|Subject: South of France - 2|
After playing in the sun on the coast, we're heading north. On the N7
west of Aix we pass some familiar favorites - several large outdoor
selling Materiaux Ancien. Fascinating place, with huge ancient gates,
stone lions, pedestals, mantlepieces, cherubs. By this time, they're closed
- but we couldn't take any of this stuff home on the plane anyway! Wonderful
to look at, though.
Stopped in Lourmarin, a charming village, full of fountains, lovely facades,
flowers tumbling out of windowboxes and over stair railings. Had a quick
(for Europe!) light dinner at La Ratelier, a pizzeria. Seating outside
by a pretty fountain, or inside under an arched stone ceiling.
Drove on to Bonnieux, another beautiful village, this one tumbling down
a hill crowned by a church. We round the corner after the last of several
hairpin turns over the mountains, and catch our breaths at the view of
the town silhouetted in the rosy pink sunset - superb! What a wonderful
first glimpse of lovely Bonnieux - unforgettable!
Our B &B is outside of town - we're arriving later than we had intended,
and take a few wrong turns before arriving at 10 pm. Driving along a dirt
road surrounded by neat rows of grapevines, we round a curve and there
it is -an old stone Provençal farmhouse of dreams - pale blue shutters,
rows of lavender leading to the door, pale pink roses clambering up beside
Angel and Françoise Escobar, our gracious hosts, show us the breakfast
room, sitting area, and enticing terraced gardens sloping down to a pool,
then give us the key to our room.
An arched glass door leads into the cozy space, simply but comfortably
furnished, and graced with vivid examples of Françoise' artwork. We promptly
discover the highlight of this charming haven - a vintage window set low
into the bathroom wall affords a magnificent panorama of the Vaucluse
uplands, with Mont Ventoux towering beyond. This window is perfectly
to enjoy the view while soaking in the quaint clawfoot bathtub. Let's
see, how many baths can we take on this trip?
This place came highly recommended by Ziner Susie in Massachussetts -
and are we thankful for her suggestion!
After breakfast the next morning, as we walked around the lovely grounds
and checked out the pool, Kirk noticed some black cherries on the ground
- yes, there's a cherry tree over our heads. And it's just the right season
- the tree and those in the lot next door are loaded with ripening cherries.
Fresh, delicious fruit free for the picking whenever we wanted.