Prehistoric Cave Art & Roman Engineers

On Monday we drove about 1.25 hours north of Avignon to the Ardeche, a region of mountains, limestone cliffs pocked with caves, and remnants of Roman engineering. We went first to the Caverne Pont d’Arc, an exact replica of  the oldest  and best preserved prehistoric cave drawings in the world. The real cave (located a few … Read more

Roussillon, Gordes & Abbaye de Senanque

From the 18th century until the end of WW2, Roussillon was the world center for production of ochre, that gorgeous terra cotta pigment used in paints and textiles. Improved technology has made large scale mining of lower grade (and easier to access) ochre more profitable than working Roussillon’s deposits, so the village lives on tourism … Read more

Les Baux-de-Provence, St. Remy & Glanum

On Friday, we headed towards Les Baux, south and east of Avignon and up into the Alpilles mountains. We stopped at St. Remy first, intending to leave our car there while walking to Les Baux and bussing back. Alas, the bus from Les Baux didn’t start running for the season until the following day, and … Read more

Lion in Winter territory

  The Lion in Winter is my favorite movie of all time. The Plantagenet family gathered all together for another happy Christmas:  Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Peter O’Toole as Henry II, a very young Anthony Hopkins (debuting on the silver screen) as young Richard Lionheart, presented in quintessential medieval glory/squalor – what’s not … Read more


Monday – Tuesday was a long, long day: bus to DIA, plane to O’Hare, layover, plane to DeGaulle, long layover, train to Avignon, car to flat.  Since French planes and trains are still on strike, there was a great deal of itinerary mucking about, which plumb tuckered Matt out.   Our home-from-home for the 9 … Read more