So we ensconced ourselves in an apartment in a 16th century building, up one flight of a spiral staircase. Lovely big bedroom with traces of stucco decoration in what was a semi-oval room, huge dining table (and we live at tables, reading, writing, using the laptop, eating; it is our preferred space); spare bed room/sitting room, more than workable kitchen, washing machine, good bathroom. The loo is off the kitchen/laundry rather than the bedroom but fine to get to. A/C and heating too and lots of things hidden in cupboards. The undulating 16th century floor was rather a surprise but we quickly got used to it. The apartment is in a cul de sac, so private.There is no view or outside terrace but plenty of living space. No guaranteed parking. http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/l-isle-sur-la-sorgue/168611
Downside was the wifi was unexpectedly stuffed by Orange and was not reinstated during our stay, despite the best efforts of the people on the spot. We used the local Cafe de France or the Tourist Office but it was an annoyance, especially as we had banking to do and a brand new grandson born in Australia to follow up on.
Having been three times to the area in the past, it wasn’t going to be new discoveries but revisiting old favourites in the main. The rest of the first day was buying our groceries (local SPAR very close, local boucherie/traiteur excellent), settling in and choosing a restaurant for lunch and the evening meal. We ate at L’Isle o Delice for lunch where a Provencale assiette was just the light food needed. For the evening we chose L’Art de Vivre and had a lovely meal with good service. The next day was spent reacquainting ourselves with the town, visiting the OTT Collegiate church with its baroque decoration, walking along the canals and back streets and trying to settle the wifi problem using on the spot troubleshooters who could at least talk to Orange in French. We also adopted the iconic Café de France as our local bar, not only because it has good beer and café crème but because it has free wifi.
Old porch house facades
Tromp l’oeil wall
Cast iron bracket
Dead vine patterns a wall
Then Sunday was market day. We got in nice and early and sussed out the prices and quality of cheeses, salads, gorgeous strawberries, melons, raspberries, cherries, lettuce, tomatoes, bread, terrine, lavender honey and wine, and of course a rotisseried chicken, all of which we bought. Alas, no flowers though they are at the Thursday markets! I recall huge bunches of roses in front of Cafe de France last trip and had dreams of filling the apartment. That will have to wait for Paris where I can buy paeonies again. Chook and salad for dinner with raspberries and raspberry fruit paste @ E69/kilo. I bought a very thin slice indeed but it was delicious.
Part of the mine
| The Kiss|
We followed this with Tarascon Castle, a mighty fortress on the Rhone. We had stopped there before but never entered more than the garden level. It towers over the town and I am proud to say we managed to get to the top and view the landscape from the terrace there. Mostly Renaissance in concept, it had comfortable rooms, but was also used as a prison, and there are prison graffiti. There are no furnishings now, but some descriptions of what was there before. The tiled floors and huge fireplaces give some idea of the grandeur. Well worth the visit and the climb was good for our cardio-pulmonary systems. I needed Nick’s photos here. my camera having died valiantly in the Quarries of Light.
Plan of the castle
The medieval gardens
The bulk of the castle
The castle from the internal gardens
The spiral stair we climbed
Proof: the view from the top
Next post: L’Isle part 2