In spite of a rather heavy rain storm when I landed in Madrid, on my journey from Nice, France, the flight to Palma de Mallorca in Spain was uneventful although I don’t think that I have ever been in smaller seats and literally unable to sit without my knees crammed against the seat in front of me. Beware of coach class on Air Nostrum, the budget branch of Iberia Airlines which tends to serve smaller markets. Mallorca is going to have to wait though for me to catch up on the final days of France with my daughter who is now on her way home to the USA. So to Sunday October 9, 2016 in the Luberon region of France. Our first stop was, of all places, the cemetery in the lovely village of Lourmarin where one of my all time favorite authors Albert Camus is buried. I did not realize that Camus died exactly on my own 21st birthday, January 4, 1960 and at only 46 years old. Camus of “The Stranger” and other wonderful stories and the second youngest winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Rudyard Kipling being the youngest. The most interesting and formerly unknown to me, Chateaux de Lourmarin was our next stop and among it’s many treasures and it’s architecture were photos of Camus including one with Andre Malraux in 1959. After the delights of the chateaux, the village of Lourmarin itself was a perfect example of life in a small French village on a Sunday morning with couples and groups and a few singles too enjoying the somewhat brisk autumn air warmed by the sun’s slanting rays. Of all things, I bought a rug in Lourmarin for my new condo in Lake Forest, California next year.
Lunch was at the lovely Restaurant L’atelier Gourmand des Bories near the village of Gordes. Set in a wonderful location with views of the surrounding bucolic Luberon countryside, the food, service and ambience were exactly as one would expect in a Michelin starred restaurant-everything just right but not overdone. Brief visits to the Abbey de Senanque and the village of Gordes rounded out our day with a return to Aix en Provence and our final night in Hotel Le Pigonnet. Just a few words about our stay in the villa at Le Pigonnet: dimly lit, difficult access to electrical outlets, lack of any substantive heating with overnight temperatures below 50 degrees yet all in all we really enjoyed the excellent breakfasts, the delightful service and the location near enough for easy access to central Aix but far enough away to be a calm oasis for my daughter and me.