Carpentras - Le Jardin Berges de l'Auzon
As we like to do at least once on most of our excursions, we set out to find the perfect spot for a pique-nique. The proprietors at Villa Velleron packed a picnic basket for us with everything we needed. Normally, after we’ve settled on a not-so-perfect spot to set out our picnic blanket, and after we’ve polished off all our nourishment, we then find the perfect picnic spot. However, this time we actually found the perfect spot ahead of time. It was along a small stream in the Jardin Berges de l’Auzon in the village of Carpentras. We had a picnic table in the shade along the water, and there was nobody else in sight.
Le Village des Bories
Le Village Perché de Gordes
The village of Gordes is quite striking as you climb up to its perch overlooking the Calavon Valley and the rivers Sorgue and Calavon. It is believed to have been inhabited since the Neolithic era, with evidence of Neolithic workshops and prehistoric industry having been reported in the surrounding hills.
On the other side of Gordes, in the valley of the Sénacole, is the 12th-century Abbaye de Sénanque, which provides a perfect example of Provençal Romanesque art. A large part of the Abbaye is in perfect condition, and is still used as a religious community devoted to praying and living a self-sufficient life. It is considered one of the “three Cistercian sisters of Provence”. I can imagine that the lavender fields surrounding the Abbaye provide an amazing backdrop of color at the right time of year; however, this is not the right time of year. June or July must be a better time for the lavender to be in bloom.
Before arriving into the hilltop village of Gordes from the south, we stopped at a village of small beehive-shaped huts called “bories”, which are believed to have originated with the Ligurians who lived in this region several centuries ago. These traditional dwellings were built with local stone using no mortar (dry stone), which a skilled craftsman could have assembled without tools. These bizarre, primitive homes continued to be built up until the last century. The village was restored between 1969 and 1976 to look the way it did when the last inhabitants abandoned it some 150 years ago.