Two weeks in Provence – Day 2 – Up with the lark and a day on the bike

This morning I woke even before the cockerel started crowing & was sat outside with a coffee at 6am watching the sun ease its way down the face of the Petit Luberon, behind the house. It was a stunning morning with bright blue skies and a gentle breeze, so I decided that a day of pottering around the area on the bike seemed like a good plan.

Early sun creeping down the Luberon

Early sun creeping down the Luberon

By 9 am I was on my way into L’Isle Sur La Sorgue for its wonderful Sunday market, which I have mentioned many times before. As I cycled through the lanes towards the town it was great to see that the Veloroute du Calavon has now been extended beyond Coustellet towards Cavaillon and it looks as if it will soon be fully open.

New stretch of the Veloroute du Calavon towards Cavaillon looking almost ready to open

New stretch of the Veloroute du Calavon towards Cavaillon looking almost ready to open

This is a wonderful off-road, fully tarmaced trail that allows you to cycle peacefully along the valley floor, with great views and easy access to all the main hilltop villages and I can’t wait for it to be opened up all the way through.

As I cycled towards Lagnes the fields were full of cherry trees, with their branches weighed down with beautiful ripe fruits and the air was scented with all types of wild herbs and flowers – I had forgotten how delightful it is to cycle this area.

Cherry trees near Lagnes

Cherry trees near Lagnes

Even by 9.45 the market was buzzing with people, but I headed straight to the centre of the old town for breakfast. I know there are many other cafes with lovely views over the river, but I love to soak up the atmosphere of the market as I sit with a coffee and croissant, whilst watching the world go about its business.

Sometimes the simplest breakfasts are the best

Sometimes the simplest breakfasts are the best

After breakfast it was time to potter around the market – I must admit it was a bit strange on my own, but I did appreciate having the time just to go at my own pace and linger over stalls that really caught my attention. Thinking about it now the strangest thing was buying just enough food for 1 , somehow the amounts I was buying didn’t seem quite right as generally we have to buy for a family of 4, but I later, when I got back on the bike I realised that I should have been grateful for this.

Beautiful colours of these old syphons in the Brocante at L'Isle sur la Sorgue

Beautiful colours of these old syphons in the Brocante at L’Isle sur la Sorgue

As ever I spent a good deal of time around the brocante stalls, being drawn to one after another by some really beautiful things – at least this time I avoided buying anything that would:

  1. Be too heavy to carry on the back of the bike
  2. Be seen as a potential ‘dangerous item’ by a diligent Customs’ officer (previous blog ‘Impulse Buys and Airports don’t mix’ refers)

However I did find myself rummaging through a large tray of delightful old glass chandelier pieces and drops, finding a few to bring home to my jewellery workbench – the 6 pieces didn’t break the bank, costing just 10 euros.

Beautiful old drops from glass chandeliers

Beautiful old drops from glass chandeliers

After leaving the market I cycled through the lanes again to Fontaine de Vaucluse, to sit by the river for lunch (olives, tomatoes & fougasse bought from the market) and to take a walk up to the source, which has dropped considerably since I last visited.

Fontaine de Vaucluse

Fontaine de Vaucluse

The small village was very busy, with the well-worn trail to the source seeing a steady stream of visitors. As ever though it was a lovely place to stop – there is something really charming about the village with the sound of the river spilling through its centre and the vivid colours of the weeds below its surface.

The vivid greens of Fontaine de Vaucluse

The vivid greens of Fontaine de Vaucluse

After passing an hour or so in the village I decided that rather than head straight back to the house I would cycle on to Gordes, with the excuse of having an ice-cream. This was when I really appreciated not having bought more at the market as I suddenly realised how much harder it is to cycle a bike uphill with 2 relatively full panniers – the final ride up to Gordes was not the easiest and I certainly felt I’d deserved the ice-cream by the time I got there.

A quick stop at the viewpont overlooking Gordes after the climb up to the vilage

A quick stop at the viewpont overlooking Gordes after the climb up to the vilage

As ever, the village looked beautiful in the afternoon sun and the views across the valley back towards the Luberon and on towards Apt and Saignon were stunning and uncluttered, certainly worth the ride and eventually I had to drag myself away for the relatively easy & fast downhill back to the house at Maubec, and a glass of chilled rose.

Supper and a much enjoyed glass of rose

Supper and a much enjoyed glass of rose

So all in all I have enjoyed my first full day here on my own – I certainly miss being able to share the little things that easily get forgotten later, (like the young couple I saw in Fontaine de Vaucluse and later again in Gordes dressed in full wedding attire & taking photos of themselves)……..

Wedding attire in Fontaine de Vaucluse

Wedding attire in Fontaine de Vaucluse

………but I did enjoy feeling able to go round the market at my own pace and change my plans when I wanted to, something I usually really struggle to do.

So time now to think about what to do tomorrow – after today it’s likely to include a market & a cycle ride, but perhaps even those plans may change …..

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One thought on “Two weeks in Provence – Day 2 – Up with the lark and a day on the bike

  1. This is better than going ‘to the foreign’ (as my Nana would have said) myself
    I can taste the breakfast. Enjoy.
    X

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