I am currently spending my weekdays visiting with a cancer research laboratory studying breast cancer. The folks at the lab have been incredibly generous with their time, help, and welcome. The lead scientist in my group is Christophe Ginestier and on Saturday he and his wife Natalie took the four of us into the Luberon where they both grew up. It was so nice to travel with people who know the area and enjoy a day in their realm. We especially loved not having to navigate our way through the narrow winding roads...we could focus on not hitting anything instead of watching signs!
We stopped in Lourmarin first, a large town in the southern Luberon valley. The main attraction for our girls was the castle, although only parts of it were open, so we may need to visit again. Leaning on a 12th century fortress, the "old" castle section was added in 1475 and a "new" section was added from 1525-1560. We were struck by how the "new" castle was older than even the earliest American colonies! We had a leisurely lunch in the shade overlooking the castle.
Next we traveled north between Le Petit Luberon mountain and Le Grand Luberon mountain to a precarious mountain village, Bonnieux, that Tom and the girls visited our first week, and on to Roussillon. Roussillon is perched on ochre formations, which color the whole area in shades of red. It was a beautiful village with lovely views of the surrounding valley.
We ended our journey with a stop at the wine cave in the little village of La Tour-d'Aigues where Christophe grew up and his father sells the wine that he produces. It was a great day all around, with many thanks to Christophe and Natalie.