Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are they completely mad?

Cycling is the most popular sport in France. And the roads around the Luberon are perfect for all levels of cycling with wonderful scenery, smooth and level cycle paths and for the more serious biker there are off road trails and  and some challenging hills to climb, the largest and most famous being Mont Ventoux, the land mark for the penultimate day of the tour de France in 2009

The peak of Ventoux looks snow covered all year but it is in fact Granite that gives the white appearance in summer.

Last week we hosted at our gites two of these four gentlemen who took the challenge of cycling up Ventoux, not once, not twice but three times in one day.

On their way up they would pass and acknowledge a cycling hero, Tommy Simpson,  who collapsed and died aged 29, during the Tour de France in 1967

136 km, 4,400 m of climbing, 7h 45 time in the saddle. 

This is Kevin & Sean still smiling and standing at the top after 3 rides up!

Three times up from Bedoin, Malaucene and Sault and then back down to Bedoin gives you membership of the Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux.

And most rewarding views!

Yes that is three fingers! Dr Kevin Gunning , justifiably pleased with himself!
Hats off to them all! 
Four times next year?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


One of the most exciting things about moving to a new country is meeting new people.
We have now been living in the village for approaching six years. And during this time we have been fortunate enough to meet and make friends with a wonderful, colourful and diverse bunch of people.

Naturally we have a number of good English friends, and I am pleased to say French, who are sympathetic to our less than brilliant language skills.
We also have close friends who are Finnish, Swedish, Belgian,  & American creating an interesting discussion point when we get together, especially as we are from all sorts of different work back grounds .

These pictures are from the house of our Swedish friends who have the most exquisite taste.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A visit to Uzes

We have finally made a visit to the town of Uzes, in the Gard.

Taking a route through Avignon and passed the magnificent Pont du Gard (also worth stopping at) it is about 100 minutes drive but well worth it!

The impressive Cathedral .

And something not seen in our own area are the covered arcades which keep the shops cool.
Even before noon the restaurants in the main square are filling fast!

Such a glorious French scene, the square, fountain and plane trees.

And some quite unusual shops!
The town mouse catcher caught napping!
(it was lunchtime)

And if you want to get away from the bustling square it is easy to lose your self in the back streets. 

Certainly a good day out and a town worth visiting.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Total eclipse of the moon!

On Wednesday evening, whilst enjoying dinner with our guests at Le Chene, we witnessed the eclipse of the moon take place.

Caused by the moon rising in the earth's shadow this rare event took place over several hours.

Our clear skies gave a distinct advantage! and great photo opportunity!

Before the full moon was revealed 

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lavender season approaches!

A week or two earlier than normal the lavender is blooming in our garden.

As you approach the deep end of the swimming pool you can enjoy the scent of the lavender

The bees are certainly enjoying the flower creating excellent local honey that we serve to our B&B guests at breakfast.

.Summer in Provence!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecote Holiday weekend

There is no doubt the holiday season has begun!

The Pentecote Holiday weekend. It is incredible how the roads are suddenly full of foreign cars  - Polish, Belgium,Germany, Holland, UK to name but a few. The holiday season is firmly underway!

We visited the market in L'Isle sur La Sorgue which was absolutely Packed! 

As ever there were a wonderful array of items to buy from table ware to Fruit

What do people do?

Many people spend Pentecost Monday quietly in the company of family or close friends. Many people also enjoy a picnic lunch in a park or the countryside. Local sporting or cultural events are held in some small towns and villages. 

Public life

Public life in France is quiet on Pentecost Monday. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed. However, bakeries and some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open.

Frenchman with bagettes and his cakes!

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Some villages and small towns hold sporting or cultural events that may cause some local disruption to traffic. Highways into major towns and cities may be very busy in the late afternoon and evening as people return from vacation.


Pentecost Monday does not hold great religious significance for many people in France in modern times, but was a public holiday until 2005 and again from 2008. The holiday was reintroduced after about 15,000 elderly people died in a heatwave in the summer of 2003. The French government made a commitment to financially support the elderly and people with disabilities by deciding that Pentecost Monday would no longer be a public holiday from 2005 onwards.
The public holiday was replaced with the Day of Solidarity. On this day people worked for no pay. Their wages were collected to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities. However, there were demonstrations and Pentecost Monday became a public holiday again in 2008. The French government introduced other fiscal measures to raise money to support the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A new restaurant recommendation

In the interest of our clients satisfaction we continue to search for good eating establishments!
After a number of our friends have recommended it, we finally ate at La Ferme de la Huppe, just outside Gordes, in the Luberon, Provence.
A great restaurant. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

Our starters, Asparagus two ways including a soft boiled egg.

And Fois Gras, also two ways.
Followed by Turbot with fennel

And for me Veal with seasonal vegetables.

And dessert, a Mango and passion fruit delight!

Karen had a peach Gazpacho

Excellent service, welcome 'nibbles', amuse bouche and petits fours with coffee, also a comprehensive wine list.
A hit and we will be back!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Strange goings on in Sault!

We went to Sault at the weekend where there was some interesting entertainment!

Street art I think they call it!

I wonder who will clear up after?
It certainly drew quite an audience

and further strange sightings!

Just as crazy in my view! on their way up Mont Ventoux.
Earlier in the market at Coustellet we spotted some cherries appropriately named as HelenMary (Stark) was with us. Helenmary and Dave are friends visiting us for a long weekend.

Here they are at the obligatory photo spot overlooking Gordes!

Hot Air Ballooning in Provence

We watched this hot air balloon gently drift past our house at the weekend giving the guests a wonderful birds eye view of the Luberon Valley.

We can arrange hot Air Balloon trips from nearby Roussillon, a perfect trip for a special occasion.

The view from our house of the 'Grand Luberon'