2016 whooshed in like the infamous Mistral wind tears through the Rhône Valley. So fast, I’ve barely had time to take stock of the wonders of 2015. The Modern Trobadors covered a lot of ground in 2015, accompanied by, for the first time, a tour group–affectionately named after this blog–of eight engaging and adventurous people. It was exciting to share our love for this area of France with them, as we strive to do for all our readers with each post. The photos below capture a wee bit of the spirit of this part of Provence. If you want to experience first-hand what you see in the photos,
we are offering three tours in 2016–in June and in September.
We hope your New Year is already off to a wonderous start. Happy New Year, dear readers!
The men in the markets of Provence: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
The men in the markets of Provence: Cucuron
Spice up your life every Friday morning at Lourmarin Market.
Everyone is welcome at the markets in Provence. Here are two chihuahuas in their stroller at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Sunday market.
Penny’s first visit to a market in Provence was Lourmarin’s Friday market. Aww, the aromas!
You just never know who (or what) you will run into while walking in Lourmarin.
Did you know that there are male and female melons? This vendor, on D973 between Lauris and Mérindol, shows her customers the difference.
Angles of repose in Provence.
Tournesols are abundant in Provence in July.
The tiny lanes of the typical village in Provence. Here I am in Cotignac, with Pamela O’Neill. (Yes, cars navigate these roads, too.)
Just a typical scene along the road in the Luberon in the spring.
Lavender fields in the Luberon.
Barry Quick seems very happy with his bottle of Garrus from the tasting room at Château d’Esclans.
Our first wine tasting on The Modern Trobadors tour. Cheers!
One of my very favorite markets in Provence is in the tiny village of Cucuron on Tuesday mornings.
Taking a break from the Cucuron market with Lis Steeden, proprietor of Le Petit Figuier, a B&B in La Roque d’Antheron, along with her daughter (and, of course, Max).
Enjoying lunch at Le Jardin in Mallemort with Carolyn Kauser-Abbott, publisher of Perfectly Provence.
Taking a break in Lourmarin with Walter Geiser who operates Rent Our Home in Provence. (Ask him about renting a vacation home in the Luberon!)
Enjoying café crêmes and croissants with Jamie Ivey, publisher of Provence Guru, and a whole slew of books, including “Extremely Pale Rosé.” (We’re at the Gaby, mais oui!)
Two of our dearest friends, Pierre and Muriel Schott, take a selfie with my daughter and me (and Penny).
Gérard Isirdi, internationally known local painter, whiles away the morning at Café Gaby in Lourmarin.
Marco Vincent, proprietor of Café Gaby, takes a (rare) break at his café.
The Modern Trobadors Tour Group enjoys a fabulous lunch at Michellin-starred l’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle.
Two members of the TMT tour group pose for a photo.
One of the best backdrops for a photo is Gordes. (Thanks for posing, Jody and Stuart!)
A quiet moment at the villa where the TMT tour group stayed.
At Abbaye de Lérins on Saint Honorat Island off the coast of Cannes, the monks who live there make wonderful olive oil and renowned wines.
A 12th-century fortified monastery (stonewalls a meter thick) built by the monks of Abbaye de Lerins on St. Honorat island.
Villa Baulieu, where you can stay and drink wonderful wines made from their vineyards.
The heart of Lourmarin.
Hervé, proprietor of La Maison d’Ingrid, is one of the many friendly shopkeepers in Lourmarin.
The Luberon has a beautiful palette of colors everywhere one looks.
Jacqueline Bricard talks with me in her eponymous La Galerie in Lourmarin. The gallery is filled with captivating naïf–naive–artwork.
Another beautiful morning in the Luberon. (Oh, yawn.)
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque is one of the most photographed scenes in Provence.
Looking for summer truffles at Les Pastras in the Luberon.
Tasting wine at Domaine des Vaudois in Cabrières d’Aigues with Claude Aurouze whose wife’s family has long owned the property. Aurouze’s wife is a direct descendant of the Vaudois, a Christian sect that, in the 15th century, moved to the religiously tolerant Luberon and, several generations later, their peaceful existence was torn asunder in a misguided effort to protect the Catholic Church. Aurouze will regale you with history while you taste his wines.
Our wonderful TMT tour group (minus Don who was taking the photograph).
Behind the scenes of the TMT tour, Patti and I often did the early morning croissant run…sometimes it was really early!
Relaxing at the villa after a full day of adventure.