Published: December 22nd 2011December 17th 2011
On leaving Jujols we moved onto Provence and to a small town called Apt. On route we stopped in Carcassonne, an old fortified city. Here we continued the village tour and had a chance to see another example of a walled city after Villefranche de Conflent. This really is a town within the walls with its own castle. Once again much of the city was shut for winter but you could imagine how busy it could be. There are so many shops, restaurants and hotels and this is only the old town, the new town has even more.
We did intend to stay here but time allowed for us to get to Avignon for the night. We spent a day here looking through the city, buildings and of course the bridge, Pont Avignon. It was a city we hoped to get to but did not think time would allow so a bit of a bonus.
Our house in Apt once again was another highlight. A huge old farmhouse we had to ourselves. It had so much character, the tiles floors were worn but still beautiful, the stair showed so much wear, just like some of the old
stone steps in the villages we had visited and the garden came out of the movies, covered in autumn leaves.
The village tour continued and we covered Gordes, Roussillon, Menerbes, Cavaillon, Murs, Venasque, as well as other we drove through or past. These are all amazing villages but did not capture me like those in the Pyrenees. We did make it to a couple of markets and found some great bread and cheese but once again the places were often closed and the villages seemed to lose a lot of their atmosphere. Bruce the tom tom does find some wonderful and interesting shortcuts, places we would never normally find. Sometimes I think he forgets we are in a nine seater van but fun they can be.
Apt township itself is a busier centre and has a big market day on Saturday. This market takes over the streets and alleyways and you could do your food shopping, have lunch, coffee and a drink while picking up a few presents on the way. Nice way to spend a lazy Saturday.
Beside the house was a lake and sporting facilities which kept the kids amused for many hours. The owner
of the house also left some bikes for the kids. This did give them a break from “not another village”. Jo’s continued statement is “whats so special about a village, its streets and houses, WOW.”
For a change from the village crawl, we decided to head to the Mediterranean. We found ourselves I a little coastal town called Cassis, just east of Marseilles, on its market day and its Marche de Noel. The weather was not suitable for a dip in the sea and the locals were securing their boats while the waves were crashing over the lighthouse. Despite this the three girls insisted on removing their socks ans shoes and dipping their feet in the Mediterranean, much to the amusement of some locals. We had an amazing lunch, in satisfaction, in flavour, in variety, in setting, in atmosphere, and in value. We did not want to leave.
From here we headed to Lyon for another soccer match. I stayed home with Oliver and Bella who was encouraged not to go….. The game was good I am told. Ian and the kids will tell you more.
I must say Provence is a beautiful spot. It is not
my favourite but still amazing. I do think that the impact of the area was tainted as I loved the Pyrenees so much that it would have been hard to match. We will see what the Dordogne brings.
There are more photos below