A(nother) Day in Provence

This morning, June 1st, we set off to discover more of the hill towns of Provence. Our first stop of the day was for a photo opp looking across at the town of Gordes. Apparently, all roads in the Luberon lead to Gordes.  Having snapped the requisite photos, we moved on the hike and explore more of Provence.

Luberon Hill Towns-57

Luberon Hill Towns-18Luberon Hill Towns-19Luberon Hill Towns-20Luberon Hill Towns-25

Our next destination was on the hillside above the Abbaye de Senanque. If you’ve seen a picture of Provence featuring a church and lavender fields, the likelihood is that it was of the Abbaye.  After centuries, the Abbaye still functions as a monastery, whose monks live a very spartan and silent life.

Luberon Hill Towns-200Luberon Hill Towns-201Luberon Hill Towns-204Luberon Hill Towns-209Luberon Hill Towns-213Luberon Hill Towns-216

We hiked for about an hour to get down into the valley where the Abbaye rests. While we were glad for the exercise, the hike itself wasn’t particularly scenic. However, once we got down to the monastery grounds, the views were very picturesque. We also were able to go inside the chapel briefly, and then visited the monastery gift shop featuring all the products the monks make themselves. Think: lots and lots of lavender products! Sadly, the lavender plants on the grounds were just starting to bloom, but it was exciting to see the first hints of purple showing on the bushes.

Luberon Hill Towns-218Luberon Hill Towns-222Luberon Hill Towns-223

After getting our fill of the Abbaye, our incredibly competent bus driver, Jacques, took us to the little town of Menerbes. This town was made famous by the author, Peter Mayles, as it was the town he and his wife settled into, and that starred in many of his stories.  We had a lovely lunch at a small bistro called Le Veranda.  We had some time to explore, and then it was off to the town of Roussillon.

Luberon Hill Towns-229
Life is indeed beautiful (;a vie eat belle) here in Menerbes!

Luberon Hill Towns-234Luberon Hill Towns-235Luberon Hill Towns-236Luberon Hill Towns-239Luberon Hill Towns-240Luberon Hill Towns-242

Luberon Hill Towns-244Luberon Hill Towns-245Luberon Hill Towns-246Luberon Hill Towns-247Luberon Hill Towns-255Luberon Hill Towns-257

This lovely town is known for its ochre-colored cliffs which we could see from our patio at Le Phebus hotel.  I can assure you that the geologic formations were much more breath-taking and lovely up close!  However, for the second time today, we had a very strenuous hike, so all concluded that it was now time to return to the comforts of Le Phebus.

Luberon Hill Towns-262
Rousillion

Luberon Hill Towns-264Luberon Hill Towns-272Luberon Hill Towns-273Luberon Hill Towns-277

Luberon Hill Towns-279Luberon Hill Towns-281Luberon Hill Towns-287Luberon Hill Towns-289Luberon Hill Towns-291Luberon Hill Towns-292

Luberon Hill Towns-295Luberon Hill Towns-298Luberon Hill Towns-300Luberon Hill Towns-301Luberon Hill Towns-302Roussillon-iPhone-1Roussillon-iPhone-2

Moreover, tonight’s dinner at Le Phebus was widely promised to be the best dinner of the trip. Considering the high caliber of the meals so far, we were clearly captivated by the possibilities! As you can see, our anticipation was fully gratified!

Dinner at Le Phebus-1Dinner at Le Phebus-2Dinner at Le Phebus-3Dinner at Le Phebus-4Dinner at Le Phebus-5Dinner at Le Phebus-8Dinner at Le Phebus-9Dinner at Le Phebus-10Dinner at Le Phebus-13Dinner at Le Phebus-15

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s