Trip to France 2009 – Three Weeks in Provence – Week 2

Life at the Chateau

Our next stop was Chateau Turcan, a vineyard in a beautiful little town called Ansouis. We were renting half of a large house that was built in 1750. The living room had a gorgeous vaulted ceiling made out of rocks. The staircase was really cool as well – it looked very chateau’ish. That evening we had a BBQ and relaxed a bit by the pool.

On Sunday, we decided to explore the town of Ansouis. We went to the market in the morning and bought some meat and vegetables. We then walked around Ansouis which is a perched medieval village, with a beautiful castle. We had a drink because, as you guessed it, we were a bit hot. We spent the rest of the day enjoying our new pool and getting acquainted with the other vacationers who were renting the other half of the house. It was a really nice family from Paris with three boys. The youngest who was 5 was also named Nathan. He worked really hard to get Evan to play with him as Evan was pretty shy. However the ice did break despite the language barrier and it was cute to see them holding hands by the end of the week.

Since we lived on a vineyard, that night we went to a degustation of Chateau Turcan wines hosted by our gracious host Martine. It was great as we tried the whites and the rosé wines which were very good. Roger enjoyed asking: “I am making Lapin à la moutarde tonight, which wine would go best?” Within their Chateau, there is also a really nice museum with more than 3000 objects about wine-making from the last few centuries. We walked away with a few bottles and had a great meal that night.

I forgot to mention that we had a wonderful view from our terasse onto the vineyard and the perched village of Ansouis and its castle. Here is a picture of one of the gorgeous sunsets we could see from there.

sunsetonansouis

On Monday, we went to Lourmarin, another medieval town with a nice castle. It was a town well liked by painters and now has a lot of cafes and galleries. As Curtis would say, yet another medieval dump ;-). We went up and down the beautiful streets with Marnie and Marjorie working on their daily medieval strollercizing (exercice poussette). At some point I had to stop for breastfeeding so I sat down on some steps looking at this beautiful view.

lourmarin

Then I turned the other way and here is what I saw:

wifi_iphones

Can you say addicted? I guess we stopped at a spot where there was wifi and everyone was on their iphones!

We then had lunch at a nice terasse on the main square. Marjorie had a delicious carpaccio. On the way back for the car, we found a little park for Evan to play in and for the babies to get a medieval diaper change.

medievaldiaperchange

And a little cuddle time with Mom

marjnoah

Then back home to the pool. That day, Roger and Curtis got challenged to a game of petanque by our neighbours. Let’s just say it was not the proudest moment for our Canadian team

Here are pictures beforehand (notice the smiles)

petanqueplayers

They lost 13 to 1 but said they learnt a lot (and also had enough pastis to forget they were upset)

petanque

Meanwhile, at the pool beside the petanque court, there was lots of fun to be had:

marnkids

On the Tuesday, we went to the market in Cucuron, a little town, yes, you guessed it, a medieval town. It was really gorgeous as the market was a all around a beautiful stone-walled pound of water. Here is a snapshot

marketcucuron2

We loved it. We then had lunch on a terasse and walked around the town.

marnmarjcucuron

Then back home. Later that afternoon, Marjorie’s cousin Anais came to see us. She drove two hours on our motorcycle which was very nice of her. After some leisure time by the pool, we all went to the caveau for the degustation of the red wines. There were some really good wine. That day, the oenologist had come by to start mixing the grapes for the 2009 wines so we got to try the first mixing which was very cool. Roger picked up some wines for his recipes. That night we had a great meal with Anais.

supper

We had fresh figues wraped in proscuito and then duck magret with a raspberry sauce. Anais stayed over and left the next morning.

Noah and Anais had fun together. Here is Noah and his half smile

anaisnoah

On the Wednesday, we went to Aix-en-Provence. It was a bit of a clusterbleep getting started with the visit but we made it. As we were trying to find parking for two cars, we got lost in the old town with tiny streets (and a child that woke up unhappy). By the time we parked and got everyone in the strollers, it was lunch time and everyone was hungry. So we stopped, had some quick lunch, changed the diapers, everyone went to the bathroom, put back in the strollers and we are finally ready to go. So we start strolling through the beautiful streets of Aix and we start hearing the thunder… We had heard there was a nice exhibit on the influence of Cezanne on Picasso at a museum so we decided to make a bee line for the museum before the storm hit. We almost made it but had to take refuge in a beautiful church during the downpour. We finally made it to the museum and really enjoyed the exhibition. It took a bit of time to get through the museum with the breastfeeding stops and the like. Noah especially enjoyed Picasso’s late period. We figured it was like baby Einstein stimulation but live J.

After the museum, we continued to explore Aix which is a very beautiful city with many squares and fountains.

fountain

windows

We ended up having supper in a Romanian restaurant. We had the Dracula plate! When we left the restaurant, we walked back through the little streets and it was even more magical at night with terasses around fountains everywhere and candle lit tables.

fountainnight

We loved Aix. We got back home after Roger swore at the GPS a few times and Curtis in the car behind wondering why we kept making U-turns.

After such a big day in Aix, we decided to take it easy and relax at home on Thursday. The men were supposed to play a game of petanque to reclaim some pride. However, some rain tharted their plan so they played poker instead with the neighbours.

Friday was another big day. We went to the beautiful perched village of Gordes.

gordes

Then to the Senanque Abbey

senanqueabbey

And finally to Rousillon which has beautiful Ochre cliffs

roussillon2

Noah liked Roussillon

noahroussillon

That night, the neighbours and ourselves invited the owners of the vineyard for Aperitif after another game of petanque (needless to say who won however only by 13 to 6). We had so much fun that we decided to have supper all together.

aperitifchateauturcan

Saturday last game of petanque, close but not cigar (13-11). That afternoon we visited the castle in Ansouis which was built before 961. It was a great visit.

ansouiscasttle2

The castle had Roger’s dream kitchen

casttlekitchen

We drove out to a place that was recommended to us for ice cream. Once we got there we understood why everyone said it was a must. First of all, the view was amazing onto the rolling hills and nearby villages of Luberon. Second of all, and most important for ice cream fan, it was delicious home-made ice-cream served as art pieces: beautiful and tasty. What a perfect way to end our trip to Luberon.
familyicecream

All in all, it was a very busy week. We really loved the Luberon region and will definitely return.

You can see more pictures in our Photo Gallery under “Three Weeks in Provence – Week 2”.

One thought on “Trip to France 2009 – Three Weeks in Provence – Week 2

  1. Hello les Canadiens !

    Gros orage sur Paris en notre absence, et plus de Box ! Plus d’internet !
    Réparé ce soir, nous découvrons votre top blog ! Bravo !
    Beaucoup de plaisir de vous revoir tous ! Nous vous souhaitons un bon retour au Canada avec je l’espère plein de souvenirs en tête !
    Entraîner vous sérieusement à la pétanque … avec Ricard !

    Pour nous, c’est déjà le travail depuis une semaine et les enfants ont repris l’école cette semaine.

    Gros bisous à tous et spécialement aux petits, Noah, Nathan et Evan !!!

    Nathan, Julian, Hugo, Valérie et Franck

    NB pour Curtis : “Parfait”

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