Senior Tourists Travel to Gordes

Jun 9th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Gordes is a name that looks and sounds a lot like gourds, but there the similarity stops.   On one of my many trips to Provence, I met three ladies (who happened to be senior citizens) in a small village and they were “taking in Provence” by
visiting one small village each day for three weeks.  Seniors, this village in Provence, listed as “one of the most beautiful villages in France” was one of their favorites.

Gordes is a beautiful traditional Provencal ‘village on a rock’ with narrow cobbled streets that wind ever higher through the tall, ancient houses to the church and castle at the top, with views across the Luberon mountains and region.  The view from the top is totally awesome.  I knew that it had to be special because my prof at Harvard had a retreat in the Luberon.

Peter Mayle, called Mr. Provence due to his many books written about the region, chose this as his retirement center.  I had the good fortune to meet M. Mayle in a bakery in Cavaillon.  He was writing a book called Our Daily Bread based one of the most famous bakeries in France.  Gerard Auzet runs his family’s bakery, Chez Auzet, where it has been
operating since 1951.  He wrote another called Confessions of a French Baker-Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes.
Mayle joined my group as we toured the bakery.  At the end, he gave his autograph on a neat postcard.  I am easily distracted when talking about Provence, as you can see.  Gordes has a world wide reputation due to its famous
inhabitants, and Peter Mayle’s book A Year in Provence certainly helped.

Back to Gordes.  Whatever you do when you visit Gordes don’t miss the Abbey of Senanque hidden in the green valley just below the village.  Cistercian monks still live there producing honey, lavender essence, and liqueurs. The whole twelfth century edifice is open for visits. Who knows…I may run into you in Provence one day. Au revoir. jeb



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