I feel I should start by admitting that’s been a while since I posted to either of my blogs. Let’s just say that life and starting a cycling team have taken up quite a bit of my time. However, Sherry and I are back in France and I can’t think of a better time get going again.
Sherry and I left for France on 11/11/11 for a week in Provence followed by a week in Paris. Overall, the trip was pretty routine. An 11-hour flight to Paris followed by a 3-hour TGV ride to Avignon. We like to spend the night in Avignon so we can be a little fresher on our drive into the Luberon, in this case to the village of Ménerbes.
On Sunday morning we awoke ready to start our day. This was probably helped along by a lovely evening in Avignon with lots of great food and wine for dinner. We took a taxi back to the TGV station to pick up the rental car and a few quick minutes later I was re-acquainting myself with the art of French driving.
The plan was to go straight to the Sunday market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. This is by far our favorite Provençal market as it meanders through the town and along the Sorgue river. The day was made even nicer with stunningly beautiful weather and the fact that we were shopping like locals. After many hours of buying local vegetables, cheeses, ham, olives, gifts for friends and drinking the occasional coffee, it was time for our next destination.
The guy at the rental car agency suggested we go see Fountaine-de-Vaucluse. This is where the Sorgue River literally comes out of a cave at the base of a cliff. We visited there in 2007 but due to the recent heavy rains it was supposed to be spectacular. However, when we arrived it seemed that every French person in the region had the same idea so we decided to go back another day.
As we left the village, we saw a sign for Gordes. This may be our favorite village in Provence so we headed that way for lunch. We tempered our excitement by saying if it was also crazy full of people then we would save it for another day as well.
Fortunately, we found a place to park with no problems and the village was pretty empty. After a short stroll, we had a lovely lunch at the restaurant that is featured in the movie A Good Year. After a bit more relaxing and photo-snapping it was time to head to Ménerbes and check-in to the house were we would spend the next 6 nights.
So, there you have it. Our first full day in France and we’ve already been to our favorite market and village under the bluest skies we’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see what comes next.