France, thou art beautiful…and thou haseth tiny, scary roads. You can see by the pictures how hold-your-breath magnificent Provence is with rolling hills, villages dotting the terrain at both peaks and valleys, their terra cotta roofs and timeless stucco fooling you into thinking this is how it looked thousands of years ago.
Driving east from the quaint little cottage we rented in Courthézon, we ascended into the lavender sprinkled hills of the countryside, braving twisting ‘roads’ and gasp inducing run-ins with the wannabe Tour de France bike riders that were around every bend. We even found some legitimate bikers who were riding in perfect formation with matching uniforms, very serious about their task. We learned July 4th is the big race day and people would be pouring into the area within a week.
Much like the patchwork quilt of grapevines dotting the landscape through much of the French countryside in this region, lavender ruled, with long legged rows stretching impossibly into the distance. The air was fragrant with the blossoms and when you stepped into the field, the sound of bees doing their good works almost made the soil vibrate under your feet.
We stopped at a little lavender farm just outside of Sault for a picnic of still warm baguette, goat cheese, apples and fresh strawberries, before traveling the rest of the circuit to Gordes. Along the way we came upon PA’s (Prince Albert – that’s our car) little brother in trouble. An American mother and daughter got themselves stranded in a ditch, one wheel hovering over nowhere and the other running helplessly through dirt. A mother/daughter local team had already stopped to help, but we knew these four women weren’t going to push this baby beast out of the ditch by themselves. Luckily, I had a secret weapon. He’s 6’4” and a bit of a hulk. With all of us rocking and pushing, we were able to get the car out of the ditch. We could only imagine how we would feel, stranded roadside in the middle of the country with the sun setting. If they read this blog, wishing you the best! Bonne journeé!
Endless circling on hilltop roads brings you to Gordes, and it looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. Perched perfectly, almost carved out of the hill itself, sits a preserved medieval village. I don’t have words…look at the pictures.
France, I look forward to what you bring tomorrow. Merci Beacoup.