Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Most Beautiful Villages Of Provence

Menerbes. Bonnieux. Rousillon. Gordes. La Coste. 
We ride through them all, stopping for coffee, strolling, shopping. And water.
The hills are long but not steep. Think about it - a loaded oxcart couldn't carry your stuff to market if the grade was too steep. And a full cart would run over the ox on the way home. So the climb is gentle.

Still, we're hot and sweaty when we roll into town.
Sometimes it's market day, sometimes's it's just time for coffee and pastry.

It's fashionable to be snarky about these villages: Peter Mayle put them on the "been there done that" list (I heard he'd been run out of Menerbes and has moved to Lumiere...love to know the back story on that...) But they are beautiful, charming, quaint, quirky, fun. And well worth the climb.

In Bonnieux...
...we stop for lunch at La Table de Sylvie. A little terrace with the most spectacular views, simple delicious food, and Cat Stephens and Louis Armsrtrong music coming from...
...this. We start dancing and Sylvie joins us, singing "Oh baby. it's a wild world." When she says wild she points at herself. Yup.
Sally finds her favorite singer, Francis Cabrel

Le Ancienne Poste in Menerbes is owned by a former B&R guide, Phillipe Brown, and available to rent. Check out the photos and don't be put off by the cartoon dog at the beginning - this is a seriously sophisticated house. En suite bathrooms - need I say more?Ancient (I'm talking rocks not Romans here) meets modern and spacious. Very different, very cool. Altho the dog in the website intro has got to go...

After all that climbing the pool at Le Coquilade is so inviting...
...Joyce can't wait.
It has been a day well lived.

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