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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy stroller, Apt

This sauntering man had just seen a friend and was walking towards him with a big smile.

Buildings, Apt.

They have really matched their paints to the colors in nature around here.

Wall, Saignon.

Saignon street.

Somebody was getting a jump on the Christmas season!

Pizza Caprese

Here is the pizza described below. Sort of an Insalata Caprese on a pizza crust.

I do not know how the French (and Italian) pizzerias get such a great thin crust. It's very thin and yet holds up when you eat it. I never eat pizzeria fare here because the crusts, even thin crust, are thick and doughy. Probably just national tastes at work.

Pizza in the Isle

We went to Isle sur la Sorgue the next day for lunch.

Casa de Paolo serves a great pie, so we had one. Or rather, Janie and I did. Harvey and Carol ordered pasta Bolognese, which proved to be a touch bland in Harvey's case. Luckily for him, there was more than half a pizza between Janie's and mine.

Tarte, Roussillon

Eventually you have to eat lunch. We sat down at one of our favorite lunch places in Roussillon and I had this delicate little tarte, topped by roast tomatoes. Pretty tasty.

Roussillon

Harvey in Roussillon

The man simply cannot resist a staircase. We eventually talked him down.

Peeking man

Every visit to Roussillon involves one of us looking through the tiny window at this restaurant.

We've never eaten here to my recollection.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wall art 3, for Harvey

Wall art 2, for Harvey

Leaves and wall, Roussillon

All of the exterior walls in Roussillon are stained with one of the colors to be found in the ocher quarries. A lot of yellow and orange. Therefore green stands out against it.

Busker, Roussillon

When you climb the road in Roussillon you get a couple of views down into town.

This is the main square where a rather talented singer was working. I got a nice video of him later. Harvey and Carol added a CD of his to their collection.

Center of Roussillon

Taken from a tea room where we paused for tea/coffee mid-morning.

Window, Roussillon

Tourist, Roussillon

This fellow was enjoying the day near the ocher pits.

Art for Harvey

Two years ago, when we went to Roussillon there was an exhibit of photography in a small gallery near the ocher pits.

Because I had a camera on, the artist approached me and explained, with great enthusiasm, how he made the pictures. He photographed walls and made abstracts from the results.

Harvey took great joy in seeing me so buttonholed, and got a laugh out of my reaction, once I was freed.

He brought it up again this year, so I waltzed about taking pictures of walls for him.

This is for you Harvey!!

Soko saying

The little restaurant next door, Cuisine de Soko, had this saying on their out door terrace.

Roughly translated it says "Here, we haven't the time to be hurried!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bonnieux

This is an interesting corner in Bonnieux. Numerous near misses every hour as cars, bikes and pedestrians all converge.

David and Sarah...That bike in the right side of the picture is from a Backroads group that stays in our town. September is a lovely time of year to bike in Provence. We'd love to see you as you pass through.

Carol at Rose Cottage

This is the window of the other room in Rose Cottage.

Rotisserie poultry.

These beasts are from the rotisserie chicken shack in Coustellet. On market day you have to get there before 11:00 to get your choice.

They roast these birds over a pan filled with garlic and potatoes. The larger bird is a "ferme" chicken, which means what it sounds like, a free-range chicken from a real farm.

The two smaller birds are pintades or guinea fowl.

All three birds would fit inside a Costco roasted chicken. But they were very good lean birds and had a much stronger flavor. That's a vat of rice next to them.

Reminds me of the old Dave van Ronk lyrics.

"Chicken is nice,
Chicken is nice,
Chicken is nice, with palm butter and rice."

They were.

Sunset over Apt.

What's a group of travel pictures without at least one Chamber of Commerce sunset?

View from Gary's

Gary invited us up to have a glass of rose and get to know each other. As expected, he was a genial host with numerous stories about himself and the people of Saignon.

His house is glorious. A joining of 3 small houses that is seamless inside. There are two small terraces from one of which this was shot. What a view over Saignon.

Gary's garage

This is the day we met Gary, from across the way. This is a garage that he was trying to set up so as to fit a car and firewood and all of his tools.

We met talked and he invited us over for some wine and hors d'oeuvres that evening.

Rose Cottage lunch, by way of The Soup Bowl

Here is one of our lunches. Carol and Harvey made a huge bowl of Gazpacho from a cookbook sold by an old restaurant in Middlebury, VT that we all used to love.

There was enough left for a second lunch along with baguettes from Christine's, tomatoes from Coustellet market and sausages from the Saignon organic market.

Put all of that with a lovely little Cotes de Ventoux and you're in heaven.

Solveig kitty

We were out for dinner at Solveig, our favorite local restaurant, when this cat got up next to me. He is owned by the chef and was very friendly and well-behaved.

We have two black cats and this one was just like Bugsy, our male.

Wedding party, in front of the fountain, Saignon

This was yet another of the four weddings and I couldn't resist getting this group shot. Those little girls were soon running all over the square.

Wedding, Saignon

We were sitting at Christine's, when a wedding exploded out of the church, just up the street.

Having been a wedding photographer, I bolted out of my chair to take a few pictures.

The church and the area are so picturesque that people come from all over to get married here.

This was the first of four weddings this Saturday.

Squashes, Apt market

Apt Market

Here is a view of the market later in the morning, when half of the Luberon descends upon Apt.

Apt market

I include this mainly because our shadows are the two on the pavers and Carol is on the left.

Cheese vendor, Apt market.

Carol was our official cheese buyer. She always goes to the vendor who has the most local business.

This vendor sold only Tommes from cows milk. Tomme is a rinded semi-soft cheese that melts in your mouth.

Radishes, Apt market.

Paella, ready to go, Apt market

This was wonderful!

Encornet, Apt

This is the squid stew. Anything this color has to be good to eat.

Paella purveyor, Apt

For all you travelers out there, here is a small piece of advice. Learn the language, including local dialects and bring a dictionary or computer.

If I had researched what this stand was selling I would have tried two other of his offerings. We did try the Paella, which was great. The Accras are fritters that are a Provencale specialty. The Gardiane de Taureau is a rich beef stew and the encornets are stuffed and stewed squid.

Actually I would have tried all three of the others. Next year!

Baskets

Once more, Harvey and Carol decided to exhibit their market basket collection. Talk about conspicuous consumption!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wine with our neighbor.

Across the square from us is a recently renovated house. During the first week we could look up in the evening and see a well-appointed kitchen being used to capacity by one or another of the people staying there.

The next week the owner, an Englishman who has lived in the States for some years, was out measuring his garage to see how large a car he could get into it (It's a tiny garage) and still have room and access to winter wood.

We talked and he invited us up for a glass of wine and tour of his house, which is beautiful from top to bottom.

He knows a lot about the people of the town and filled us in about some of the ones we have noticed over our stays. For a town of 1,000 people, Saignon is very interesting and diverse.

A born raconteur, he was great fun to be with.

Melons, Apt market

More Cavaillon melons. Just lovely light this day.

Apt, market day

This is taken early in the day as the market is being set up.

Group shot! 2

Harvey and Carol's little tripod came to the rescue again. Here is the setup, followed by the cross-square sprint.

Organic market.

Saignon has a relatively new organic market. Saucissons, soap, veggies, wine, honey, olive oil etc.We got a little of each.

The second time we went a man recommended a wild growing vegetable that he said made a wonderful green salad. To our palates, with a lovely vinaigrette, it tasted like a................weed. Tough and tasteless.

Omelette des Cedres

I just cannot go to Buvette des cedres and avoid ordering one of these omelettes. It is so fresh you want to slap it. Look at those greens.

Buvette des Cedres

After another grueling hike in the Foret des Cedres we HAD to stop at Buvette. This is one of their tartes. The vinaigrette is obviously home made.

Bolognese

This is our dinner on Harvey and Carol's first night. We made up a spaghetti Bolognese half from scratch and fed the tired travelers.

Le Fournil

The restaurant Le Fournil, in Bonnieux, is mentioned in almost every guidebook about Provence. It's also on a lot of Provencale blogs. Apparantly, in the Summer, especially August, a table here is very hard to get.

We barely beat a bike tour to get this table and a great lunch. The rose was top of the line.

Duck

On out night out at Auberge I ordered the duck and Janie the fish. My duck was wonderful.

As you can see, in France you are never given a huge volume of food, which is nice. I ate this and a bit of bread and was more than satisfied.

Auberge

We always like to have one meal at the hotel in town, Auberge du Presbytere. It's a little fancier than the other restaurants but the food and service are always good.

We were early enough in the year to sit outside for the first time ever.

Pizza in Apt

Our choice of pizza parlors was confirmed this day.

We have loved Pizzeria O'Grille since first we ate here. We decided to go there at noon one day. We barely got a table before a crowd of local people filled the place.

Love the name too.