When do you know that you are somewhere special? What is it that evokes such feelings? Maybe an exotic location, maybe when you are doing something totally exhilarating like meeting the challenge of a death defying ski slope, one you are not only mastering but also actually enjoying! Maybe it is a stroll through beautiful countryside, maybe it’s standing in front of a skyscraper in Manhattan or amidst the ruins at Ephesus…’special’ means different things for all of us depending……….
I am now enfolded in the embrace of a place that is special to me, Lourmarin, in the southern Luberon, Provence. A small, medieval village I first visited on a fresh, crisp spring morning nearly 4 years ago. Where I stood and felt that overwhelming feeling of excitement and wonder…..that this was the place I had been searching for. A brief glimpse of what it might be to live here and now I find that I am…. amidst crumbling clay tiled, golden stone buildings and meandering cobbled streets
There are a handful of bustling cafes and restaurants, a handful more of chic shops ready to entice the notes from visitor’s wallets.
These are mingled with the one boulangerie, 2 tiny groceries, a wine shop, a pharmacy and a beautiful chateau.
Huddled concentrically under the Luberon hills, footpaths and lanes flanked with olives groves, sprawling vineyards, their abundance waiting to be picked and at this time of year bright red berries everywhere, reminiscent of holly berries on a Christmas card, perfect for an autumn table decoration.
Our new home is in the center of this enclave, down a few lavender fringed steps a 2-minute stroll from it all.
Old and charming but recently gently introduced to the 21stcentury providing that perfect blend of character and functionality – nooks and crannies, up 3 steps and down 2, shutters freshly painted in soft, ‘duck egg blue’, overlooking a sundrenched, west facing courtyard that seems to flow into the house – heavenly outdoor/indoor living. Woken each morning to the gentle chiming of 2 church clocks, slightly out of sync with each other, to a view of ancient stone and clay tiles.
This is to be our home for several months. 40 km from vibrant Aix-en-Provence, 50 from Avignon and just a bit further from the magic of Uzes.
Not perfect, the car can’t be parked in front, so hauling the grocery shopping bags is a feat, the mistral is already goading us, the supermarket is a 10 minute drive away, the French are well the French and sometimes the internet doesn’t work……. but it is special to us, lucky lucky us!!
Download The Lourmarin Travel Guide to learn more about this beautiful region of Provence