Monday, July 11, 2011

Provence - Day 3

The plan for the day was to explore some new towns and villages in the area of Luberon. Now, Luberon is most famous for its amazing countryside with big Lavender fields. It also has one of the most spectacular hill top villages. So, we started the day heading towards the town called Gordes. But on the way to Gordes, we stopped at a village called Lourmarin. We spotted an antique market being set up that day with some stalls of local food. So, we decided to stop over. We tried to explore the village and went through its streets. I was amazed to find a small shop in this small village selling oriental stuff with things from the Fabindia store (India) on its display. We had a coffee at one of the restaurants before heading back to our route. Streets of Lourmarin:

While walking back to our car, we came across a huge square where there was some kind of a Porsche owner's get together. Porsches from old to new were standing there shining away in their glory, making any man go weak in his knees.

We reached the town of Gordes around noon. It is a small village on top of a cliff facing the Luberon valley. The Romans built a fortified castle there in the 11th century which still exists. A small village started developing around it but over the years it was lost and attained attraction by tourists only in the 1960s. There is a fountain in the village square near he castle entrance which they say was the only source of water till the 1960s.

We went through the village streets and explored the beautiful small village with amazing views of the green valley. Some snapshots from Gordes:

After lunch, we headed on to visit the next village called Roussilon (Vaucluse). On the way we had some amazing views of the countryside and with the weather Gods having mercy on us, the views were accompanied by super weather. A trip to Provence is incomplete without a visit to a Lavender farm. So, on the way we found one and no matter what, we had to stop and take some pictures. Once we stopped at this roadside farm, many other tourists also started stopping to take pictures and soon it was like a mini carnival there. Some photos of Lavender fields with a castle in the backdrop were simply out of this world.

After reaching the village of Roussillon, I was pretty much spell bound. I think this is my favorite place on the complete trip. It was a small village again, perched on top of a cliff overlooking the valley. It always amazed me thinking how these small remote villages sustained themselves over such a long time. Moreover, they are more or less totally unharmed from the new modern construction and preserved like they had ever looked. Here is a look at the village from the car park:

The village of Roussillon overlooks the unique Ochre mountain which is red in color. This was the special thing of this place. We decided to visit it before hitting the village. There is also an Ochre trail which one can follow and we decided to walk along it. It was quite amazing to see the color of the earth changing after every few steps on this hill. At some places the color was as yellow as turmeric and few meters from there it was red like blood. It was pretty amazing to see such shades of mother earth. The pictures above and below were actually hardly 200 meters apart.

After returning from the trail we were a little hungry and some of us needed the coffee kick. So, it was the best time to check out the village which also had some traditional eateries. The view of the valley from some places in the village was breathtaking. And the village itself was pretty nice. Like I said before, Roussillon was my favorite place on this trip to Provence. Some shots of the village below:

Lets see if anyone can guess the small thing near the window in the photo above.

No comments: