Leisurely exploring the countryside is a treat especially when you have a driver who is
1. A friend 2.Patient 3. Knowledgable !
My driver Margaret is all 3!
Yesterday we explored east of Cotignac finishing at Le Thoronet Abbey near the village of the same name.
But before Le Thoronet we drove through lovely French landscapes. Around each corner is another beautiful scene. There are vineyards, pale ochre coloured houses, dressed with blue shuttered, pencil pines, tractors and hill top towns – that’s if you can stop looking along the curving, narrow roads hoping nothing will come round them!
The views are restful and inspiring at the same time. I feel all creative, like I want to become an artist or writer to capture it all.
We passed through Entrecasteaux with its little one way street with lights telling you wait before proceeding through the town, around the corner and coming across the beautiful big Chateaux.
Then past the little Saint Antonin Du Var , it’s name almost bigger than itself.
Onto Lorgues. We stopped here in this small fortified village – town with its ‘portes’ , ancients stairs, vaulted passages, St Martins church and pretty one way Grand Rue lined with cafes. Coffee creme and a sit in the shade of the lime green umbrella was all we needed.
Past another lovely small village. I blinked and missed its name and its not on the map. But it had a very nice stone bridge over a lovely creek.
Finally to Thoronet and the Abbey on the outskirts of town, beside a small river. A group of monks settled here and in 1170 started work on this abbey. Less than 2 centuries later it had fallen into decline until restoration started in 1841 and continues today.
The large church is big with a vaulted ceiling and its sparse lack of any decoration highlights it’s beautiful shape. The acoustics must be wonderful. They regularly have concerts here and it would be beautiful.
We drove back to Cotignac through Carces, a favourite village visited last time we were here. There are wonderful murals painted on the walls and many little tiles used on the pointed roofs of the old village Churches and buildings.
Back home Margaret and John had a French lesson with Lauren so I went for a walk through the village stopping for a cool drink by the four seasons fountain. It’s a gorgeous fountain and is often used by little and not so little children to splash away the heat of the day.
It’s easy to relax into life in these French Villages. Especially at Rose time. I’ve already mentioned that they drink it like cordial. Perhaps the English describe it well when they say they come to Provence and have to be careful not have ‘death by Rose!’
We visited Mirabeau, a winery started by Stephen and Jeany Cronk. Watch this short Video for mirabeau wines. http://www.mirabeauwine.com/
If this link doesn’t work just google it and it comes as a short you tube
From wine tasting we went to dinner.
But still the night continued – onto the terrace at the top of the Brannocks house. We soaked up: both the wine from Carpe Diem, another very good local winery and the sounds of the Opera singing at the out door theatre just behind the clock tower.
At midnight I lay in bed listening the people walking through the Marie in front of the house on the way home from the concert.
What adventures are in store tomorrow? Keep reading friends.