The shimmering city on the hill
May 21, 2016 | evening
open scene: Group of Hollywood producers are sitting around the table discussing their latest epic Fantasy blockbuster.
“Look…here’s my vision…imagine this…camera starts out in this lush green valley dotted with farms and zooms in towards the hillside, as it zooms in you start to make out this shimmering city built on to the hillside, camera zooms in, and then up as it pans out and you are left with this beautiful ancient city, it’s almost glowing silver and gold”.
Welcome to Gordes.
Gordes is…wait for it….one of the prettiest villages in France (3 checked off!) and sits atop another hillside. Unlike Roussillon, with it’s ocher colored buildings, Gordes has a striking silver and gold hue…almost something out of a Disney cartoon involving princes, princesses, and someone who is bad.
The city beams color in the late afternoon sun. This is a town knows it’s bread and butter and makes sure everyone has plenty of opportunities to snap photos of the town.
The one exception is the dude with the above ground pool filled with algae green water…I’m thinking he didn’t get his handbook on how to be part of the prettiest villages.
Looking out over the village and the surrounding countryside, this view, this moment…that is why you come here to the Luberon. Gordes may be a bit touristy, and almost too storybook…but somewhere, some place, had to be the inspiration.
Eventually we tear ourselves aware from Gordes and the surrounding countryside. For dinner we head to an outdoor Provençal barbeque joint called Les Cedres. Hunks of beef cooked on an open fire 20 feet away from the table, a bottle of red wine, and let’s not forget the Pastis to start the dining session off.
So, let’s recap the day. A local market, a long leisurely lunch, visiting two of the prettiest villages in France capped off by a Provençal barbeque…Eat your heart out Travel Channel.