L'isle sur la Sorgue Three months in Provence by Ian Brodie

On the 31st October 2015, We were able to add another tick to the bucket list when we shifted to L'Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence. We are spending ten weeks here. This is our journey.

All images have been made with an iPhone 6 Plus.

From a cold and wintry St Pancras, we were transported in six hours at 300 km/h to sun, warmth and 21c. 
Straight after arrival at our apartment we walked 50m, this was the view. It confirmed we had made the right decision!
The next morning, coffee beside the Sorgue was an absolute joy.

Monday 02 November

A working morning followed by another wander, and another opportunity to marvel at this beautiful village.

General street scenes of the old part of the town, which is completely surrounded by the River Sorgue.
The village is knOwn as The "venice of France".
There used to be over seventy water wheels turning continuously to provide power for the local industries. Now less than thirty remain.

Tuesday 03 November

In writing mode. Seven pages of text complete. Nice to make a start. Maybe it was the delicious steak last night that helped. Tender, rare, in a red wine jus. Superb.

Today we were introduced to the mistral. 85km/hr winds with rain that cleared quIte quickly. The chairs rattled and flew aRound the square as the norwest arch appeared in the distance.
Leaves carpet the main square announcing both The Mistral and Autumn.

Wednesday 04 November

The routine has been born. Write in the morning, venture out in the afternoon for that delightful French tradition: Expresso in a cafe whilst people watching.

I have also fallen in love with the many alleyways and narrow lanes that bisect this village, like as many arteries that keep this village alive.

Thursday 05 November

Today we ventured a little and spent the day in Avignon, a city that seeps history through every pore of its soul.

Autumn, in all her mellow shades of subtlety provides a respite from the oppressive heat of summer. She presents her true colours.

A glimpse of history, of Avignon. 
Sur la pont avignon. A song learnt aT school with no relevance, until now. 
As we approach ANZAC Day, we paid our respects here. Lest We Forget.
A small lane led us To a doorway into another world.
So Provence closed her eyes and we dined beside the river, on foie gras, lapin on a bed of champignons and a glass of La Citadelle. 

Friday 06 November

A miscellany of water images from our village. 

Sunday 08 November

Every Sunday, the village comes alive as the brocage market arrives. All the lanes and alleys are filled with eager sellers trying to entice the wandering throngs with everything from 17th century antiques, through clothing, shoes, handbags to food. The roasted chickens are a treat as they are spit roasted as the fat drips down onto a bed of waiting potatoes, to also be slowly browned and cooked.

With typical French alacrity, at 1300 the market closes and the afternoon is spent eating, drinking and smoking.
The river draws me like a magnet, every day I spy a slightly different scene. 

Friday 13 November

Writing has been the prime purpose this week. We travelled to Marseille on Monday to uplift our rental car and spent Wednesday afternoon in the supermarket. Other than that it's been words. Today though was a little different, we went to Avignon to allow me to uplift my new iPad Pro. We had to pause for lunch, a pause for the celebration of food, not a chore or something to eat on the run. We love [a] the wonderful French tradition of a long lunch and [b] the food. No matter where you go the senses are assailed and the taste buds satisfied.
Shopping at the supermarket is an experience and takes at least three hours. Translation is interesting, the results sometimes surprising. Dianne loved the look of this duck as part of our Christmas dinner but balked as soon as she saw the little head looking at her.

Tuesday 17 November

Today was another bucket list tick. Ever since seeing images of the village of Gordes, I have wanted to visit. Today it happened, and it lived up to every expectation. It's odd when you see something real for the first time. You have looked at the images, read the guides but nothing, absolutely nothing can prepare you when all your senses are assailed with a scene like this. That is always my issue with photography, how can you possibly create something two dimensional that can match reality.
The magic of Gordes.

Next visit was Roussillon, 15 minutes away by car, another world away in architecture.

The colours of this village are stunning. All the clay is locally sourced from a seam of ochre clay that runs through this part of the Luberon.
The colours of Autumn grapevines reflected in the buildings of Roussillon.

Final stop for the day, Fontaine de Vaucluse. A combination of new architectural styles with the beauty of nature again, this time crystal clear water flowing from underground springs.

The colours of Autumnal Provence. Here it was gold tempered by green and subtle cream.

Friday 04 December

The pleasures of the Eurostar. Good food, comfy seats and great company's all at 300 km/h.

A delay in the blog. We returned to England for a few days, I finished my text for the Visit Somerset book and now we have half the family here. All go!

A visit to Rousillon and Bonnieux. Oh, and a 2018 year old bridge along the way. 

Saturday 05 December

Time spent in the village as the first rain in 3 weeks started to fall.

Christmas comes to the village. Oliver posts his letter to Santa, lights illuminate the village church.

Sunday 06 December

A symbol of Provence. LavEnder. 

Today we five walked the market here. What a cornucopia of food, aromas, sounds as the local populace spend their Sunday mornings collecting fresh produce, chatting and then the lunch catch up, that for the afternoon.

Essentials, dried flowers and delectable saucisson. 
Olives, oil.

The flowers are divine, even in winter.

Followed by espresso at Fontaine de Vaucluse

With some wonderful views and a major discovery, THE CHICHI.

Thursday 17 December

Time flies when you're having fun. In the last week we have been to Spain for two days and spent a lot of time here in Provence visiting villages and enjoying the wonderful food.

Coffee is a very important part of the daily routine. The coffee policeman (Oliver) was asleep for this one so didn't get a chance to complain.
The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain. An amazing museum with a wonderful insight into the amazing mind of Dali.
Spain. Warm, inviting. A visit that was just too short. 
A stop for lunch in 5C at 2400m on Mont Ventoux.

We are really enjoying the villages. Walking through history back to the Roman Empire.

At the Palace de Papes in Avignon.
The windows and shutters are worthy of their own book as well.
Next week the rest of the family arrive and it's Christmas. Can't wait to see Sally-Anne and Matthew after so many months. A family Christmas celebration in Provence will be an amazing time.
Christmas Eve

Friday 25 December

Our wonderful family all together. Amazing.
A Christmas lunch snack.

Thursday 31 December

So ends 2015 in Provence. Time to reflect on an amazing time here with the thought that there are still over two weeks left. Not long enough. Travis, Belinda and Oliver return home tomorrow. Normally farewells are full of sadness but not this time. In 46 days we will see them again in Perth.

On Monday we returned to Nimes and visited the gardens. What a beautiful walk we had in this historic landscape.

Tuesday was a trip to Marseilles. Loved visiting the Mediterranean and seeing such an historic city.

Wednesday was such a special moment. A family photo taken by a local photographer who uses an 1870 Palladian camera. So happy with the result.

Created By
Ian Brodie


All images (c) Ian Brodie Photo