January 2, 2011

May 26| Orange to Cavaillon

Hotel courtyard
Hotel in Cavaillon: Hotel du Parc. Wonderful, affordable. The hotel had a great courtyard, lovely, quirky  room, excellent breakfast, good bathtub. Easy walking distance to restaurants. There was a Roman arch close to the hotel. It was all I want in a hotel after a day of riding

Walled city entrance, Peyrne-la-Fontaines
The riding was pleasant enough as we left Orange, but nothing particularly memorable. Until the morning brought a memorable thunderstorm. Somewhere along the D938 towards Isle-la-Sorgue a sudden thunderstorm blew through, bringing large, marble-sized hail. We took refuge in a motorcycle shop, where the owner graciously let us wait inside and chatted with us until the storm passed. I doubt that he understood much of what I said, and I certainly didn't understand all of what he said. After the storm passed we continued south. We had thought of visiting L'Isle sur la Sorgue, but it was crowded with bumper-to-bumper cars, and now famous mostly for its antique stores, so we didn't stop. It reminded us of the Berkshires in the summertime.

Architectural detail
But Peyrnes-les-Fontaines was a huge treat. We happened upon it and enjoyed it immensely. The medieval village inside the town wall brags 35 or more fountains, a covered market hall, twisting narrow cobblestone streets and a moat (or perhaps river) immediately outside the wall. We saw mostly residential neighborhoods full of narrow pathways, stone stepways, walls and nooks whose origin wasn’t clear to us. We ate lunch in the covered market hall, near the cormorant fountain and this door.

29 miles. D2 / D29 / D 176 / D109 / D3

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