lavender flowers it was a very picturesque site and very very peaceful. We did a little shopping here and picked up a lovely lavender flavoured honey and spice cake. Oh this holiday is not good for my waist line.
This stunning village perched on top of a hill is in the midst of the largest Ochre deposit in the world.
Roussillon is famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries.
The red, yellow and brown shades of the village and the surrounding land form a striking contrast with the lush green surrounding landscape made Roussillon for me , Magical. Gadget and I had a lovely time wandering through the lovely shops and narrow streets, we had our first true Provençal inspired meal in a lovely restaurant and returned to the car we a few too many bags in our hands.
The Ochre cliffs
that are used to derive ochre which is used to colour the mortar for local housing and as pigments for art.
Just a gorgeous village that we both really enjoyed.
This gentleman was selling typical Provençal food at the market at Gordes. Gadget always intrigued by different food purchased some ( cold) to bring back for our dinner this evening.
a Provençal meal is served, it was absolutely amazing and was accompanied by a bottle of Rose wine which was produced on the estate of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
I m liking this Provençal life