Good morning from our hotel window!

OMG.    When these winds blow – they mean business!    No way we could have ridden our bikes today!     25 to 30 miles an hour . .  And very gusty.   Also chilly.  60 degrees at most . . .   Good thing we had planned to hike today ..

One of the many cool alleyways in Gordes

So – this felt like a real rest day . . .  We all slept in – as in breakfast at 8:30 rather than 7:00.   This hotel is wonderful!   A ten minute walk into town and very cool spaces!   Not to mention wonderful food!    We had dinner here last night – steelhead trout with vegetables cooked and served in this bag ..   dessert even! Breakfast offered homemade yogurt with fresh fruit, warm croissants, eggs and bacon or sausage.   Fresh oranges you could make into juice!    We even hung around for a second cup of coffee!   Not our usual . . .

Heading off early morning.
Fall is so beautiful

First item of business was a hike to the Village of the Bories.   These stone huts date back to the 17th century.   They are an example of dry stone building, which means selecting stones found locally in large numbers and at no cost – and then assembling them without mortar.   It’s amazing to see these structures.    We saw similar ones in Italy at Alberobello (only they were called trulli here).    They have rounded roofs.    Hard to imagine building these structures.    Mostly poor farmers and migrant shepherds lived here with their livestock.   Imagine sleeping on those stone floors.  😳.   Especially on a winters day when the mistral winds were blowing.

Tom needs to lift weights as he walks. The stones on these walls are perfect! 😀
A typical hut

This hike was not your typical  . . .  We started out up the road on which we walked and walked.    On the way back, we found a rocky path, which felt better than just walking on the road.    The cars whiz by you and there is never much clearance . . .  Worth your life to walk sometimes . .   As a matter of fact, at the end of our afternoon walk, these two vans passed by Cyndy and me.  We were right on the edge of the road – as far over as possible.  The first van driver honked at us.  The second one stopped right in the middle of the road – opened his window, and yelled at us!   Yikes!     We decided not to argue with him. . .  😙

Very cool area
Most of our crew.

We met Colette for lunch in town at this tiny crepe restaurant- packed with people.    Really fun place!   By the time we had beer and wine and meals and chocolate cake and espresso – it was after 2:00.    Ahhhh for vacation . . .  😀

Beauty on the walls.

Our afternoon adventure was to walk to the Senanque Abbey, which was built in the 12th century for Cistercian monks.     There are fields of lavender which lead up to this huge monastery.     Dave, Cyndy, and I had biked to visit this site back in 2004, when the lavender was in bloom.  It was spectacular!    However, this walk was a bit more difficult than the bike ride we did many years ago.   The path was made of loose rocks – not the easiest for hiking.  It was either up or down.  Nothing in between.     And – when we finally reached the bottom of the trail, we could not get in.   Closed.   Oh well . .

Laurie had to scale this wall. What’s new?
Laurie and John witnessed the priests filing in . .

Had to add in one photo of this Monastery.     😀.

From the path heading down.
Heading out
Snails are literally everywhere here!
Laurie heading down. Notice the rocky path underfoot.
Just walking along . .

Tonight we are dining Italian style!      That is, after happy hour . .     We have to sneak in our wine bottles because you can buy wine here at th hotel.    They would frown upon the way we do happy hour . .   In one of the rooms . . .   It’s close quarters but we like it our way!    😀

Doesn’t this look like fun! 😀

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