2018 Susan’s Week 1

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Sunday July 15

Susan left Florida for her first trip to France on the day the Foot-Ball team won (why do they call it Soccer) for the second time the World Cup.
She flew a Red Eye Express flight.

Before her arrival the city of Orange was celebrating French victory in this 2018 World Cup.

Monday July 16

She made it alive, greeted at the gate, ready for another first: a High Speed Train ride to Provence. This train is the pride of the French Rail Road company SNCF and is called the TGV, a TLA(1) that stands for Train à Grande Vitesse. This time it did not go as smoothly as the flight did. The scheduled train lost two of its four engines and made a final stop at the Airport Rail Road Station.
Disaster: stranded in an Airport, a vision of Hell. What’s next?
Well, SNCF did a pretty good job, they found a replacement train and in less than two hours we were cruising toward Provence at 200MPH.
Made it home at 11PM, dinner around a salad and a bottle of Rosé, both crashed for the night.

BTW what is a TLA?

Tuesday July 17

A great First in any respect, a first breakfast the French way, coffee with a first croissant.

Then First Grocery Shopping with the Citroen.

A First walk to the Belvedere above the city of Orange and its Antique Theater to have a hint about where things are.

A First Lunch around a Duck Fillet and Ratatouille.

A moment of rest in the shade before a discovery walk in the city of Orange.

At 10PM, after planing the tomorrow’s program, the Jet Lag took its toll, Susan crashed on her pillow.

Wednesday July 18

We had planned a 50 minutes flight to a nice restaurant on the Mende air field.
But the Tour de France played us a nasty trick, they had a similar plan.
As our head count was much lower than theirs, we lost and had to change our en route plans.

The capture above shows route we followed. The two legs were 2 hours long.
Leg 1 – From our Club to Candillargues (point 6) then, after lunch,
Leg 2 – along the coast line to point 13 and then returning home.

For the Leg 1, arriving early morning, we prepared the plane.
In fifteen minutes we were ready to go.

The first turning point was le Pont du Gard, a triple decker built by the Romans to bring water to the city of Nîmes.

South of the city of Nîmes, point 2.

A fortified medieval village: La Couvertoirade (point 4).
This village was on the path of the Pilgrimage to Santiago of Compostelle.

A passage over the Millau bridge (point 5).
From that point, as Mende situated 30 Nm North was closed,
we reversed the route to the Mediteranean coast.

That is where we made it (point 6).

And the dish of the day was a Gardiane de Taureau (Bull’s meat cooked in a wine sauce) carried Susan away. She loved it.

Just after taking off, at an altitude of 500 feet, a passage over Aigues Mortes (Dead Sea Water), the city where Saint Louis left for his Crusade.
The red sea water is a captive pond where plancton multiplies.
That is where Pink Flamingoes feed and get their colour.
When the water evaporates the salt is collected.

A view of Camargue, the low grounds of the Rhône’s delta.

As we are about to reach the home field, Susan seems to be really disappointed.
She looks very sad.
Will you agree with me.

Here is the reason why: 5 minutes to landing, a superb view of the Dentelles de Montmirail with the Mont Ventoux in the back ground.
This is the view from the home’s terrace where she resides.

Tomorrow will be more down to earth.

Thursday July 19

The day program of the day included two bullet points
1- discovering Orange’s farm market
2- driving to the Mont Ventoux the high mountain of the area.

From this first visit to this local market no pictures were taken, on the other hand, they should be available on the next visit.

Before lunch, Susan cooled in the pool.

A first stop in les Gorges de la Nesque

The Lavender fields are about to be harvested

Susan was driven in style to the summit.

Starting from the city of Sault (the Cascade) one of the three roads to the summit,  we drove to the Mont Ventoux. The weather is so hostile that close to the summit nothing grows.

The summit is used to broascast TV in the region and can be seen from 100 miles away.

On the way back a stop in Suzette, a small village located in the Dentelles de Montmirail.
The Mont Ventoux can be spotted in the back ground.

The village is so huge that the Town Hall (Mairie) shares the building with a restaurant on the ground floor.

A village without a Church, in this region, is not a village.

This Church of Roman architecture dates back to the XII century.

Last but not least, modern ages strike again.
The now useless Telephone Booth is recycled into an open public Librairy.
Take a book, bring one, but do not try to place a call.

We made it home for a light dinner, shrimps flambées, a water melon and of course two glasses of Rosé.

Friday July 20

As everyone should know, France is a Christian country, mostly catholic. According to this tradition Friday is a “no meat” day, fish is tolerated. Provence has a traditional dish, the “Aioli”. Susan could not escape this moment. A restaurant in Jonquières, a few miles South of Orange serves an outstanding one.

This is it. With a glass of Rosé or White wine a MUST

After a well deserved nap, on the pool’s side, its time to learn about the area.

Sunday July 22

The Sunday did not start happily: one of the house cats came home during the night . She was shivering and had to be brought to the Vet’s emergencies early this morning.
Tomorrow she should return home.
From that point on the day could start with two guide lines, a Picasso multi-media show in a quarry in the Baux de Provence and a lunch somewhere along the Mediterranean coast line.

We had bought the tickets on the Internet and made it shortly after opening.Modern technology offers endless possibilities. Results are breath taking.Images are everywhere. Picasso’s works presentation is stunning.

At the end of the first part of the show, you discover the beauty of the volumes, impressive.

The second part of the show is called Flower Power and is reminiscent of the late 60’s-70’s but taking pictures was almost not possible if the ambiance had to be shared.

On the way to the coast line, we ran onto two Aqueducts built by the Romans to serve Arles. They were dismantled in the Middle Ages for local building purposes.

After jumping above a low ground, the Aqueduct was dug through a hill.We made it to a restaurant called la Playa and after sharing a dozen of local oysters, a light main course ended the lunch.Nice presentation, well prepared, worth the stop over.

A BBQ with JL’s grand-son who arrived today will close the day.
As we say in German “Morgen is auch ein Tag”,
I will add, “Tomorrow starts another week”.

End of Week 1

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