Wednesday, June 2, 2010

France day 6 : We left early after breakfast to drive to Malaucene and then up Mont Ventoux, of Tour de France fame. 1912 metres, 21 ks uphill with gradients in some places which meant I could only drive in 1st gear - and of course cyclists galore of all ages. Talk about a challenge, one hell of a hill, very sweaty stuff. The triumphant beames on the faces of the cyclists who reached the top without stopping meant you couldn't stop smiling yourself.

The views from the top across vast tracks of Provence you could wax lyrical about for days, on a clear day you can see all the way to Corsica.

Lunch today was a drippy cheese and baguette wine picnic in the lovely village of Sault over looking lavender fields and then a coffe and a meander around yet another drop dead gorgeous village hanging off a hill.

Dinner tonight a quick sunset stroll away to the local 13 C fortified hilltown, on a lovely terrace overlooking the valley. Incredible food.

France day 5: Took my guests for our picnic in Provence. Tables set with colourful French linen and wonderful ceramics in a vineyard set high above a beautiful pink Provencal village. Our hosts the vineyard owners. Drinking the wines from the grapes at arms length and feasting on delicious local fare. Eggplant pate, roasted tomatoes, ratatouille, amazing cheeses, strawberries that tasted like they did when we were kids.

We wandered back to the villa again through the vines in the soft afternoon sun with glorious views across the plains of the Cote du Rhone. Just a touch fabulous....

Dinner in the soft evening light included melon and proscuitto, local terrines and the ubiquitous cheeses almost dripping off the plate.