Monday, June 2, 2008

Lourmarin, Provence, France

Every time I think about another little hill village in or near the Luberon, I want to call it my favourite one. Lourmarin is utterly charming, home for about 1,100 residents, and the resting place for Albert Camus. But since Peter Mayle is now reportedly living here, I suspect it will become increasingly busy with English-speaking tourists. We went for the Friday market, which is one of the best in the area. It stretched for blocks and had none of the cheap trinkets or clothing found in too many Parisian markets. This seemed to be upscale, like the village itself.

Asparagus was looking superb, but we did not have access to a kitchen, and I was surprised to see garlic being sold before the stalks had withered. Since garlic is crucial to so many Provencale dishes, I guess they like to get the season started as quickly as possible. One vendor had an array of large bowls of ground spices, reminded me that we were in a part of France that has been profoundly influenced by Mediterranean cooking.

The village is surrounded by an old wall, which has (if I sensed things correctly) another lower wall just outside. One is able to walk between these two walls, one that is very high (formerly protecting the village) and one that is the more traditional garden height. A number of my pictures were taken while walking on this very special walkway. My little G9 is always in my pocket and served me well for these shots. I tried to capture a sense of the claustrophobia I experienced when crouching to get under the thick stone buttresses which went over the walk way.