Fun_People Archive
12 Oct
France 2000, Vasion-La-Romaine

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 100 02:36:29 -0700
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Subject: France 2000, Vasion-La-Romaine

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Vaison-la-Romaine, day one

First, let me again say, I don't do these little tomes to show off.  I
write these so we can remember what we did for all those times in France
when we get old.

I think we are finally getting regulated to the time and temperature here.
After a great dinner in the hotel with the rich sauces and some '96
Mont-Redon, we both fell into bed for a great night's sleep.  Eight o'clock
seems like it came too fast.  That's when the breakfast came to the room.
At Le Beffroi, you can go down for breakfast or have it in the room, it's
the same either way.  Considering the view from our room, it was a no
brainer.  It's gonna be a great day.

It looks as though September is a good time to visit France.  The
traditional French holidays are in July and August so the streets and hotels
are not crowded.  You do meet alot of people from England which is good
because they all speak english but not so good because they are mostly all
grumpy.  Most would rather sit by the pool than explore Roman ruins.  Can't
blame them considering there's no sun in England.

But we plan to go to the ruins today.  The last time we were here, it was
Bastille Day and most of that stuff was closed, everyone was out partying.
But first things first.  There are two little shops in this medieval city
we want to visit.  There's a little gallery that sells hand made pottery
from the area and there's a little linen shop that sells tablecloths,
napkins, place mats, etc.  Now we can get this stuff in the states but it's
very expensive.  We picked out two serving dishes that I can carry in my
suitcase.  We paid about $33.00 American for each.  At the Sign of the Bear
in Sonoma, the same ones (but not as nice) would cost $120.00 apiece.  He
wrapped them well in paper & bubble wrap and off we went to the linen shop.
Miki went nuts in here.  They sell these brightly colored, Provencal
tablecloths (but not as nice) at Macy's for $95.00 each plus tax.  Miki
picked up three for $22.00 each, no tax.  So she got everything including
the oven mitt and easily saved enough to pay for the stay in Vaison.

Now we can get off to the ruins.  They found an entire Roman town, including
a theater, buried under parts of Vaison-la-Romaine.  There are a couple of
houses from wealthy Romans that covered about 45,000 square feet.  This
included courtyards, reception areas, gardens, kitchen, servants quarters,
etc.  They knew how to live!  They found enough stuff in the houses to
determine which rooms were which.  In one house they found a silver bust
of the owner. And there are the beautiful mosaic floors with peacocks,
dolphins, dancing girls, etc.  Really stunning for 2000 years old.

We spent most of the day at the ruins, slowly taking it all in and avoiding
the direct sun.  There's a nice little breeze but the sun is still hot this
time of year.  They have done such an amazing job in digging and restoring
the site, it's easy to spend the day.

We finally walked back to the room and propped the feet up for a while.
We decided to take it easy tonight and not go for the exquisite cuisine at
the hotel but to walk back to one of the little cafes in Vaison for a local
pizza and some local wine.  It was a good choice.  We stopped at a place
called Mulligan's Bar, next to a place called The Sporting Bar.  They cater
mostly to the tourist crowds so they like the American sounding names.
Tomorrow we go to Chateauneuf du Pape.

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