Road trip through Provence
(And some other places)
We rented a car at Geneva airport, checked that the buttons were where they were supposed to be, and then set off for L'Ardeche and its gorges.
Motion sickness notwithstanding, the view from the next bend on the road was more impressive than the last. Also impressive were the canoeists braving the bracing waters.
Then Provence, where we basically stopped when we felt like it, or when the name of the next village on the map sounded like something I'd read in Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. The best discovery was the first, at Ansouis.
Unlike the villages we visited before and after, this one was surprisingly devoid of commerce, or indeed anything open during their lunch break of 12.30 - 4.00pm. The buildings are so close to each other and the lanes so narrow we caught snippets of conversation and whiffs of lunch as we walked by.
More grand was Roussillon, with its red earth, heaps of tourists and minimum 3€ parking fee.
Another lovely village perched on a hill is Gordes, where we splurged on a nice hotel.
One of the benefits of travelling at the beginning of April, despite its coinciding with Easter holidays, is how few other tourists there are, which made for quiet, leisurely days on the whole. But it also brings rather wet and grey weather at times, as when we were in Cassis. It's famous for its coves, which you can hike around all the way to Marseille. Not an option in the pouring rain!
The last couple of days were spent in Lyon. There's something about a city that has two rivers running through it, and loads of bars on boats.
And most importantly, good food and wine from the region to go with it.
Ahh... the food. I woke up every morning looking forward to yet another 3 or 4 course meal, whether in a bistro, restaurant, or prepared at home. The steady procession of aperitif, entree, main course, cheese and dessert makes the ritual of eating so pleasurable, so decadent, that in a way I'm glad that the holidays are over, and my cholesterol can return to pre-holiday levels.