Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Golden sunrise, and another market

We woke up this morning to the most beautiful sunrise – it was just like liquid gold on the clouds coming over the Luberon mountains. Another market was calling our name, this time in La Tour-d’Aigues, about a 40 minute drive to the southeast. The other photography graduate student had asked to go with us, as she is doing a project on markets as well. Having a car is a definite plus; the school only goes to one market a week, and the same one every time. They also seem to go places only in the afternoon and leave before the light gets really lovely in the evening, which is a shame I think for a class focusing on photography! So we met on the street below our house and took off back down that winding road Alan and I had driven up last night. Luckily none of us gets carsick!

We only missed one turn and made it to the village, unsure of where to park. We soon found the market and pulled off the main road into what we though was a line of people going to park their cars… and found out quickly that we were in the drop-off line for the local elementary school! Oops! So we sheepishly waited in line till we could get back on the main road and find another more appropriate place to park.

The market was small but nice, and we soon realized we were the only tourists. I did my part to validate our presence by buying up some more beautiful vegetables, but the cameras did stick out. A few vendors were very nice, but some just gave Alan dirty looks.

We decided to wander the streets a bit, hoping for more of a crowd to show up for better photos. I stopped by a boulangerie for some bread and ended up with a different kind of baguette with poppy and millet seeds mixed it, which I really liked. Down the road the sound of tractors caught our attention as they pulled up to the wine cooperative with their trailers full of grapes. Harvest time has begun! The grapes down here must be a little farther along than ours in Lacoste, as they are all still on the vine.

Tractors at the wine cooperative
A last walk around the market revealed that the Chateau was now open. It was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1555, stayed in by Catherine de Medici, burned a few times, ruined, and now is being rebuilt. The corners have these funny decorations that look like coral or that a star-shaped cookie cutter was applied liberally to the stonework.

Alan had class in the afternoon, and while the schedule said they would go to Menerbes, the teacher decided instead to take them to l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (where we went to the market on Sunday). The town feels a little like Venice with branches of the river flowing right by houses and shops. He said the town feels very different without the hustle and bustle of the market taking up every street. We’ll have to take my parents there and experience it both ways.

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue looking a little like Venice.

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