“Ohoh, beautiful, gorgeous, wish you were here”


That’s a line from the movie French Kiss. Meg Ryan’s reaction to walking into a small Provençal square with Kevin Kline. I had that feeling today.

I headed north today to Chateauneuf du Pape country. Miles and miles of vineyards, wineries, wine shops, and tastings. Before I got into Chateauneuf du Papes I drove into a vineyard. It was right out of a movie, or Falcon Crest, that long driveway passing acres of vines to a magnificent villa. Unfortunately the next tasting was at 5pm and it was barely 11am. I asked at the Tourist Office and they said its harvest time and the vineyard workers are busier.

I read at interesting book recently written by a British woman who with her husband bought an old vineyard in France. Her husband ended up going back to England and she stayed on and after several back breaking years had an award winning wine. She goes into great about how the grapes are grown, harvested, made into wine, bottled on a truck that comes to the vineyard, and distributed. Gave me a whole new appreciation of wine – if that’s possible. She describes a vehicle that is used to pick the grapes, row by row, and it was hard to imagine it but I a couple of them today.

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Around another bend and I see more villa vineyards then the Chateuneuf du Pape castle on the hill. The castle had a long history before the popes took it over as a summer castle and it’s in ruins, but nevertheless it’s commanding up on that hill.

The village of Chateauneuf du Pape is tiny, quaint and full of wine tasting shops. Very little of anything else. Except more bikers, the hills must be killer. I wonder if half of them are wondering what the heck was I thinking!

After a quick lunch on the square I’m off to Orange to see the Roman amphitheater.
Orange is ancient – like back to 35BC. The Theater is described as the most impressive still existing in Europe. They still use it for concerts because the acoustics are said to be amazing. I got this picture from the Internet to show the size.
Roman theater in Orange

By the time I leave Orange I’m beat. It’s been a busy few days and I’ve decided tomorrow I’m not driving. So I’ve decided to take the river cruise with lunch on the Rhone River down to Arles to see more Roman ruins. It will be a more leisurely day and I’m looking forward to seeing the area from the river.
The driving was fine on the way to Chateauneuf and Orange but the ride home was in traffic and stressful. I also got onto a toll road somehow and had to deal with that!

The weather has been perfect for the whole trip. It was beautiful yesterday then it rained for awhile as soon as I got back to the apartment. Same thing happened today. I’ve been sooooo lucky.

3 Replies to ““Ohoh, beautiful, gorgeous, wish you were here””

  1. oh france-just looking at those wonderful pictures-thanks for taking us along- I’m getting excited for Italy – milly

  2. yes, taking us along Milly is a good thought. I feel like I’m there on your wonderful trip Kath. Some places we’ve been to …Orange and the amphitheatre, the wineries of Chateauneuf du Pape, Avignon, Gordes, others not…Uzes, Ilse sur la Sorge…so fun to read!

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