I hope you enjoyed your evening at the Abbaye de Sainte Croix, as I would recommend you stay there for at least another night, and explore the countryside east of Salon de Provence.
And to shed the calories of last night dinner, why not taking a walk to the near by Val de Cuech. It used to be completely isolated from the city and be very wild and quiet. It is now quite built up and if the wind blows in the wrong direction, you will hear the noise from the A6 freeway, but it is still a charming bit of countryside, worthy of the exercise!
Let's embark on our day trip and you may want to stop at Aurons or just look at it from the road up to Vernegues.
Vernegues was destroyed by an earthquake in 1909, and the remains of the castle which used to dominate the village has since been a fabulous plaground for children and parents alike. I have bben there so often that it feels like I own the place!
Our next stop, Lambesc, was the epicentre of that earthquake, evaluated at a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale. Lambesc was completely destroyed in the process and damage occured as far as Salon and Aix, but only 46 people died in trhe process, although most people would have been in bed by the time it happened, as there was no television. Maybe some would have lingered at the local cafe for a late drink as it was June and warm.
Maybe our next stop, Rognes, would be a good place for lunch at Le Piano Gourmand
Eguilles offers a fabulous view of the "chaîne de l'étoile", "l'Etang de Berre" and the famous Mount Sainte-Victoire behind Aix.
Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the old village nestled at the foot of its 17th century castle.
You will come across beautiful houses, ancient communal washing areas made out of stone that has bleached over time and make sure you see the majestic Paul Odobez clock which has been keeping time for more than 131 years.
If you are travelling with children, then you need to rush towards La Barben, where another old castle awaits you and a very nice little zoo hidden away in the garrigue. It used to be a fbulous place after lunch in the village, where, as children, we were suddenly left to our own devices as the parents would continue their geri important adult conversations...
We will then drive leisurely back to Salon via Lancon and then stop for tea or later for a "pastis" at a bar near "La Fontaine Moussue" in the centre of Salon, before retiring to the Abbaye de Sainte Croix for a light dinner and a good sleep or you could try another institution near by: Francis Robin at the Mas du Soleil, my parents "cantina"!
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Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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