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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

PROVENCE PART 10

 
The last stop on our Provencale holiday was at Vaison la Romaine.  This was a Roman town during their occupation of France and has many archaeological relics on view.  In fact it has the largest area of Roman remains in the whole country, many of which are visible from the street.  I had hoped to visit the sites but we didn't have time so I'll have to wait till another day.  As well as the older part of the town there was a mediaeval part built on the rocky outcrop on the other side of the river which was crossed by a 2000 year old bridge.  We climbed up through the pretty, narrow streets to the chateau perched on top of the cliff and were rewarded with a fabulous view over the vineyards to Mont Ventoux in the distance.
 
 
The town centre was very attractive with a big square lined with cafes and bistros and shaded by the wonderful plane trees. On the Saturday as we rested after our lunch a group of kids turned up with some musicians to put on a display of break dancing.  They went on for quite a while with a lot of drumming and attracted a lot of attention.
 
 
Our campsite was named after the Roman theatre nearby and only a short walk to town. The trees here were mainly cherries and I wondered if they had been an orchard before the camp was set up. I had time on the Sunday to draw this very old and twisted one while we were resting after catching very bad coughs from the dust blown up by the mistral the week before.
 
 
This leaf drifted down while I was drawing the tree so I added it to the page. Vaison la Romaine is in the region of Cotes du Rhone Villages wine production and we had hoped to get out our bikes and do a tour of the vineyards but we felt too ill with bad chest colds to be able to climb the hills, even though our bikes are electric!  At least we have a good reason to return in the future!
 
 
Th food in the restaurants here was pretty good and very reasonably priced.  This is a quick sketch of our lunch one day, a basket of raw vegetables and a very garlicky dip of aoili, the local speciality.  We left this camp after only 4 days having had a lovely time in hot sunshine and seen many new places and looking forward to the next time.