A Travellerspoint blog

A Year in Provence

sunny 21 °C

Crisp, starlit nights melt into misty dawns. A chorus of song birds awakes us to another glorious day. The clocks have lost an hour and Halloween is upon us, but we still bask every day under the warm Mediterranean sun. Our 'home' for the week is an ancient country cottage, with low beams and a log fire, surrounded by vineyards and oak trees, and it is easy to see why people would want to live here...
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Medieval villages of mellow sandstone flow down the hillsides and land gently in the verdant valleys below...
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Vine covered cottages grow out of the rocks and clamber slowly up the cobblestone road to the centuries old church...
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And everywhere is tinted rouge by the grapevines as they blush from yet another successful vendage...
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When Peter Mayle wrote his bestseller about life as an expat in the nearby village of Menerbes in the Luberon he could not have anticipated the effects, both positive and negative, that his autobiographical tale would have. Ancient stone farm buildings that were once just abandoned shells are now ritzy holiday villas for the well-healed business folk of London and Paris...
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Pierre Cardin, the billionaire fashion designer, owns the Marquis de Sade's ruined castle and half of the village of Lacoste and is reportedly trying to buy the other half...
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Restaurants that once fed the workers for a few sous now charge the earth for a plate of fancy lettuce, and the village shops that at one time catered solely to the daily needs of the locals are now filled with tiny jars of truffled foie gras and large tins of caviar. Fortunately the supermarket prices in the nearby towns of Coustelet and Cavaillon are generally comparable with those at home. However, it has been a long time since we could buy a baguette for one dollar, a Camembert for two dollars and a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for five dollars in Canada...
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Tourism is a double-edged sword in any community and in the summer months these deserted village streets in the 'ochre' village of Roussillion are jammed with visitors from around the world...
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Luckily for us we are able to enjoy the wonderful sights, scents and sounds of the Luberon much as its inhabitants do – in peace and harmony with nature and with the vines...
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The Luberon is surely one of the most beautiful and fascinating parts of France but, despite the timelessness of the landscape and its ancient villages, time moves on. The vignerons have picked their grapes for another year and the newly fermented wine is headed for the bottling plants; truffle hunters are training their pigs and dogs ready for the harvest of black gold in December; and the lemons and oranges are ripening ready for Christmas. Life in the Luberon truly is 'La vie en rose', and after a week under the warm Provencal sun it is tempting to stay. But we still have many places to explore on this trip so now we must say “Au revoir” to France and “Ciao” to Italy.

Posted by Hawkson 10:03 Archived in France

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Comments

What a glorious time for the two of you. I especially love the last photo of the house under vines with blue shutters. Had a discussion with a friend of mine who lived in Montreal and at Christmas always had clementines for the holidays, not so much Mandarin oranges. Thoughts are easing to the next season. Thinking of fondue.

by Sue Fitzwilson

great pictures of a very beautiful area.

by kEITH Myers

WOW !!!!!! Why am I sitting here in Texas?

by Bob

Here we are with one more day of a power outage. It was cold here!!!! and the wind is still blowing tonight..lucky you...

by Jean McLaren

What a cozy little room! And what a wonderful heat sink all that stone would be for cold days. The chandelier is really something--could pass for modern or ancient.

by R and B

"Crisp, starlit nights melt into misty dawns."
Obviously, this glorious environment opens your poetic veins, too...Very seducing pictures make me check out flights... a bit cruel for a wet-coaster.

by Gottfried Mitteregger

Ah the warm Mediterranean sun. What a wonderful thing.

by Tom Whalley

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