Arrival: Pernes les Fontaines and Gordes

Our base for our first week in France was an apartment in Pernes les Fontaines, the “Town of Forty Fountains,” about 30 minutes southeast from Avignon. Since our first booking was with  Untours,  our second day we attended a brief orientation meeting in nearby L’Isle sur la Sorgue. We recommend Untours for occasional travelers like us who don’t want to be part of a tour, but do appreciate the support structure Untours provides, with local reference materials, being met at the airport, and having a local resource person available for advice. Their approach gives you a leg up on your new surroundings that makes arrival in a strange place relatively seamless.

In the afternoon we took the opportunity to drive into the Luberon, where we visited the old and somewhat strange Village des  Bories, a cluster of very primitive stone stuctures, parts of which date back as far as the 7th century, with other elements as recent as the 18th century. If you click through the photos on the linked site, you can see that the building technique involved building walls that came toward each other at the top, until neither a “roof” nor an arch was necessary. Doorways were formed by resting a long enough stone across the two jambs.

From there it was a short drive to the hilltop town of Gordes, reminiscent of many of the hilltop towns of Tuscany.

See slide show for more. (to read the captions you will probably need to extend the slide display time).

 

France trip October '11, Wine Tasting

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