Friday, June 14, 2013

Driving the Côtes du Rhône Wine Road


Let us just say, for the sake of Olivier Rival's peace of mind, that today we finished our five day vacation by driving through one of France's wine regions somewhere in the South of France.

After breakfast, while Laurie packed,
I decided to tour Visan for a bit

The 14 Century Porte St-Martin

How old is that door?

 Why is this arch still standing?

Ready for another day

 BONJOUR Madame!

 Early Out

 High Security

My first vineyard of the day

Definitely not the last one that we would see today.

 Angry Lion

Grape Motifs are Kings in this Region

Before returning to The Villa this afternoon, we decided to drive through what is regarded by many to be a spectacular area known as the Côtes du Rhône Wine Road.

We would not be disappointed.

First stop, that-a-way

We started our Wine Road loop in the nearby city of Vaison la Romaine.

There were vineyards all around us

Flowers in Vaison la Romaine

Che?

WWI Memorial in Vaison la Romaine

Not Round Witch Hat?

No Elephants Allowed!

Again, why is this wall still standing?

Just outside of the village of Séguret 

 Vineyard HQ

Vibrant Grape Vines

Mini Grapes

 The view from Domaine de Mourchon

Dead Snail

Men at Work

Near Le Crestet

Cherries for the Gardner Girls

He is big in these parts

Pool in Hiding

 Flowers grow well in Le Crestet, too

This village's population peaked in the mid-1500s at 660 inhabitants. Today about 35 people still live here year around.

Medieval Path

Old, Old Vine

Leapin' Lizards!!!

What time you got?

A Trained Professional

Going Up

Pilgrim

The view from Le Panoramic Café
in Le Crestet

Deserved after the walk up the hill

Ancient Fountain


Idyllic Valley

Old Street Light

He is everywhere

 Old Fig Tree

Living Roof

The Dentelles de Montmirail 

New Growth

Love driving these country lanes

This stretch is about twice as wide as most of the roads we travelled on the Wine Road loop.

Suzette

The villages only written request as you enter it is "Respect Our Peace."

So we drove on.

Church in a Vineyard

Gigondas
Last Stop on the Wine Road

Grapes yet again

Colorful Wine Jug

"Table for one, SVP"

Blue Shutters in Gigondas

 Hanging Gardens of Gigondas

Cool

Our Lunch Spot Today in Gigondas
Du Verre à l'Assiette

The food was good and Laurie said that the wine was good. I had to pass on the various wines that she sampled due to my responsibilities as driver.

Damn.

In Gigondas we ran into a couple of bicycle riders from California.

Bike riding is huge in France, especially since the Tour de France is about to start soon. We had heard from Dick Bellman that one of our former counselors at Rio Mesa H.S., Deeanna Owens, was riding in the area today.

The two bike riders were indeed part of the contingent of West Coast riders in Deeanna's group. Unfortunately, she had travelled farther before stopping to dine so we did not get a chance to see her.

Small World Isn't It?

Safely back at The Villa, we have two days to recharge our batteries before flying to Barcelona again on Monday to then drive up to the Costa Brava seacoast village of Cadaques for a few final days on the Mediterranean Sea.

Saturday we are in for a real treat as our good friend Johan Hammarqvist from Finja, Sweden is in Lyon for a conference. We are going to meet with him in the morning.

This meeting should be a lot of fun indeed!!!

A final note on our last big day of sightseeing in France. Our friends kept sending us suggestions as to great places for us to visit nearby each time we checked in on Facebook. I am sure that each and every town that they nominated as a tour stop was great but there are only so many hours in a day.

That led me to thinking, what have I seen in France over the years?

Here is the role call of the 32 places that I have visited in depth in France:

Aix-en-Provence
Annecy
Antibes
Arles
Avignon

Bayeux
Caen
Carcassonne
Côtes du Rhône Wine Towns
D-Day Beaches

Dijon
French Alps Hill Towns
Grenoble
La Baule
Luberon Hill Towns

Lyon
Marseille
Mont St-Michel
Monaco (not France but darn close)
Montpellier

Nantes
Nice
Nimes
Orange
Paris

Pérouges
Rouen
Strasbourg
St-Jean Pieds de Port
Versailles

Vienne
Villefranche-sur-Saône

STILL SO MUCH MORE TO SEE!!!

1 comment:

David Fion said...

"still so much more to see" means that you can stay an extra year with us ;)

By the way, you may went to more places in France in a year than i did my entire life...GOOD JOB