Another charming provencal village perched up a hill, it is a good coffee stop on the 30kms convoluted journey we are taking up to Gordes," the most beautiful village of France"
But before we get there, I suggest we take a detour south to the northern slope of the Luberon mountain and visit one of the most striking place in the area: Oppede-le-Vieux.
Oppede is a - sad - reminder of the religious wars that ravaged the South of France during the Inquisition, as it was almost completely destroyed in the process. It was then bought by a private investor, partially restored and on sold to other people! Quite an amazing story.
I have spent hours there as a kid, playing hide and seek with my sister, and being told off by our parents, as some hiding places might hide you forever...scary thought, but how much fun to have!
Oppede le Vieux
Gordes - the most beautiful French village
Gordes has a special place in my heart, as my grandfather used to own a house there - the second on the left when you enter the village from the south, right after the turn to Senanque - and it has been the set of many adventures and good family fun around a well stocked table. My grandmother was a great cook, and I learnt a lot from her, and later from my mother on how to cook great simple, tasty southern fare.
We could buy a whole tray of the best peaches I ever had for a mere 50 francs, that's about ten dollars!
Abbaye de Senanque
Lavender field at the Abbaye of Senanque
A pure roman beauty, the Senanque Abbey used to be full of life in my youth, and we had a special access to the community of monks there, as my grandfather was their official photographer for a while.
He was paid in Senancole, the liqueur the monks used to brew out of all the herbs that grow in the "tousque" around the hills surrounding the Abbey.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
A link here for our non-metric readers: