Wednesday, 7 November 2007

L'Isle sur la Sorgue

It’s market day in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, and from what the clerk told us, it is a big one with antiques. This is one of the reasons we head there. The other is because it is a very scenic small town with a canal and water wheels.
It is just a short drive away, maybe 30 or 45 minutes from St. Rémy. We know we’re getting close as people begin parking along the roadway. All the public parking lots are filled and we park on a side street a good walk from the center.

There are vendors everywhere selling provençal soaps, fleece flannel shirts (I was tempted, but refrained), leather shoes, pillows with lavender, handmade purses and hats, cheeses, artisanal tapenades, olive tree cutting boards and other products some made by hand, some edible, some regional.

We spent a lot of time at the soapmaker’s booth. He must have had 40 different fragrances of soaps in a dazzling array of colors. Blackberry, cherry, eucalyptus, almond, vervaine, and cedar were some of his offerings. Maggie said her nose hurt when we left his stand.

We walked along the Sorgue canal checking out all the different markets along the way. There are restaurants, many of them Italian, along the canal and it is a very lovely scene with the warm sun shining on everyone. We want to be a part of the scene and wait a while to get a table overlooking the canal. We have pasta and pizza and Q and M feed the ducks at the end of the meal. We had the typical leisurely European lunch, lasting a couple of hours.

As we ate, the market closed, and the vendors packed up and left. You could actually see the beauty of the town more now, and we strolled along the banks of the canal in the other direction, viewing a water wheel along the way.

Before heading off, we stop in the public playground and get some ya-yas out. Then, we decide to have a look at the Waldorf School in Sorgue, another town about 25 minutes to the Northeast of Isle sur la Sorgue. By some miracle, we find the school, and pull into the parking lot. It was a patchwork of buildings with the common sights inside the classrooms- beautiful chalk drawings on the boards, funky wooden furniture, children’s artwork in the fat block crayons, and the simple natural play areas. The kids enjoyed walking the grounds and remembering elements of the Waldorf school they attended back home.

We decide to go for an evening hike in the Alpilles. It is already dark when we park the car. Maggie is a little afraid, but enjoys it as we get going. We follow a gravel path up and down some hills, and can barely make out the white rocky hills in the distance. Quinn and Maggie close their eyes during part of the hike and enjoy following the sounds.
Before getting back in the car, we took a few minutes to lie down in the grass and stargaze. It was nice to look at the clear sky full of stars.

We head back home and dine at the restaurant with the whimsical decorations. We love that place. Another great day in Paradise, I mean, Provence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ahh, Reading your post brings back memories from the past summer. I lived two months in isle sur la sorgue, and i miss it so much! I'm glad you had a good experience there!