Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Village of Bories, a walk in the woods, and Dad battles it out with a scorpion

Having now seen quite a few ruins, we decided to visit the Village of the Bories near Gordes. The 20 restored bories here are grouped around a community bread over, with other bories serving as dwellings, animal enclosures, or storerooms. The pigsties were the funniest, with a small wall around an outdoor area and then a little low door with a lintel built into the wall. I guess the sheep and goat could jump right over, but pigs had to have a doorway! The wine cistern also took some figuring out. It was made of big flat stones (instead of all the little ones which of course would not hold water) with a second story opening to put the grapes in (we think) and a spigot (well, pipe) at the bottom to get the wine out. These buildings are between 200 and 500 years old, and were in use until the 1800s, but their origin remains a mystery.

There is no mortar - and they make such a nice shape!
Apparently they were shorter than I am
Mom, Dad, and me being borie villagers
The arch has the oven in it
Signage being a bit lacking at the exit (you had to drive down these little one way roads to get to the village, with 10ft tall walls on each side!) we ended up driving through the village of Gordes—and then turning around and driving back through it as we couldn’t find the roads we picked for alternate route. The village is very nice, and we will be going there on another trip. After finding the correct road, we wound through farms and vineyards till all of a sudden I saw a windmill! So we had to get out a look at it. It currently appears to be made into a house, which I think is a neat idea.

Windmill house
In the afternoon we left Alan to his studies while we explored the one road out of town we hadn’t been on. It goes to the very base of the Petit Luberon (the range behind us – the one behind Bonniuex is the Grand Luberon). Dad’s knees were bothering him, so we walked a fairly level path along the bottom of the ridge (it appeared to once have been a road) looking across the valley at the Abbaye de St-Hillaire and Mount Ventoux.

Abbaye da St-Hillaire

Mt. Ventoux
Alan came back from class and cafĂ© declaring himself in need of some more food, so we sent him to the kitchen to eat leftovers. His food was warming on the stove when he announced to those of us in the living room that he had found his first Provencial scorpion in our paper towel roll. SCAD had warned the students of them, but we had yet to encounter one. Mom (who never kills bugs but always captures them and carries them away to safety) was all for catching it in a cup. When asked what she would do with it then (with no large backyard and gulley behind the house to deposit unwanted creatures into as she usually does) said maybe she would walk down past the church at the bottom of the hill. Alan didn’t want to squash it, but Dad was all for it. I voted for squashing, although I was busying myself getting the camera to document the activities while the rest hashed out the future of the invader.

Armed with a flyswatter, Dad gallantly whacked the poor scorpion multiple times before it escaped us (apparently unharmed) behind the stove. Having been told that lavender keeps them away, Mom brought out all the little sachets she had bought at the market (we had banned them to a bag in a cupboard because they smelled so strongly) and placed all thirteen of them around the house. We have not seen the scorpion since, so it must work!

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