How wonderful to have my son to myself for a whole week! ‘Buried’ together in the depths of the Luberon, as I introduced him to all that I hold dear about this beautiful spot. James is definitely a European, proud to be British but he is not a Francophile.
James has reveled in studying in Copenhagen for 6 months, loving its history and culture, set against a backdrop of clean efficiency where everything works. For similar reasons he has always enjoyed visiting Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Sweden. James is certainly not indifferent to breathtaking scenery and magnificent historical architecture, his favourite European city being Prague.
France has its own distinct charm, but despite its beauty and history, is, I have to admit, somewhat lacking in a Danish or German orderly cleanliness. Shops close or don’t even bother to open, lunch breaks are long, shutters remain firmly fastened and in some of the local villages and small towns there is a deserted. uninteresting feel.
So what could I do to help James see what I love?
I believe that introductions to places, like to people, have to be gentle, they shouldn’t be forced. Each party should be given time to get to know each other.
So we began by strolling the cobbled streets of Lourmarin, beneath the stone, shuttered buildings. We wandered further into the countryside, beside the vibrant, red leafed vineyards, now bereft of their bounty but still dominating the landscape. Everywhere there were olive trees, some still bowing heavily with this year’s crop. Gazing across these fields to the Lourmarin chateau in the distance there was no need for me to enthuse, the scene spoke to James all by itself.
James really enjoyed the pomelo from the local marché!As we toured around Luberon’s perched villages, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Rousillon and Gordes we did so under a stunning blue Provencal sky. Yes, there were small disappointments, cafés were closed on a Wednesday afternoon in mid November, as were many of the shops. However the scenery and unique atmosphere was present in all its glory as I watched my son snap photos and smile.Will James ever really get what I get about this area, no probably not. However he knows how special it is to me. Both of us appreciated the precious gift of spending time together, sharing a treasured piece of life’s journey.
And for James, it always brightens his day if there is an interesting car on hand!