Hello from Mirabel!
We arrived safe and sound on Wednesday afternoon. Just after we got into the rental car and headed out of the Marseille airport, the sky opened up and a big storm began. Lightening, heavy downpour and some thunder. But we found the small village, found parking and then tried to figure out where the actual house was! Not so easy, and the pouring rain (and lack of sleep) didn’t help. Because it is located in what is essentially a small alley off a small street off a larger street, it took us some searching. And the great statues that used to be at the start of the alley, which I remembered from the video have been moved. So my “landmark” was gone.
We did find it, figured out how to open the door (French doors un lock and lock slightly differently than American ones), and went in.
OMG as they say. Even nicer than the photos. Got our suitcases upstairs, took a short nap and then collected ourselves enough to have a pizza from the little pizza place in town.
Thursday was really our first day. We went to Vaison, a town we had been to last year, and walked around. What a difference summer to fall. No tourists (just a few, of course, including us). But the town was empty compared to last year summer.
I had forgotten about the long lunch break — almost everything closes from 12 to 2:30 or 3 except the restaurants. We ate in a charming place in Vaison, starting our idea of eating larger lunches out and lighter dinners at home. Three courses, plus a 3/4 size bottle of wine — something I’ve never seen in the States — set us back 56E or about $62. Food was delicious and we felt very French.
We did some food shopping in the large supermarket, did some additional shopping in the epicerie (market) just down the street in Mirabel and ate a very, very light dinner of cheese, bread, and fruit. Perfect!
Today, we took a longish walk (4km up/back) to the even smaller nearby town of Piegon — just to get the exercise and look at the gorgeous countryside.
Fall is just beautiful in this part of France — I had no idea. The trees turn, but its the grape vines that are really spectacular, often deep burgundy as well as orange/yellow/green.
It turns out this part of Provence is different from the part of Provence that we were in last year — even if they are less than 20 miles apart. THIS part of Provence has vineyards and olive tree groves. THAT part of Provence has vineyards and lavender. Amazing — last year we say field after field of lavender; this year we see field after field with olive trees. Olive trees are even fairly common in the small villages, with black olives squished on the sidewalks.
This trip, we plan to go to places that are no further away than 50 kilometers from Mirabel. Turns out that is a lot of distance, so we should have our days full.
The photo above is where we were yesterday, the large village of Buis aux Baronnies. We went to a small antique “show”, then had a delicious lunch, walked around, visited a vineyard, and then home. A tough life, as they say.
We are truly beginning to feel at home. The house is lovely and comfortable, we know which boulangerie is open on which day, and our French is improving a lot. Most people immediately start speaking English to us, so there is no getting away with anything, and they almost always think we are English. Clearly they cannot tell the difference in the accents! We tell them we’re from Etats Unis and they always ask where. Many times, the people we talk to, shopkkeepers, someone sitting beside us at lunch, someone in a museum, have been to the States, however no one has been to Ohio.
More next week from Life in Mirabel.