Sunday, October 29th, 2000 Last night in Venasque
Jim said he woke up at 4 am new time and couldn’t get back to sleep. Spent the rest of the night building tables and planning the Provence Party for when we get home. Almost forgot to mention, Jim hits his head regularly on the doorways in this hotel, they are built for people who are about six inches shorter than he is! In six days he has hit the bathroom one at least six times!
Breakfast about 9 am and then off to walk around town before 10:30 am Mass at the local church. Found the grocery store open (it’s only open a few hours every morning) and finally found a postcard with VENASQUE written on the front of the card! Ten Franc each! Generally they are 2 Franc each and lots of times you can find them for 1 Franc. Only got two of them! But Jim found an English newspaper and we got some cheese and cokes for the car today. Also found a book at the Information Shop with the history of Venasque which will make interesting reading tonight. Mass was very nice. Their Girl Scout troop did all the readings, collection, etc. Very nice touch in their uniforms. It is a very small church and was full.
After Mass the sun was still shining but the clouds were gathering on the horizon so we took our umbrellas and headed by auto towards Isle La Sorgue. We’ve been there twice to shop but this time we decided to go to the Sunday Market on the island. Stopped on the way at the car wash we’d seen and figured out how to work the vacuum. The inside of the car is very dirty and full of breadcrumbs from so many lunches on the road! Just as we finished the rain began. Drove on into town and people were starting to leave. Found parking and ate our lunch. Sure enough, the rain stopped and we had a lovely walk through the Market. It was a very good “flea market”. Lots of antique furniture, silverware, etc. Jim found Provence Yardage and we purchased two yards each of four different kinds. We started out looking for aprons to wear at the party! Said he’s going to make them! The material is very unique to Provence and will also make some great tablecloths. After about two hours we headed back towards Venasque. Stopped along the road to take a photo of the old concrete road signs that look like they’ve been here for hundred’s of years. They have the new metal signs but someone keeps these old ones in good condition also! Saw some sailplanes in the sky so stopped and watched them for a while. Then we headed towards le Beaucet, another old village near Venasque.
I’m typing this before dinner; Jim just stopped me to look at the sunset. Magnificent colors due to the storm clouds in the area. Took a photo, hope it comes out. He took some great video footage!
Continuing the journal; we drove down a long country road about one lane wide, very difficult to pass on coming cars. But we arrive at le Beaucet, another very old town. Several artists have settled there recently and there is definitely activity. About twenty tourist cars in the area but no buses and no shops. All still very natural and similar to Venasque but smaller. There is still a sizable wall left of the chateau but we were unable to get up to it because of private residences. Great photo material though. Back in the car and home to Venasque by 5 pm. Nice to have some time to relax before dinner. We’re hungry and the fact that it’s already dark outside doesn’t help the stomach. Also, we’re right above the kitchen and the smells are almost too much!
Wonderful dinner! Jim elected to have the highest priced fixed dinner. He was in seventh heaven! He even wrote down his menu:
Wine: Domine de Frondreche (Blanc)
1st: Callettes: roll of chopped pork & spinach “ala vauilusaiase”
Poivrons: sweet red and green peppers (grated)
Bavarois: tomato flan with basil
2nd: caille: roast quail w/anchovy sauce of Provence
3rd: Fromage: goat cheese floated in hot arneif “virtour” (red wine)
4th: Nougat glace ax ice cream with almond