Sunday, July 6, 2008

Provence!


What could be better than spending a week in Provence? Spending it with super fun friends in a chateau that had started being built in the 8th century!

I do feel incredibly lucky. We have wonderful friends who invited us to spend some time in Chateauneuf de Gadagne where they had rented an amazing chateau in years past. And when I say chateau I do mean it in the most medieval, French, palatial and stunning sense of the word! WOW!

We took a beautiful train ride down from Paris with our roommates for the week and rented cars in Avignon- just 20 minutes from our town. Well 20 minutes if you have GPS or are a French highway mind reader maybe! Armed with maps and directions it took us 3 hours to shop at the Carrefour for provisions and drive 11 km to our chateau. Oh well...... we were ready for cocktails once we loaded in!

Our village sat upon a hill giving you amazing views of the Rhone Valley that changed daily with the light. Some days you would notice red steeples, other days you'd see white cliffs and others you'd see many many castles and chateaus like ours.

There were 23 of us total, divided up into 3 main "houses"- ours downstairs and the old wine cellar was near the beautiful gardens and gorgeous pool. I really can't say enough about how amazing the chateau was and the pictures can't really do it justice. I was incredible being around such ancient architecture!
We were really lucky to be in the area on a Sunday when the awesome l'Isle Sur la Sorgue market happens. During the morning the entire town is set up with farmers and crafts stalls then they pack it up in the afternoon allowing you to have a nice lunch and shop the amazing antique shops that the village also has. People come from all around to this market and you can get just about anything here. We bought lots of sausages, cheese and herbs from various vendors but none of us got a slice of this roasted stuffed suckling pig!



This town was so lovely, we had a great time walking around exploring until we realized that it was Sunday and we hadn't picked up any wine and it is very hard to find wine shops open on Sunday! After much searching and asking around we finally located quite an amazing selection at the local gas station mini mart. Only in France would you find aged Bordeaux at the gas station!