Europe 2014

Vaison-la-Romaine, 10-12 June


  Driving from Carcassonne towards the autoroute up the Mediterranean coast, we detoured to the Abbaye de Fontfroide, entered through this courtyard ... *
  with this old fountain. †
  There was an interesting chapter house ... *
  and a peaceful cloister. †
  The church had some interesting stained glass ... †
  and a small pieta statue. †
  Approaching Vaison, we saw the Dentelles de Montmirail. *
  We had our dinner on a covered terrace facing the main square of Vaison. *
  And then had a quiet drink on our hotel's balcony, looking out on the square. *
  The next day, we set off up the road to Mont Ventoux. *
  Many people cycle up Mont Ventoux, and they are encouraged (or perhaps discouraged) by these markers every kilometre, showing the current gradient and the distance to the summit. *
  The view from even part way up is stunning. *
  As you get close to the top, the vegetation stops and there is nothing but rock scree. *
  There is a communications and broadcasting tower at the top, very strongly built to withstand the very high winds there sometimes. *
  Coming down the eastern side, there is a good view of the white scree at the summit. †
  We had lunch (under umbrellas again) at a restaurant in Sault, with this view out towards Mont Ventoux. †
  On the way back to Vaison, we went north of Mont Ventoux, passing the villages of Reilhanette ... *
  and Brantes. *
  On our second day, we looked around Vaison, first going along the main street to the Roman Bridge. †
  Vaison's war memorial on the cliff face across the river from the new town, and at the steep entrance to the old town. †
  View of Mont Ventoux from the bridge. *
  Some parts of the river banks were a bit scruffy. *
  A typically Provençal bell tower, with wrought iron cloche, on the church in the old town. *
  There was a major flood in 1992 that destroyed many houses, but not the Roman Bridge. The height is shown on this marker near the bridge with Nick, looking rather bewildered, illustrating the height. *
  Then to the main sight in Vaison, the extensive remains of a Roman town. †
  The pedestrian tunnel leading to the Roman Theatre. *
  Reconstructed seating at the Roman Theatre. *
  The medieval castle in Vaison old town, seen from the Roman town. †
  The museum in the Roman town had many exhibits excavated at the site, including this statue of a centurion ... †
  and these of the Emperor Hadrian (suitably immodest) and his wife (suitably modest). †
  A funerary mask. †
  This is the museum's prize exhibit: the "peacock mosaic". *
  Then through some laneways to the cathedral *
  In places, this has foundations that clearly are bits salvaged from the Roman town. †
  As so often, we enjoyed the cloister. *

From Vaison, it was a very short journey to our week's stay in an apartment in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.


Copyright © 2014 by *Lynn Booth or †Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.