Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Accident

Since planning of this trip happened so late in the game, most of the towns where I actually wanted us to stay were out of hotel options. So we ended up in surrounding towns, and in every case, we were delighted upon visiting the "first choice" town to find it much lacking compared to where we were actually staying. The first of these "accidents" landed us in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, perhaps the prettiest, little town we visited. Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was our home base for two nights in the Vaucluse region of Provence. The town is adorable, built atop canals for it's 13th century, flour mill industry that later added textile and paper mills. Once hosting over 70 waterwheels, today, there are only a few left.
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's main canal on Market Day - lots of picnicking

Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's claim to tourist fame is it's antique stores and weekly, antique market. From Monday-Saturday, numerous antique stores inhabit stores on the canal. Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is said to have the best antiques selection outside of the fabulous, antique markets in Paris. On Sunday, the market takes over the entire town, with antiques on one side of the main canal, and the rest of town holding the more typical, market wares. And by "rest of the town," I mean the entire town becomes a market. We were enthralled...and hot. Thankfully, with Isle as our home base, we could head back to our hotel for breaks. Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is also where we figured out the best way to lunch in France is a picnic of market foods picked up in the morning and a pretty, shady lunch spot to enjoy it by noon. We typically found some type of soft, but pasteurized, cheese (the cheese sellers were excellent about pointing us to pasteurized cheeses that I could eat), fruit (cherries were our favorite pick), a baguette, and some type of sausage. And of course, a couple of light pastries.

Charming, tiny Gordes
We also headed over to explore the hilltop village of Gordes. Filled with buildings of stacked stone, the little village sounded like a wonderful visit. And it was, for an hour or so. We walked into town, took in the two or three streets that make up the village, and headed "home" to our small, but still vibrant, town. Gordes was a quiet visit with a couple of cafes, while Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has a river to walk along, ducks to watch as they surf the river currents, numerous cafes and restaurants and shops, and enough people to feel vibrant without feeling overcrowded.
Love, love, love French stores - how beautiful is this display!
One of my favorite antique store finds
Me, enjoying the antique market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue...and
carrying around our lunch baguette


  1. What fun and you look great!

  2. Thanks! You would have loved this town.

  3. I'm afraid you're going to miss the really great food when you come back to the US of A.

  4. Not at first. I've told Nathan that I intend to eat at every mall parking lot chain restaurant there is, including Olive Garden! But I already miss the French food.