Thursday, 3 July 2008

Provence - Gordes and Around

After Roussillon we headed over to Gordes, one of the big tourist attraction towns of Provence due to its hilltop location and 15th century architecture.

I think we were a little hilltop-village'd out by the time we got to Gordes, and while it is a lovely town we walked around it only half-heartedly taking photos and having a bite to eat in the shade by the church (another hot day in Provence).

I did, however, manage to find a much sought-after wine carafe in one of the shops there (I tend to become a little obsessive about these things).

We then moved on to the Sénanque Abbey, which we found under seige from tourists (in fact the car park was grid-locked after a bus had bumped into a car and they had parked in the exit to argue it out).

The Abbey is one of those picture-perfect locations, with the old Abbey surrounded by fields of wheat and lavender. We took lots of photos of course, and visited the shop which seemed to take up an entire wing of the Abbey.

It's the sort of place that is on all the tour bus itineraries and we watched the hordes of tourists flow in and out on the tight schedules. It made us happy to have our own car!

Our last stop for the day was at the Village des Bories, which is a village (largely reconstructed) of a type of building that appears all around the Luberon. These buildings give the impression that their makers had figured out how to build a wall and then extrapolated this into house-building. They were tiny and smoky inside.

It was quite interesting to see the conditions under which many farmers must have lived, some of them until surprisingly recently. We headed home, stopping to take photos of lavender and wheat near Saignon, and another fantastic dinner in the village.

All my photos from in and around Gordes are here.

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