After an early breakfast we checked out of the hotel and headed off to the train station to pick up the car. Avis had interpreted that when we said train station, we actually meant their depot on the eastern side of town – somewhat near the train station. Having established that, we were of again via taxi to pick up the car.
I'm still not sure what kind of car it was, suffice to say- I never want to drive one like that again – far too many non-intuitive quirks in finding the hand break, reverse gear and petrol cap lock. Anyway we were off to stop number one L'Isle- Sur-La-Sorgue.
This is where I'll probably have to confess to being a Russell Crowe fan. This whole leg of the trek coming from my many viewings of his character in “A Good Year” where he escapes the corporate life in London to sit back and watch grapes grow in the Luberon.
Anyway, we escaped the traffic of Avignon and before long were wandering the streets of L'Isle- Sur-La-Sorgue using the waterwheel map as a guide to take us through the city. Because of its waterways, L'Isle- Sur-La-Sorgue has been described as the Venice of France. It lies on the Sorgue river at the point where the river parts into two. Mainly in the early 1800's, but going back to the 1500's, wheels driven by the water were used as the main energy source for the wool and silk industry with the town becoming a major supplier of carpets and blankets.
It was't long before we found a great spot for lunch- none other than the 'Grand Cafe de la Sorgue”, where we sat by the river, enjoying both the food and the view.
Built in 1530, this was initially used to support tool grinding, then wool and silk spinning and finally as a plaster mill.
After finding all of the main 14 water wheels we were off again to Puyvert, not realizing it was on the southern side of the Luberon Mountains (Montage du Luberon), so we had some narrow roads and mountain passes to navigate before arriving at Puyvert- which was a welcome sight.
Puyvert B&B - where we had the entire top floor.
Puyvert - View From Our Window
While it didn't have the history of Loches, it certainly had the outlook and creature comforts.
Carol was pretty happy with the size of the room, the bed and the bath.