Market Week in Provence, Part 2

May 8, 2012.  Today we had breakfast at the villa, since Anne and I finally found the coordinates for an open grocery store last night.  Coffee, tea, toast, fig jam (from yesterday’s market), and my infamous garbage omlettes, mixed with fresh cheeses (also from the market yesterday), onions, fresh red peppers and mushrooms.

By 10:00 a.m. we climbed into the enormous van we rented, and headed north for Gordes, a lovely hill town where the very well-to-do have their summer houses.  Beautiful stone residences climb the hillside, somewhat like a very upscale Mesa Verde.  VERY upscale.  And the village at the top is pristine, with the requisite museum and church, as well as several boulangeries, cafes, and shops.  Not much in the way of tourist junk, thank goodness.

We were routed to a parking lot a few blocks away from the town, because it was VE Day, a national holiday, and there was to be a ceremony in the large square at the top of the hill.  In addition, we stumbled on Gordes’ weekly market, much smaller than the one in L’Isle Sur La Sorgue, and again, definitely the higher end of market fare.

At noon a ceremony was performed in the square, with the French version of our color guard standing tall.  All the bustle of the market stopped, in memory of all who lost their lives in WWII.  After about 15 minutes, everything resumed as before, but I felt honored to be on the sidelines of this solemn moment.

Exquisite lunch in Gordes

Our group ate a delicious lunch on the outside patio of L’Estaminet, took a last look around the market booths and the permanent shops.  I bought a lovely turquoise pashmina from one vendor, a large linen tablecloth and runner from another, and the requisite lavender soap, a must in Provence, where the lavender fields are not yet in flower, but definitely rounding out their greenery already.

By mid-afternoon, we were ready to pile back into the van and head toward Robion and our villa.  We created a delicious and widely-varied dinner out of the things we had bought during the past two days . . . cheeses and sausages from the markets, salad greens and roasted chicken left over from the day before, and wine from the Cave de Luberon.  All in all, a beautiful day!

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