The weekend that was

The weekend was a good one!  All together now:  afternoon road trips in Provence!

I told D that I was going stir-crazy.  I love his parents; I think they’re swell.  And really, they’re wonderful people.  I was slowly going insane with our routine of breakfast-work-lunch-work-dinner-digestif-bed routine.  I’m being serious here.  Yes, I know everyone follows a similar routine and perhaps I shouldn’t complain because I’m in Provence…  But I needed to get away, if only for a walk to the Super U across the street.

So, get away we did!  On Thursday afternoon, we took the scenic route from Coustellet to Nîmes to see Les Arènes de Nîmes, of which there is only one which may make you wonder ‘why plural in French?’  I don’t know and putting the question to D got the following answer: “it’s just les arènes“.  No, his answer did not surprise.  It is worth seeing Les Arènes.  As I’d already visited and entered The Colosseum in Rome we elected to pass this time around.

Les Arènes de Nîmes

Les Arènes date back to the end of the 1st century AD and, according to the official website, it “is a perfect illustration of the degree of perfection attained by Roman engineers”.  Hmm…

After a several happy moments of touristy photo taking, we stopped at a restaurant facing the amphitheatre.  It was time for a cold drink — diabolo menthe s’il vous plaît — before hitting the old town.  The old part of Nîmes is lovely, as old towns can be, and it was easy to get around.

We took the highway back to Coustellet via Avignon.  En route, I got my first real glimpse of Mont Ventoux; more below.  Back ‘home’ in Coustellet, it was time for apéro and then dinner and the end to a wonderful Thursday.

Friday proved to be a relaxing day too.  D had a few calls to make/take before calling it a day.  We decided to head east this time and stay within sight of the Luberon.  Before I go any further, here’s a trivia question for you: what do designer Pierre Cardin and the Marquis de Sade have in common?    

What do Pierre Cardin and the Marquis de Sade have in common?

Yes, yes, there’s a link between these two famous French men.  

The answer is found in Lacoste.  No, no, not the Lacoste with the cute crocodile (although we did see a crocodile albeit through the window of Pierre Cardin’s atelier).  I’m talking about this Lacoste.    

Wikipedia says that Lacoste is best known for its most notorious resident, Donatien Alphonse François, comte de Sade.  In the late 18th century, the marquis lived in the château overlooking the village.

Remains of the château

While imprisoned at La Bastille, on 2 July 1789 he reportedly shouted out to the crowd outside the prison stating that the prisoners were being killed inside the prison.  This caused a petit riot and he was subsequently transferred out of the prison 2 days later.  Yes, the marquis missed being liberated during the storming of La Bastille on 14 July 1789 by 10 days.  But don’t despair too much for the marquis, he was released from prison the following year.  

Looking up at the former château

Lacoste is an easy village to get around.  We parked at the base of the village; there’s a parking lot at the top of the hill near the château.  The view from the top is gorgeous with a view of Mont Ventoux.  If you’re into the Tour de France like I am you are already familiar with this beast.  We had a clear and unobstructed view of this ‘Giant of Provence’.  

Mont Ventoux in the distance

D and I decided to head back for apéro with les parents.  On the way, we stopped a couple of times to take a few more photographs.  

Sunflowers!

Vineyard with the Mont Ventoux in the distance

Saturday and Sunday were stay at home days.  D did some much-needed plumbing and electrical work.  Me?  I pretended to help D while reading Hugh Laurie’s latest book.  There was also the pool too.  It was calling my name.  And I answered the call!

Today was uneventful but we did receive confirmation that our furniture arrives in Marseille on Wednesday.  We’ve decided to have our stuff delivered on Tuesday (a week tomorrow).  Yippee!  D contacted the real estate agent to confirm our meeting at our apartment on Monday.  Between now and then it’s just work, work, work!

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Categories: getting out

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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4 Comments on “The weekend that was”

  1. August 3, 2010 at 8:38 AM #

    I hear you about the road trip; we’ve got just about the same routine going on over here..but now we’ve added digestif -go to the beach-bed…a bit of variety!
    Looks like you had a wonderful time & your shots of the countryside are beautiful (really love the one with the sunflowers).
    And what a fascinating character that Marquis de Sade, all that drama & intrigue..ah, the French…
    a bientot!

  2. August 3, 2010 at 9:52 PM #

    Some nice photos you have taken there Tanya! It’s lovely to break the “train-train” and get out and explore, just an afternoon makes a big difference!

    I wish I got out more, France is such a great country with so many diverse places, history and culture all there awaiting. But, here I am back from Corsica for only 3 days and all it’s been is work, work, work… Not even a dip in the pool!

    Le Mont Ventoux is a place I have often admired from the motorway but never got up close with. I’ll have to look up Lacoste, I’m headed down to the Beaux-Parents later this week for a short break and am looking for things to do 🙂

    Excellent news ref furniture, a week today!!

    • August 4, 2010 at 11:01 AM #

      Thanks Piglet! It’s easy to take nice photos when the scenery is this lovely. And it was great to get out. I think I was just tired of speaking French all day, every day. Yes, I know…I’m in France.

      The villages around the Luberon are gorgeous and easy to get around. Just be sure to wear good walking shoes. We drove through Lacoste 2 years ago on our way to Oppede-le-Vieux and Christmas 2008 we visited Bonnieux. Both are villages worth seeing.

      That shrill “eeek” you probably can hear is just me getting all excited about the move! I cannot wait!!!

  3. August 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM #

    It looks lovely, Tanya. And yippee! The furniture is coming. Around here, I consider that a minor miracle!. I too have spend a lot of time running around Provence with my visitors and I never run out of things to photograph. The color of the sky is brilliant right now and the vines are so green they don’t even look real. Good luck in the coming weeks. I’ll be thinking about you.

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