Tuesday, July 27th, 2004 Heading for
We enjoyed our crepe dinner in
On the road by 9 am; it only took us about fifteen minutes to be out of
On the way down we enjoyed a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. Our girls were waiting for us with their faces uplifted to the sunshine. Enjoyed the Chateaus that dot the hillside and the castles ruins on the hilltops. The fields were full of sunflowers, corn, wheat, hay and herds Charolais cattle (the white ones). They are harvesting the hay right now. Farmers use the method of rolling the hay into huge round bales that remind me of rolling snow for a snowman in the wintertime. Right now, round bales of hay are lying all over the fields waiting to be picked up for storage.
Just outside of Beaune we passed the Chateau Chateauneuf where we’ve enjoyed several delicious meals and I remembered our stay on the “Lady A” (a canal boat that is permanently moored on the
Stopped in Beaune to pick up my vitamin pillboxes that I’d left last week. Purchased gasoline at the local supermarket (1.04 Euros per liter compared to 1.15 on the autoroute) before heading south towards
Vienne is a beautiful town located along the
Spent the balance of the afternoon exploring all the Roman Ruins scattered throughout the old center of town. Everything is walking distance from our hotel; an Ibis Hotel with central air, television, elevators, internet access…wow….and only a two star. One thing that we’ve learned is that when you need change, go to the Post Office. Banks post signs in their windows that say “No Change”. The Post Offices have a special machine for obtaining change; handy for parking meters and Laundromats. Yes, that is coming up before we get on the train so we made a visit and got prepared early.
Wednesday, July 28th: Back on the Autoroute; known in
Weather is getting warmer. We had ninety-four degree weather when we arrived in L’Isle sur la Sorgue at 1 pm this afternoon. We’re here for three nights. Wonderful village known for its’ Market Days on Thursday and Sunday. The one on Sunday is most famous for it’s Antiques. We will miss that one as we leave Saturday morning. If you’ve not been here, there is a delightful stream that flows through the town. It’s fast moving with crystal water from underground springs. They race very thin boats that are only able to go under the bridges because the pole man lies flat in the boat as they scoot under the bridges. We had dinner tonight outside on the edge of the river. I kept looking for the twelve-inch fish that we saw during the afternoon. I have not seen any fish other than that one! We think they must release him once a day to entertain the tourists.
Our hotel is quiet, has all the amenities and is reasonable. It is also only two blocks from the center of the village and is called the Hotel Les Nevons. We spent a good part of the day today repacking our luggage for next week after doing the laundry. When we leave here we will be dropping the car off when we arrive in Nice. We’re mailing another box home and leaving a goodwill package here in the hotel room for the maids of things we decided to just leave. Amazing how luggage grows and grows and grows…..
We’ve been watching the Boston Democratic Convention today; so nice to have CNN and be able to catch up on the news. Until now the French TV station had a reporter in
Thursday, July 29th: Slept in a bit and then headed for the Thursday Market. Had lots of fun; hard to not purchase sooo many things but then the “baggage issue” rears it’s ugly head! But we did find a couple of unusual small things to purchase. The food is what is so much fun. The wide variety of cheeses, olives, spices, vegetables, meats (cooked and raw), fresh fish including the head of a swordfish, bolts of material, flowers (fresh and dried) you name it; it was here. We found a clever little dish that grates food very easily and Jim purchased a small package of ground up spices. We’re going to find a pottery shop in
Finally left the market, picked up our car and headed for the large supermarket on the edge of town. Needed to purchase tape and string for our last package. When we took it to the post office we were pleasantly surprised when she said we didn’t have to pay any postage. Seems as though when we purchased the box at the post office last week; the postage was included in the price of the box as long as we didn’t exceed a certain weight! That makes the first five boxes a bit cheaper than we’d thought. Hummm….maybe another box in the near future?? We’re keeping the extra tape and string just in case we decide to send more home.
Decided to drive to the Fountain of Vaucluse. We’d been there in 2000 but wanted to see everything in bloom. Beautiful and quaint, not very changed. Decided to walk about a mile each way to see the actual “source” of the water for all the crystal clear streams that run throughout the region. We were amazed when we arrived and found the pool to be extremely low due to the lack of rain for the past few years. It was at least twenty feet below the level in 2000. I guess
During the afternoon the children learning how to maneuver a kayak in the river entertained us as we walked along the river. A teenager seemed to be in charge; each of the kids wore a life jacket. He was working with a group of ten. He had them going up and down over small rapids created in the river; great place to safely learn the techniques. Other teenagers were busy jumping and diving into the water from a bridge; each trying to be more daring than his friends. Everyone in the water wears shoes we noticed; lots of rocks and unfortunately trash litters the bottom. All along the river there are concrete steps that allow people to sit with their feet in the cool water. Shoppers, both old and young, sit next to their bags for a break in their day with their feet dangling in the cool water. And so another warm day closes. It’s much cooler in the evening but hits the nineties during the day. The shade is comfortable but walking in the sun is guaranteed to burn your skin!
Friday, July 30th: This is our last day before heading for Nice. We decided to go south and find the town of
Found the town perched on a hillside with the castle at the top just as she described. Parked near the café and walked up to the castle as we knew her home backed up to the base of the castle. We discovered a beautiful home that Jim was sure belonged the author; we also found the Tourist Information that was actually built into the back of the home. We were fortunate to find a delightful young French girl who spoke extremely good English in the Tourist Information Shop who confirmed that we were correct about the house. We were the only customers and she spent about twenty minutes with us. The castle is only open in the afternoon, it was now only 11 am, but she offered to ring up the author as she is now in residence and does not mind meeting people who ask about her. We elected not to bother her but asked many questions of the clerk. She has a new book out called “Love in
When we left Ansouis we had a new quest; we were on the road to find Forbin de Janson. Finally found the town known as St’ Egreve Janson after touring several cornfields. Nothing much, lots of new houses; but no winery with the name of Forbin de Janson was visible in the areas that we searched. We did find a street by that name and drove to the end of it without success. Headed back to our hotel for a late lunch and siesta time.
It’s been fun being back in