Thursday, October 23, 2008

France 2008 Day 11,12, 13 Crillon le Brave, Pernes, Saulie

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Some of the following is based on fact, and some is not.
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DAY 11,12 and 13

Thursday morning judgment day! Bebe and “The Rock” are flying back to Botswana early Friday so I will take them to the train station today, in order to be at the airport in Marseille for their flight. So the question that will be answered shortly, will Margarite go home with Bebe and “The Rock” or will she stay with me in France for a few more days.

We left for the train station around 11:00am. Margarite had suggested we have lunch at a restaurant she had seen the day before. The restaurant is situation on the banks of the Rhone opposite the Papal Palace. Lunch was good but dessert was great. “The Rock” and I had to indulge ourselves, Flan with a fresh peach, scoop of ice cream surrounded by fresh whip cream. After lunch I took Bebe, “The Rock” and
Margarite to the train station, great news Margarite decided to stay.

On the drive back to Bédoin Margarite suggested we visit a town just a few kilometers away from Bédoin, Crillon-le-Brave, as we drove to the town we ran into the rest of the group they had hiked to this village for lunch and were on their way back. We continued on our way as they head back to the villa. Crillon-le-Brave was a fortified medieval village built on top of a hill. There is a lovely hotel in Crillon-le-Brave, Hostellerie de Crillon le Brave. It is an old monastery and town houses that opens onto splendid views of Mont Ventoux. The hotel had many terraces that over look the surrounding vineyards. Directly next to the hotel is the original church which still functions as the town church.

Like many of the older villages in the region, it was built on a hilltop for defensive purposes and to provide more farmland on the plains below. It is a very small town, with only one paved road running through the middle. The origins of the village date back to Roman times, when it went by the name Crillonium, and later Crillon, but one could say that its modern history begins in the 14th century when a leading Avignon family acquired the feudal rights to the village. A long line of dukes ruled Crillon throughout the period leading up to the French Revolution.

The village takes its full name of Crillon-le-Brave from the most legendary of its dukes: Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon or "Le Brave Crillon" (1541-1615) was one of Henri IV's fiercest and most valiant generals during the French Wars of Religion in the late 16th century. The same Crillon family also gave its name to the famous Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.

Like most of the buildings surrounding the church at the top of the village, the houses that form the core of the Hostellerie have their origins in the 16th and 17th centuries and played an important part in village life.

At the end of the 19th century Crillon-le-Brave was a prosperous and lively village of 800 inhabitants served by several cafés, bars and stores. There was even a local philharmonic society. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the village began a long slow decline. Two wars and a failing water supply left the village almost abandoned and many of its houses fell into ruins. But since the early 1970s new inhabitants have brought new life to the old stones, so that today Crillon-le-Brave has once again become a charming and beautiful village.

On our way home to the villa we ran into the group, they were still in Bédoin, we bought cheeses, pate and some bread to have finger foods for dinner.

DAY 12

Margarite and I got up early to run I figured my legs should have recovered from the mountain by this point. I ran 6 miles from Bédoin to Crillon-le-Brave. Margarite ran 11, while Margarite was finishing her run I did yoga in the town square, I got some interesting looks from the locals. When we returned to the villa the Unknown Women said the pool was warm so I jumped in. The air temperature was 70 degrees the pool temputure was 55 degrees. No sooner had I hit the water, I was right back out of the water, and it was COLD! What the Unknown Women said was the water looks warm.

Testa Rossa and Mobe left for a drive sight seeing the area, G d’B and the Unknown Women want for a walk to the church in Bédoin. Matalin went to town to do some shopping. Margarite and I hung out at the pool for a bit and then headed into town for lunch. We also bought some biking jerseys as souvenirs. Everybody ended back at the villa around 4:00pm.

We all went to dinner to celebrate our last night together except for Margarite and I, everybody was heading to Paris for flights home on Sunday.

DAY 13

Saturday morning Margarite wanted to do a 14 mile run, I recommended that she run the route that Mobe and I biked on Wednesday. I found a mountain bike and rode along, while Margarite ran. It was a perfect morning for a run a little cold for a slow bike ride, my hands were frozen after just a few kilometers, but it was worth it to be with Margarite.

We had to be out of the villa by 10:00am so everybody packed up and cleaned up. The owners of the villa told us about a festival in a small town south of Bédoin, the town was Pernes. We all decided to go to the festival for an hour, then head our separate ways. The festival was neat, many people dressed in old fashion clothes, also a parade with antique cars, motorcycles, bicycle, and horse carts.

After the festival Margarite and I drove for 5 hours toward Paris our goal was to get close enough so we could easily get to Versailles the next day. Margarite picked a small village Saulieu 270 km away from Paris. We stayed at a Hotel Spa called Bernard Loiseau.

http://www.bernard-loiseau.com/EN/BOURGOGNE/relais_bernard_loiseau/?flash_btn_right=2&lang=en

The front of the hotel looked like any other hotel in a small French village as we entered we saw the hotel catered to the rich and famous we were a little out of place. It was clear we over looked one obvious indication of the type of people that frequent this establishment. While in line to valet park our car, the three cars in front of us were a Ferrari, Massarotti, and a Bentley, we should have seen our Opal did not fit in with the cars as we did not fit in with the other guest. To our shock the room rate was reasonable at $140 Euros per night (2 single beds). When we checked in the receptionist asked if we needed dinner reservations, Margarite said yes and made them for 7:30pm.

The restaurant was very elegant, when we arrived there were only a few tables occupied, it was clear we were the worst dressed in the restaurant. At first they put us at a terrible table right by the kitchen door. I am sure they expected us to leave once we saw the prices. When we order they moved us to a much better table. As more people arrived we remained on the worst dressed list, in fact as the night got later the dress code seem to get more and more formal. The food was out of this world not the worlds best, but close, it was the most expensive dinner I have every had. I will need a few good winning poker sessions to pay for dinner. I was shocked Margarite had requested reservations, with what we spent on dinner we could have feed all the orphans in our village for a very long time. I think 2 weeks with me has corrupted Margarite.


1 comment:

Falcon Embroidery said...

christania’s “bike rental” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.