On about our fourth day in Aix, we finally got the itch to do something other than sit around and drink wine and finish it off with gelato. Writing this now seems very shocking to me, because I don’t know what could be better than being lazy with wine and gelato, but there you have it. I’d been dying to take a drive through the Luberon, Provence’s large national park and home to the famous hilltop towns built up into its mountains. We found a local tour company that would drive us around in an air-conditioned van (important!), and luckily for us, we only had to share it with one other couple. Our new friends were from Edinburgh; our guide, from China. We made quite the little group.
Gordes. What can I really say about it? It’s amazing. Here is this tiny village, where all the buildings are made of individual stones (yes, ALL of them — it’s a requirement!), stacked up the side of this hill, overlooking a valley. I can’t believe people actually get to live here. It’s honestly like something out of a dream. If I ever get back to the Luberon, you can bet I will be staying in Gordes!
Okay, so I wouldn’t mind staying in Roussillon, either. I was utterly charmed by this little town — probably because the colors of the buildings were so warm and happy! It was awesome to see the natural mineral deposits around the cliffs that the town is built on (both literally and figuratively). I found a little shop selling baby olive trees. I would’ve died to bring one home — but I don’t think customs would’ve liked that so much.
We ended the day with a stop in Lourmarin, an ancient village that feels part French countryside, part medieval. No surprise there — Lourmarin has been settled for at least a thousand years! We didn’t have much time to walk around here, so I parked it on a little bench next to an ice cream shop and spent the entire time showing some self-restraint (we had a big date with Aix’s gelato shop later that night).
Our drive through the countryside was the one time on the trip I wished I had my regular camera. Some of the sights were too spectacular to be able to capture with just a phone! I’m super prone to car sickness, so even though I was feeling it on those windy roads up and down the mountainside, I simply blasted the AC on my face and stared out the window. I found the views to be quite soothing — the perfect antidote to anything that ails you!
Images by Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese