Saturday, 16 July 2011

A different kind of chateau

We drove through the town of Cadenet and noticed a sign pointing the way to the "chateau".  Thinking we were in for another treat, we followed the steep, narrow, single lane, winding road up the hill and found ourselves at an almost bare hilltop.  There were a few cars parked near a sign "Site du Chateau".  With our spirit of adventure still in tact, we decided to get out and take a hike.  There was indeed a chateau on the site, many years ago.  What you see below were all that was left of it.

The amphitheatre

But we did get a treat!  There was a panoramic view of the Luberon, les Alpilles and you can see below on the left, the famous Montagne St. Victoire, the subject of many Cezanne paintings and the inspiration for other painters like Picasso.

Just as an aside, here is a closer look at the Montagne from another angle, taken when we were enroute to Cassis later in the week.

The neat farmland and vineyards

and the town of Cadanet below.  The view was worth the precarious drive up the hill!

We had lunch in the hillside town of Lauris at this highly recommended restaurant, Lou Pebre D'Ai.   As we seldom celebrate Pentecost at home, we were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a Pentecostal holiday Monday special - a 5 course Pentecostal lunch with wine for 17 Euros!  The food was excellent and the ambiance was festive - what a deal!  No wonder the place was packed.  We were lucky to get a seat as it was late and the local families celebrating were just leaving.

The town of Lauris

Our plan after lunch was to visit another nearby chateau, the Chateau de LaCoste, bought and restored by Pierre Cardin.  Following the GPS, we found ourselves on the other side of the river in a town called Le- Puy-Sainte-Reparade with no sign of a chateau.  After asking for directions we finally found a sign that said "Chateau La Coste" (with a space) and the GPS told us that we were at destination, except that it's a winery!  The patient store clerk gently told us we were not the first to make that mistake.  She very kindly looked up the coordinates for us and away we go, all the way back across the river and ended up in this spot after another hour...

Nice country road but where is the chateau?
It was getting late and we had been driving for a couple of hours.  We were about to give up when I turned around and looked up the hill - voila!  did that not look like a chateau up there?  We turned off the GPS and decided to strike out on our own.   

Next post:  Find out if we made it without the GPS!

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