NOTE: we have internet issues here at our new place. I'm trying to blog but am having difficulties. So my posts will most likely be delayed for days.
Saturday morning, after the Vernissage, we drove south to Mazan, our home-to-be for several days in Provence. I'm ashamed to say I was surprised to see that the south of France is mountainous. OK, I'm an idiot. I am also surprised to see that the terrain and flora can change so quickly. Oleander blooms in profusion here, almond, walnut and olive groves, vineyards and lavender fields are everywhere. We took the long route, stopping in Baune to picnic.
We arrived at our gites Saturday night around 9:00, brought our luggage to our rooms, then went down to the pool where we dangled our feet in the cool water, sipped wine and munched on cheese, cantaloupe and fois gras. Around 11:00 I slipped away from the group, needing some quiet time. As I lay on my bed I could hear a band playing "Free Bird" blocks away; it's the Fete de Musique today in France. Musicians across France can pull out their guitars or drums or oboes or whatever they play, and they perform on the streets. As I was getting ready to pull out my pajamas, Alice came uo the stairs, "Margaret, do you want to go with us to hear some music?" So Alice, Ann, Kate and I walked in the dark to the little downtown streets and joined the locals. Four bands were playing about one block apart from each other. All bands but one performed American rock & roll or soul. We felt quite at home, and a little amused to hear the mispronounciations.
We sleep with the shuttered windows wide open, no screens, waking up in the morning to the clanging of church bells down the road. After a breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs and croissants, we took a 30 minute drive to a market in Isle sur Sorgue, a charming (what's not charming in France?) town on the Sorgue river where I bought lovely Provençal tablecloths for my daughters. We each had lunch wherever we wanted and raved about it afterwards to each other when we all regrouped for our next stop.
We drove to Fontaine de Vaucluse, the source of the Sorgue River, a tourist attraction. There is a spring in the town for which nobody has ever been able to find the bottom. We climbed the dusty winding path to the top of a mountain (OK, maybe it wasn't a mountain, and maybe flip-flops aren't the appropriate attire) where tired and sweaty tourists gathered around a cave and its deep still spring. The spring creates a rushing river through the town. Its deep, clear, cold water becomes a surrealistic brilliant green from the vegetation growing in the river.
We then went to Roussillon, a town high above the vineyards and olive groves, with cliffs of ocher, where we get the color ocher for our oil paints. Mimi and I met a local artist who sold his landscapes of the area from a little gallery on the winding hill in the town, and I bought a few more souvenirs.
We're 'home' now. It is time now for me to join the others at the pool. Ann keeps telling me I have to get nekkid. There are only two of us here who have never skinny dipped. It ain't gunna happen.