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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saignon gate


On one of my walks around the Saignon, loop as I like to call it, I noticed this little gate. It is not particularly French but it is typical of the kind of gates you see in the countryside anywhere in the world.

A balcony in Saignon


I was walking in Saignon and looked up and spotted this nice little balcony. A nice place to sit with a glass of wine and watch the village go by of an evening.

Houyse down the street Pt. 2


Here is the second, nearly identical, picture of the house down the street from our rental. It, too is a rental property with gob stopping views over the valley.

After lunch


There is a look that we all get on our faces when we have been if Provence for a few days and when we know we have a lot of time left. It now feels like home, or rather, an idealized French home where we would all like to live...........for a long, long time. We're in a beautiful part of the world. The bills are piling up an ocean away. The phone doesn't ring. There are no teeth to drill or bills to send. Everyone is nice to us, the food is wonderful, the wine is great and inexpensive and it goes perfectly with the food and tomorrow we're going to a new place.

This is that look on Harvey's face.

Remains of the truite


If you'll scroll down 3 posts , you can see the start of this meal. It was superb. The leak settled down just as I finished.

Bellevue customers


One of the things that make photographing in France more fun is the attitude towards photography. People don't seem to mind having their pictures taken. Once I was asked not to photograph an Edith Piaf impersonator and did not; but the rest of the time people were pretty laissez-faire about cameras.

The woman in the red coat went over most of the menu with her poor waiter. With my limited French comprehension, I only got about half of the discussion, but be certain that she knew how every dish would be prepared.

Bellevue


Here are Harvey and Carol at the Bellevue in Isle sur la Sorgue.

Fontaine de Vaucluse was a little too lacking in open restaurants so we came over to Isle sur la Sorgue and wandered about, looking at restaurant signs until we found that the Bellevue, the largest of the open air bistros, was featuring truite meuniere for lunch. Having just finished Julia Child's wonderful book about the years she spent in France and her first great meal there being a sole meuniere, I was hooked. I think we all ordered it and we all loved it. (see below)

Here is the meal we all had at Bellevue in Isle sur la Sorgue. Their special of the day was whole trout meuniere with the trout coming from the river next to our table. The old axiom of eat the local food certainly panned out here. I have rarely had fish as good as this, other than our local seafood here in florida.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

High water marks.


Ever ready to help out, our intrepid companion, Harvey, volunteered to show you how far the water has come up these wall.

Fontaine de Vaucluse


Fontaine de Vaucluse is a town at the headwater of the Vaucluse river. The river is fed by the collected rainfall on the Vaucluse Plateau. Therefore, if there hasn't been much rain there isn't much flow from the headwater. We have never been to the village when there has been a lot of rain so we have to rely on pictures from other people to imagine the torrent that the river becomes. Here is a picture of three of us making our way down to the pool of water that feeds the river. There are some metal rulers on the wall indicating previous high waters.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Local gestures


Carol worked very hard to overcome our lack of coherent French by learning to mimic local gestures. Here she learns to indicate a headache, accompanied by D'oh!

Friendly Americans


We did our best, while in France, to lessen the tension between our two great countries. We have never run into the stereotypical gruff, snotty Frenchman/woman. With a few rare cases we have been treated really well, by nice people. I can't speak for Paris, we have only been there once and loved it for the 2 days we spent there. The countryside of Provence is full of open nice country people who appreciate our feeble attempts at French and make us comfortable. Harvey, particularly, had an easy way with townfolk.

Olive Oyl in Provence


This is the dashboard in a parked car we ran across. Olive looked fresh and some of the others were a bit faded, so this is an ongoing collection.

Doorway


Here is yet another beautifully adorned doorway. Some of the wooden doors look like furniture.

Pizza Time


We seem to be able to go to a town, any town and find that it's the day all of the restaurants are closed. St. Saturnin was no different. The only joint we found open was this pizza restaurant. It was a good thing, as the pizzas were excellent. I have learned, from 40 years of being bald, to find the shade at an outdoor restaurant. Harvey, new to the unhaired life, chose to face the sun.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Doorways


Here is yet another example of what the people of the towns of Provence do if they don't have a garden. These two houses had an incredible display of different plants, perfectly tended and watered. I grow a lot of plants in containers and mine are never as perfect as these.

Carol in the bushes


Carol probably took as many pictures as I did in the course of the average day. We do it so as not to be photographed; but occasionally I caught her. I apologize to all true baseball fans about the tragic choice of hats she made.

View from the top.

Once we got to the top, we were treated to a beautiful view of the surrounding valley. In the courtyard of the old church there were Stations of the Cross laid out at the base of the wall. Below the church was a dam and small pond.

St Saturnin climb


As in all Provencal towns, there is a climb to somewhere in St Saturnin. This trail leads up to an old, easily defended church through lots of old walls and a block of new or refurbished homes. Harvey led the way up.