October 9, 2007


Séguret is one of our favorite villages in Southern France. Here are some photos of the village and surrounding area.

Roman Ruins


There are many Roman ruins in the area. The arena in Arles, the bridge near Nimes and the theater in Orange. We decided to visit Orange since it would give us the opportunity to also visit the Rhone area. I love Rhone wines. We might even be able to see the Pays de Ventoux area.

It is another late start to the day. I think the driving bothers my hips. I am sore and I slept poorly. I also have a cold since we left Menton and has now G caught it.

We head out towards Murs. The forest is low shrub oak. It looks so similar to the oak forest around Radda in Chianti Italy. The road narrows and winds over a pass. It feels remote and isolated. After crossing the pass, we drop down and pass the small village of Venasque. My good friend R rented an house in Venasque in July and it looks charming. We continue on and soon we are in the busy industrial Rhone area of Carpentras. The terrain has flattened. Outside of the city, the countryside is mostly acres of vineyards.

We reach Orange around noon. Parking is very easy although we struggled for awhile to figure out the machine in the lot. I thought I had to put in my license number but it turns out all I needed to do is feed some coins. The sun is stark and bright but the wind is blowing hard. I wonder if this is a mistral since it is coming from the north.

The Theater is amazing especially the fact that it has lasted 2000 years and avoided destruction by the many changing hordes and rules. We are a bit disappointed by the stark white screen that is in the middle of the ancient stage ruining the full impact of the theater. They have setup the screen to show the Rugby world cup and they have left it on the stage until the final game which is still several weeks away. It makes it very difficult to image what it was like in the Roman days.

We originally were going to go to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape area but we are running late. It is already after noon so we pickup a couple of sandwiches at the boulangerie across from the theater and head for the Côtes du Rhône area instead. Rhone is my favorite red and I wanted to see the small villages that make up the Côtes du Rhône village appellation. I wanted to see the region with the villages that I had only seen on a wine label; Cairanne, Rasteau, Sablet. I don’t know what I expected but it seemed to be different. The valley was covered with wines and you could see the church steeple of each of the villages in the distance. I knew nothing of the different villages and we pulled off near Séguret to eat our sandwiches. We decide to explore the town. What a fortunate decision. It has become one of my favorite villages. We stroll the charming streets and are enchanted by its location overlooking the vineyards.

On to Gigondas where we stop for a tasting at the La Cave de Gigondas. It is a local cooperative. The wines are wonderful and we purchase an bottle of old vines from 1999. We also like the bottled while you wait - 'wine in a box' you can get from the wine fountain at the Cave. We head back towards the Dentalles and Suzette. Unfortunately, the glare from the late afternoon sun ruin the view of the peaks. We retrace our way back to Carpenteras and end up in the 5pm after school traffic jam. It is interesting to see the mothers rushing around after work to pick up their kids.

Continue reading "Roman Ruins" »

October 8, 2007

Photos of Bonnieux


Here are a few photos of Bonnieux France. Follow the link below for the slideshow.

Continue reading "Photos of Bonnieux " »

Hiking the Falaise at Lioux

Looking back at the falaise

Every morning it seems more and more difficult to get up. We want to get into a rhythm but it is so hard. The sun does not rise until about 8am. The bed is soft and warm. We linger at breakfast and ent the end, we don’t leave until after 10am. By time we do a bit of shopping at the supermarche, it is noon. Now everything is closed in the small villages. It is too early for us for lunch. Plus we are not used to eating lunch. Our normal routine at home is to eat a large breakfast/brunch and then an early dinner. France doesn’t fit our routine.

Our first stop is Pont Julian on our way to Bonnieux. The bridge is part of the old Via Domitia and was constructed in the 2nd or 3rd century. G finds the ancient Roman bridge fascinating and we spend time exploring. From below we gaze at the intricate stone work and find it amazing modern day traffic until recently.

We move on to Bonnieux which is very sleepy. It is lunch at Monday and most everything except one or two shops are closed. We park along the road and walk the empty street up to church at the top of the town. The light wind blows through the trees as we admire the vista before returning to our car.

We drive on towards Lacoste stopping to rest and view Bonnieux across the vineyards. We head back to the apartment to prepare for a late afternoon hike up along the top of the cliff (falaise) at Lioux which Kaydee on Slow Travel recommended. I wanted to do our hike to the Falaise in the late afternoon to try to capture some of the wonderful golden light but today is overcast. Oh well, it is still good to get out into the countryside.

We arrive in Lioux and park at the main square. It is barely a village. The mairie and church border the main square which is lined by plane trees. We walk a bit on the main road and then take a dirt road on the right leading up towards the base of the cliff. The trail skirts under the stony cliff until a small orchard. A sign points us to the left and the trail swings wide away from the cliff towards a couple of farm houses. The path slowly gains while swinging wide among the farm houses. We are greeted by barks as we pass one or two of the farms. The trail turns back towards the town. Suddenly we realize that we are actually on the top as we walk among the low oak, cistus, thyme and other pungent provincial plants. G identifies more – sage, horehound, rosemary and thyme. Off to the side, the ground gradually drops off until we are up above the town, The drop is now dangerous as we gaze down towards the square. The wind whips through our hair as the gray sun shines through the slivers of clouds. We can see our route down in the distance.

We continue on until a junction and a trail sign signifying an old mill. We proceed back towards our car while passing a peaceful cemetery under the watchful eyes of the stony cliff.

Follow the link below for a slideshow of the hike.

Continue reading "Hiking the Falaise at Lioux" »

October 7, 2007

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

Groan, we are slow to awake. Our reliable sun has failed us. The countryside around the hameau is shrouded in fog and we decide to stay in bed awhile longer than normal. Our need for coffee finally gets us out of bed. The apartment has a Senseo coffee maker which makes quick strong coffee. A movement in the kitchen window gets our attention and we see the owners dog. And a basket of fresh croissants and brioches. Perfect! A lovely start for our week in Provence. Farm fresh eggs, scrambled with heirloom tomatoes and fresh chevre round out our breakfast. Breakfast

It is almost 10:30 and we head off for L'Isle sur la Sorgue and the famous Sunday Market. The fog lifts as we drive to Isle and it is soon a warm clear blue day. We have heard that you need to arrive early to find parking so we decide to park at the first places we find on the road in. It is not far – another nice feature of traveling in the autumn. The market is made of both antiques and regular market which winds it way around and through the center of the town. Clothing, shoes, olives, spices, cloth, vegetables, bread, linens. It is not as crowded as we expected and after an hour or two we have seen most of the market. We have picked up jam, bread and some awesome basil olives. The linens look lovely but it is time to move on. We had a slice of pizza for lunch and relaxed with a Heineken before we move on.

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

We head back and decide to drive along the road to Gordes. The vista outside the city is awesome. Not far away was Abbaye de Senanque. It is a lovely setting. Unfortunately for us, the lavender plants surrounding the front of the abbey are being replaced and the surrounding garden is dug up.

We decide to visit the Lavender museum. It is very interesting. I didn't realize the difference between true Lavender and the more common garden lavender or lavandin but scent is definitely more pleasant. Of course, there is a boutique with many lavender products but it is very nicely presented. My muscles have been aching so G suggests that I pick up some muscle gel. It sounds like a good idea especially since G said he would give me a massage.

About Me

I live in the suburbs of Seattle with my husband. I love traveling, photography, hiking, cooking and hunting for wildflowers. Read more

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