In Vaison La Romaine - You lead me away from home, just to save you from touring alone - CycleBlaze

May 11, 2022

In Vaison La Romaine

With a rest day planned, we took our time enjoying multiple coffees and having our breakfast in our suite. Thanks to Scott and Racheal Anderson`s recent visit to Vaison la Romaine, they offered the perfect activity for us on a non riding day.  Following their lead,  a hike to Le Crestet seemed  like a great thing  to do. Checking the web, it is noted as, ¨A secret village with recognized charm¨ so it should interesting to see.

But first, it was Tuesday and a market was be set up across the bridge in the main square of Vaison la Romaine. We wondered across the bridge  and encountered a large number of vendors  stalls as soon as we enter ed the town and all along the streets leading to the main square. But it was different from the markets we are used to in France. This one was primarily selling goods such as purses, hats, women's clothing, fabric, olive wood products and knick knacks. There was only one stall with vegetables and one with nuts and oil. The market seemed to be set up for tourists and  not so much the local community. As nothing interested us, we moved quickly to begin our walk up to Le Crestet. 

Pat is a regular walker at home and Scott only tags along once in awhile, but today we were both happy to be walking! Soon into our walk we saw an old castle high on the hill but on the other side of a small valley. We wondered if this was our destination. We followed trail markers and signs along a mix of asphalt then broken road surfaces to dirt and finally rock road. It was a continuous climb but not too steep before reaching the top. Scott hoped that this backroad was the only way up to the old village so that we would have the place to ourselves but Pat was not at all surprised to see a parking lot with  cars when we entered the village. Drat! Beaten by the car again.

Le Crestet has a 9th century castle which unfortunately is temporarily closed.  But the small medieval village has many other sights to see as well as great views looking over the fields toward Mount Ventoux. 

We enjoyed our coffee and a wonderful piece of ¨made in house¨ cake in the only restaurant in town. The unobstructed panoramic views were fantastic and we enjoyed our conversation with a couple from LA who were the only other patrons. Fueled up we made our way back down the slopes. 

The Tuesday market in Vaison la Romaine was not our cup of tea.
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Climbing up the hill behind Vaison La Romaine and looking back toward the town.
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Follow the signs to Le Crestet.
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The route to Le Crestet started on a small rocky trail up to a road.
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There it is, across the valley and up the hill.
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Our view toward Mount Ventoux
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A closer look in the clouds.
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Some really interesting artifacts but with no signage it is hard to figure out their meaning.
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The town's fountain dates back to 1843.
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The village's communal wash area.
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Arriving back above the remains of the castle at Vaison la Romaine.
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We finished our day with afternoon naps and  picked up dinner from a near by shop. We also walked around the old part of town. Vaison la Romaine is not really busy right now but there are a number of day trippers. Our hosts tell us this is the calm before the storm. It seems like a good time to be here. The weather is nice but not too hot and the summer rush has yet to arrive.

We enjoyed our day and time here.  Pat recorded 27 thousand steps for the day - close to a record she says but not quite. Tomorrow we will be back on the bikes with a ride to Montbrun-les-Bains.

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In Vaison la Romaine.
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In Vaison la Romaine.
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In Vaison la Romaine.
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Sunset taken from our balcony.
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