Day four: At the suggestion of my dear friend Scott (Hi, Scott!), we recently watched A Good Year. This movie, based on the book by Peter Mayle, starred Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard and was filmed in Provençal villages near ours. We saw lots of scenes we recognized and a few that we didn’t. We decided to become acquainted with the latter and went to visit Gordes, where many of the village scenes were filmed.
It’s no wonder that Gordes was chosen for the film. It has everything a Provençal village is supposed to: On a hilltop? Check. Breathtaking castle? Check. Spectacular church? Check. Charming town squares with fountains in the center? Check. Stone-walled town houses? Check. Restaurant and café terraces with spectacular views? Check.
We found the roundabout that Russell Crowe’s character circled when he was lost and the café where Marion Cotillard’s character worked. But given that Gordes is lovely and people flock to Provence in August, the place was so mobbed it was difficult to get a decent picture without some tourist (and always one from a country full of tall people, like The Netherlands) wandering in front of my camera. But we did our best.
In the evening we helped our friend Jan celebrate her birthday with an open-air concert in La Roque d’Antheron. Francois Chaplin performed the works of Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, and Haydn as the sun sank behind the trees. We finished the evening with pizza and wine on Jan and Paul’s terrace, enjoying a conversation so lively that their children, Arthur and Imogen, actually opted to stay and participate instead of taking off when the pizza was gone.
Perfectly lovely day spent sightseeing and having fun with good friends? Check.