Sunday – 9/19/10
Our house is just outside the village of Maubec, which isn’t very far from Peter Mayle’s village in his book “A Year in Provence,” Menerbes (accent over the 1st e). There is an “old” village of Maubec, but the “suburbs” have been built up with new homes. We are still trying to get our bearings.
Louis & Cathy told us there was a good market in Coustellet on Sundays, so after breakfast, we headed that way (about 8 km) and it was a very good market. Very big and lots of people. Just about every village, town, city in France has a market at least once a week. You can get just about anything at the market. Clothing, shoes, craft items, even mattresses. We got some tapenade, some olives, raspberry jam, bread, cheese, apples, pears, potatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, salad greens, herbs de Provence, and flowers. It was a lot of fun.
Our objective for today was to rest, so after the market we headed for home and did a couple of loads of clothes, which had to be hung on the line, and had lunch – goodies from our trip to the market. Mom took a nap and I read until about 3:00, then we went for a drive. I thought we would go up to Gordes, which is a hill town built up the side of a cliff – it’s quite a sight. Being Sunday, I think a lot of French people were on outings and it was very busy, so we decided not to stop, but to go back earlier in the day later this week.
It is funny to watch the pedestrians – they walk across the road as though they haven’t a care in the world and are totally oblivious to the traffic around them, even those that don’t have a cellphone to their ear. It can be frustrating waiting to leave a parking space as several people parade past without concern. Tour groups are even worse – they are so intent in keeping together than they just plow right on by.
On the way back, I took the turn for Les Bories. It is a “village” of stone huts dating back to the dark ages or earlier. The road to get there is very narrow and it was quite hairy at times when faced with oncoming traffic. When we finally got to the parking lot, which was pretty full, I decided I’d had enough and decided to turn around and go back. Unfortunately, turning around wasn’t all that easy. Finally, someone left, so I could use that parking spot as a turn-around spot. We went back to the main road and only had to squeeze by 2 or 3 other cars on the way out. An Audi driver thought I should scrap a stone wall so he wouldn’t have to brush his car with branches. Fortunately, I got out of there with no damage to the car. I think we’ll just buy a post card of the bories and call it a day!
The washing machine here at the house is really different. It’s only about 18 X 24 inches (looking down at it). You lift the top and inside there is a steel drum that opens up and you put the clothes inside. The drum is horizontal. You latch the drum, then pour the soap in the slot, decide how hot you want the water, and push the button to start. The cycle takes a very long time – it is well over an hour, maybe even 90 minutes, but it seems to get the clothes clean. When I was hanging the clothes on the line, I notices little tiny grey snails on the grass – some had climbed up to the top of a tall stem. They are kind of cute and fragile looking. The escargot in Provence is called “le petit gris” or the little grey, so I’m wondering if these are what they eat for escargot in this area. They are pretty small for eating, but could be tasty with enough butter and garlic. I’ll wait to try them in a restaurant and won’t cook up a mess of these from the yard.
For dinner I fixed pork cutlets, green beans, potatoes with garlic, salad greens with tomatoes & Roquefort cheese, and sorbet for dessert. It was very good, if I do say so myself.
I think another early night tonight. Tomorrow we will go further afield.