Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Off to Roussillon, err, Lourmarin

It's voting time again over at Rachel's for the Stiched in Color Celebrate Color competition.

My tumbler quilt made it through to the final round, as did my lovely friend Eva's Fall Colour Pillow. There are plenty of things to oggle in the four categories - please do click through and vote for those that take your fancy!

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The other weekend we were all set to take a drive deep into the Luberon Valley when we encountered the main road in blocked off at Lourmarin. Now, in France there are roads blocked off (which everyone ignores and drives around the signs) and there are Roads Blocked Off. Given that people, actual French people, were turning around, we thought maybe this was the real deal.

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Then we realised the detour would add somewhere between 30 - 45 mins onto our drive. It was close to lunch time, four children in the car, catastrophe looming...the mister and I could see the Ch√Ęteau de Lourmarin in the rear view mirror which we still hadn't visited. So Lourmarin it was.

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The castle was built in the 15th and 16th centuries (on the ruins of a 12th century fortress) and all the rooms are decorated with fancy castle trappings from the 15th to 19th centuries.

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No photos allowed inside again - I missed the sign and got in trouble for clicking away willy-nilly in the kitchen. Oops.

Inside this tall tower:

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Was the most amazing staircase:

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I declared the stairs not technically inside. I guess they agreed because no one told me off.

Each stair is like a stone fan blade that sits on top of the previous - as they stack to form the staircase and the groovy spiral the goes up the centre. Here: some super cool person wrote a paper on it and they put the diagrams on the wall.

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Nerds rock.

Other good things about the castle: they have a treasure hunt questionnaire to keep the kids interested as you go from room to room, plus you get discounted entry to other attractions in the area if you hold on to your tickets. Excellent.

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After galavanting around the castle we had a spot of lunch in the town and then had a look around. Even though we'd been to Lourmarin before, there's always something new to be found.

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The drive home was particularly lovely with bright autumn sunshine all about.

I've never seen artichokes growing before (I've lead a sheltered existence).

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Aren't they pretty?

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Cannot be tamed*:

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As for today, I am still contemplating this stitcherisation. Don't think it will turn out as planned, but that might not be such a bad thing:

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I guess we'll see in the end.

* Not really. I obeyed the sign and found a different artichoke field to stomp around in. Miley Cyrus would be ashamed.

8 comments:

  1. Sometimes the unexpected is just as good. Hope you get to Roussillon eventually.
    I'm surprised/impressed/worried you know the words, what's worse is I know what you're talking about.
    Really love the photo of the chairs.

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  2. My favourites today are the sweet cat peeping out at you and the purple cushion! I wonder whether a person or a cat usually sits there? I was only looking at my French photos last night, including our visit to Provence and Roussillon!

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  3. "These are good picture takings!" say my twins reading over my shoulder and I agree. Their favourite is the cat photo of course.

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  4. ahh I just saw you did not win at Rachel's 'Celebrate Colour'.
    But I voted for your creation!
    AB FAB
    still is!

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  5. Are you kidding me? That kitty in the drainpipe??? Prize winning photo right there. And I love the chairs in the alleyway. I picture all the old ladies, Madame deFarge-style, sat knitting there at dusk each evening. Another stunning photo essay, thank you!

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  6. I love castles and Lourmarin is especially enchanting. You're not the only one. I've never seen artichokes growing before either. Thank you for sharing those pictures. They sure are pretty.

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  7. I love your photos so much! I want to be back in France right now!! Love the kitty shot too. I took a kitty shot in Viviers which is one of my favourites from the trip. I always imagine them to be saying "le meow", am I weird??!

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Hi there, I love getting comments, so let her rip! I do my very best to reply (by email) so please make sure your account is set up to show email, so that I can get back to you. Cheers, Kirsty

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