Tag Archives: Luberon

Bonnieux: Flora

One afternoon I decided to take a small mysterious-looking trail up to this ruin on the hill behind town.

ruin

I’m still not sure what the ruin is of, perhaps I should have asked some of my friends at Les Terrasses that, but it never came up.  Some sort of fortification against invasion from the middle ages?  Perhaps.  On the way up the hill I found some pretty wildflowers.

flora1

flora2

flora3

Apparently the wildflowers of the Luberon are the best in May.  Next time, next time.

ruin2

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

So Much To Catch Up On…Nothing To Do But Start At The Beginning…

Can it be that I’ve only been in the south for three days?  It feels like a lifetime.  On Wednesday we woke up very, very early and took a taxi to Gare de Lyon, a very beautiful Paris train station in which zero of the automated kiosks work at printing e-tickets purchased with a U.S. credit card on the internet.  After using up our lengthy hour of leeway time for such an emergency that I never really believed would take place (but did), I managed to get our tickets re-printed and we boarded the TGV for Marseille.

We arrived in Marseille in one piece, and even found the shuttle at the Marseille train station that takes you to the Marseille airport, where our car had been reserved (not without having to wait in several lines…one in which the Frenchman behind us got so annoyed with waiting that he cut us and ran up to the window only to be shut down by his own countryman, whereupon he commenced to complain about the French to us in English–how horrible and stupid they are…then he rode the same shuttle bus as us and when we disembarked wished us good luck with the assholes).

Once at the Marseille airport, the rental car was no problem.  Aside from both having developed a full-blown flu, we were super excited to get on the road.  We didn’t want to go back to Marseille (even for Bouillabaisse) since the town is south of the airport, so we decided we would eat lunch in Aix; a/k/a our first error.  Aix was BESIEGED and an absolute nightmare.  We ended up being forced into a subterranean parking garage that my husband later described as a trip through his nightmarish subconscious, and in doing so stalled the manual transmission many times and scraped some paint off the side of the car (the jetlag, the jetlag).  My husband kept on saying, “it’s O.K. honey, neither of us is very good at driving stick,” [all the while never offering to drive and ignoring the fact that I learned to drive on a vintage 325i with the worst clutch in the history of man].  But I was so exhausted and flu-ish I didn’t even remember to get annoyed at this.  After the worst niçoise salad I’ve ever tasted, we managed not only to make it out of Marseille but onto the freeway and into the “petit Luberon,” not by using the Michelin directions I had printed off the internet, but by using simply “the force” as I. calls it.

We arrived in Lourmarin, the town in which my maternal grandmother inhabited for the last twenty or so years of her life.  There are so many new buildings that the town was virtually unrecognizable to me upon arrival, but the surroundings remain beautiful.  We found the road to Vaugines, and then our hotel, the Mas de Guilles, a beautiful and converted farm house.  The woman who greeted us was very hospitable and showed us to our room.  I scanned the perimeter and wondered…where is the climatiseur…the air conditioning that was the sole criteria of my hotel search?  I asked, “Excuse-moi, ou est le climatiseur…?” “Oh madame, vous reservez le chambre ‘charme’ et le climatiseur est seulement en le chambres ‘deluxes’…but…I emailed with the owner who confirmed that the room had air conditioning…

but hey, lest we forget the words of our wise friend– “good luck with the assholes, et bons vacances!”

to be continued…

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sud de France

Recently, when I think about how I would rather not go to work, tomorrow, this week, for the month of February, or ever, I browse vacation rentals in the Luberon.  Tonight’s pipe dream is a little studio near/in Roussillon.  Humble, but a very livable love nest if you ask me.  

When I was in 6th grade we wrote weekly essays that we would sometimes be called upon to read aloud in front of the class.  No one believes me, but I was shy till a certain age, and feared beyond any fear having to stand and read my essay.  One week, when we had been assigned to write about a vacation or far away place, I was called upon to read.  My essay was about the vibrantly colored chalky hills of Roussillon–literally bright red, ochre, and sometimes purple–which I visited when staying with my grandmother in nearby Lourmarin.  

hotel-roussillon-provence-01

My teacher accused me of lying and publicly admonished me for fabricating a fiction when the assignment was autobiography.  Had it been nine or ten years later I might have argued my teacher, armed with conceptual art theory and said something like, “and what exactly do you propose is the difference?!”  But since I hadn’t gotten to Marcel Duchamp and John Cage yet, I had to quietly nurse my humiliation through the weekend (essay reading was always on Friday) until Monday when I triumphantly returned to class with a postcard bearing an image of Roussillon’s hills and was vindicated.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized