Jun 19, 2009
|Today is the day for the market in the beautiful village of Lourmarin, which we've been told is a lovely market. It's about a 30 minute drive south from where we are staying. The village is very upscale, however, it's difficult to see a lot of it due to the congestion of the market purveyors.
We are in search of souvenirs and gifts. I find a great deal on pearl handled steak knives, which made me very excited. I also buy tea towels and Marbie is looking to complete her gift shopping list. It's shortly past noon and the market is starting to fold up, we are making our final purchases and return to the car. Famished, we decide to drive to the beautiful village of Bonnieux and have lunch.
We find a nice little place and feast on a fabulous salad of greens, shrimp, salmon fume, corn, tomato and baguettes with tapenade; a glass of Rose and a blue bottle full of tap water . . . . Remember the blue bottle incident in Gordes? Marbie has been eyeballing these bottles in many restaurants and asks the waiter where she might find one.
It just so happens they come from a vineyard just below the village - Chateau La Canorgue. We have no trouble finding the vineyard or the blue bottle, only the bottle comes with wine in it so now we have to drink the wine so she can have her blue bottle - this drinking is not a problem as we have come to love the Rose wines of Provence
While at the Chateau, Marbie has a conversation in French with the young lady behind the wine tasting bar. She tells us she is the fifth generation to take over the family wine making business. She explains to us about the lack of interest she has in doing so when she was younger, but as she aged, she realized it was the right thing to do.
We leave the beautiful Chateau, with our blue bottle full of Rose wine. We're on our way to Lacoste to see the village and the Marquis de Sade's chateau. The chateau is perched at the top of Lacoste. The chateau was in ruins for many years until recently when Pierre Cardin purchased the property and restored it into a vacation home for himself and an outdoor theater for performing arts during the months of July and August.
We wander through the village and are disappointed that there isn't much there.
It seems most of the village is devoted to a school of art, The Atlanta School of art I believe. So we move on in quest of a peaceful place to sit and enjoy a cold beverage.
We leave Lacoste and move on to Menerbes, where we find a lovely little outside garden cafe and have a cafe frappe and a short nap on the chaise lounges they have provide (What a great idea) Once rested and refreshed, we're off to explore Menerbes, a sweet little village with very friendly people.
As we walk around Menerbes, we notice the weather is changing, thunderstorms are forming in the mountains around the area and we are going in the direction away from the car. We ask someone if the path we are on continues around the village and the answer is yes. We keep climbing up to the Eglaise at the top assuming it has to go down the other side. In the meantime, the clouds are growing darker and moving closer. We are almost to the top and it starts to pour. We stop and wait it out under a tree. As the rain turns to a sprinkle, we decide to keep going and follow the path which ends up on the road below the village. Below - you know what this means in the hill towns, we have to walk all the way up again. Damp and tired we find the car and head back to our home in Roussillon.
It's been a long day and we are tired from the heat and walking. We return to the house, take showers, fix dinner and retire early. . . well if you call 11 early. It seems we never get to bed before midnight. The winds are picking up and my intention of retiring early doesn't come to fruition as I am moving through the house locating banging shutters. I'm having a difficult time deciding on the best combination for shutters and windows. I finally give up as it's 1 AM and I convince myself that I've done all I can and just have to get used to it, this is a 500 year old stone house and that's just how it is. Did I say 500 years old?
I haven't mentioned the red terracotta floors none of which are level - they slant every direction and there are many stairs and narrow stairwells with low ceilings. You have to stoop a lot when going in and out of some rooms. The main bath is at the lowest part of the house and the kitchen is at the highest. There is a half bath on the main upper level of the house, which is nice so you don't have to trek all the way down to use the bathroom, but then they didn't have bathrooms 500 years ago?