Tag: Gordes

Fall … In Love With Provence

The Barefoot Blogger’s mid-week drive into Provence inspired some stunning photos to share. This time of year brings out my very favorite colors in the crayon box.

Fall in Provence

Fall in Provence

Plane trees along the drive into Provence

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

Fall in Provence

Outside Lourmarin

 

 

Fall in Provence

Bonnieux

 

 

 

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

 

Fall in Provence

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

Fall in Provence

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

Roussillon

 

Fall in Provence

 

 

Fall in Provence

 

Thanks to the friends who help color my world. 

Fall in Provence

Rich and Paula in Roussillon along with new Barefoot Blogger friend, Aggie.

Note: Most photos picture Roussillon

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Lost in the Luberon Part Two

Lost in the Luberon Part Two

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In October I started writing the story about my adventures “Lost in the Luberon”. It’s time to get back to to telling the tales because there are blanks in the story I need your help to complete.

Here’s a link to the first part of “Lost” in case you want to catch up. Click here.

In Part One, as you may remember, I confessed I am directionally challenged. That competency must be a left brain thing. Honestly, I can’t read a compass. Maps are a horror. GPS systems confuse me if there’s not a voice attached.
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I try not to think about my shortcoming too much because it would definitely limit my adventurous spirit. That’s why I was willing to take off on a tour of the Luberon with my friend Pat, who was visiting from Wisconsin.

Little did I know, Pat’s sense of direction is no better than mine!

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Me: “There’s a sign ahead, Pat. Is that where we’re supposed to turn?
Pat: (silence)
Me: “Pat, do we turn there?”
Pat: (silence)
Me: “Pat, I can’t pull over. What does it say on the map? ”
Pat: “Oh! The map!

Remember that from Part One?

Rather than retell the tale, I’ll say, we succeeded in getting to the first destination of the Luberon trip, Gordes.

A nice lunch and a walk around Gordes got us back in the mood to travel on.

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Finding our way around the second half of the day was supposed to be a cinch. From Gordes, our next stops — Roussillon, Menerbes, and Lacoste– were only a few miles apart.

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By that time, too, we’d figured out how to find ourselves on the GPS on my iPad. (“Figured out” means we knew which dot on the GPS was us and which dot was our destination. I’m not kidding.)

Nevertheless, the rest of the day went sort of like this: backing up and turning around.

Me: “Pat, we’re supposed to turn off of this road soon, aren’t we?”
Pat: “Yes.”
Me: “Pat, the road is coming up. Do we turn here? ”
Pat: “Well … we could.”
Me: “Could? …. what does that mean?
Pat: (As we pass the road) Well, we could turn … Oh! … I guess we should have turned!”

Road signs like this had us a bit confused, too.

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It was at this sign, in fact, that we experienced “divine intervention.” I’m not joking. A female voice, speaking English, told us to take the turn to the left.

Both Pat and I screamed: “where’d that come from?!”

Then we broke out laughing. Belly laughs. Mapquest on my iPad, that had failed us so miserably up to now, suddenly had found its voice.

By this time, we were so confused we didn’t know where we were. One narrow street looked like another.

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Each church looked like the other.

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Town halls were the same.

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Later that day

Much later than we were supposed to check in for the night, we arrived at the bastide in Lacoste. Our hostess couldn’t offer us glasses of wine fast enough.

“How was your day, ” she asked?

“Couldn’t have been better!” we both exclaimed.

Here’s where you, my French friends and travelers, come in. If you recognize a street, church, or anything pictured in this post, please send it to me on the comment line. /

It’s bad enough being directionless. It would be great to actually know where I’ve been

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Lost in the Luberon: Gordes, Goult and Menerbes

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Anyone who knows me well recognizes that I’m “directionally challenged.” Compared to my recent visitor from the States, I’m  “Amelia Earhart” — and we know how that worked out.

When I learned my hometown friend, whom I hadn’t seen in 40 years, was coming to visit me in Uzes, right away I started planning her trip. One that we’d both enjoy. For sure, I couldn’t go back to Nimes and Pont du Gard. Been there, done that, too many times. An over-night stay in a bastide in the Luberon sounded like a good idea. That, along with a few day trips from Uzes would give her an overview of this region of France and it would give us both a taste of Provence during a time of year when there are not so many tourists.

For our road trip to Provence,  my friend Pat brought along her Rick Steves’ guide book. I had an overview summary of the Luberon’s “golden triangle” that was given to me by a friend. We bought a map of Provence the day we started our journey. Basically the plan was to drive to L’isle Sur la Sorgue for the antique market on Sunday, then back to Uzes.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we’d “explore” Gordes, Goult, Lacoste, Menerbes, and Roussillon. If there was time, we’d drive into Aix en Provence.

The route from Uzes to Gordes is through Avignon, about 65 kilometers. Driving to the villages we’d pinpointed would be like riding in a circle: 30 kilometers around.. Towns are very close together.

 

Map of Luberon Route

Map of Luberon Route

Sounds easy enough, right? Not!

Even Rick Steves says “you’re going to get lost”. 

 

Uzes to Avignon

That was easy. I knew the way. I’ve traveled back and forth to the train station in Avignon several times.

Leaving Avignon was when the problems started.

Pat unfolded the map of Provence for the first time. We’d been too busy talking to think about it before now.

“Oh, look, a map!” said Pat, as if surprised to find it on her lap.  “Guess this is what we brought it for,” she declared.

Probably a good idea to take a look now,” says I.

With that, my small friend unfolded the huge map which quickly consumed her and her side of the car. (Did I mention Pat is 5’2″ compared to my 5’9″? We’re the real “Mutt and Jeff” duo.)

Pat,” I exclaimed. “I can’t see!”

Pulling over to the side of the road we folded the map together into a size that Pat could manage in one hand.

The road to  L’isle Sur la Sorgue was the best route on the map. However, we’d been there two days before. So, we decided to try another way.

Big mistake! Every road we took went back to Avignon.

After an hour and a half circling Avignon, I said: “Wonder if we can find the route on my iPad on Mapquest?”

If you’re thinking “why didn’t they have a GPS?” let me explain. Remember the saga of the lost iPhone?After I found that the iPhone was in the back seat of Lucy — not in the trash bin or stolen — I returned to SFR in Nimes several times to fix various problems. The last visit was Monday, the day before our trip to the Luberon. That’s when the nice SFR guy that speaks English discovered the iPhone is broken. He sent it off to be repaired and gave me a Google phone. It didn’t dawn on me to load Mapquest on the substitute phone. Making a phone call was hard enough. Besides, we were only going 100 kilometers away. 

Mapquest came up on the iPad. Even though there was limited reception, we had a map and a dot to follow. (I won’ tell you how long it took us to figure out which dot was “Lucy” and which dot was our “destination.”)

Gordes

Market day in Gordes, which was the first destination on our trip plan, was almost over by the time we reached the village.  

 

Market day in the village square in Gordes.

Market day in the village square in Gordes.

 

 

 

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Shopping was not so much on our minds as finding a place to eat lunch. Tourists filled up most of the spaces in the restaurants and cafes.

Cafe in Gordes

Cafe in Gordes

 

 

Crowded cafe in Gordes

Crowded cafe in Gordes

We ended up in an out-of-the-way cafe where we weren’t expecting much, but to our delight …

Roasted aubergine and peppers on fresh greens

Roasted aubergine and peppers on fresh greens

 

Caesar salad Provence style

Caesar salad Provence style

 

How can you miss having a great meal in Provence? 

Luberon Villages at a Glance

With the villages of the Luberon so close together, the look and feel of each begin to blend together — especially when you’re lost.  These photos will give you a view of the towns and the countryside as we saw it — wherever it is. 

Road leading to Gordes

Road leading to Gordes

 

 

 Village square in Gordes with WWII memorial

Village square in Gordes with WWII memorial commemorating the strength of the resistance army.

 

 

 

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Narrow streets with stone walls and houses

Narrow streets with stone walls and houses

 

 

 

Villages with churches as the main attraction

Villages with churches as the main attraction

 

 

 

Public gathering places with ancient shade trees and stone arches

Public gathering places with ancient shade trees and stone arches

 

 

 

Views that take your breath away

Views that take your breath away

 

 

 

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Hilltops and valleys

 

 

 

Chateaus and tall cedars in the distance

Chateaus and tall cedars in the distance

 

 

 

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Colorful villages paved with stone walkways and roads

 

 

 

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Architectural details from an ancient past

Architectural details from an ancient past

 

 

 

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Winding roads that go from village to village

Winding roads that go from village to village

 

 

 

Next stop: The Red Hills of Roussillon

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