I really don't know if we started out any earlier today than any other day, but it continues to be the goal. We headed out to Chateauneuf Du Pape. This is actually a town or village or city, not sure what ranking it gets here, more of a village in my mind. But it is pretty famous for wine. Really good expensive red wine. And it is not just one winery. There are gobs of them. So many that the map for the village is all just tasting rooms and wine sellers.
All I really wanted was a postcard to send to my Dad and my Aunt Denise. I remember when my aunt flew out to surprise my dad for his 75th birthday, her one goal was to get a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape for him. I think she said that was the wine their parents had at their wedding. But in true idiotic American style, we showed up at 12:05 pm. Yep, smack dab in the middle of nap time when nothing is opened. So we drove around and kind of accidentally found what I think was the the original Chateua, now a ruin. It was at the very top of the hill and had majestic views. The wind was also back today with very strong gusts. So I think many of my photos will be out of focus because the wind was literally blowing me and the camera around. But it was still beautiful none the less.
We then wandered down and ended up in the town. We did find one open store that sold beautiful knit sweaters (that absolutely did not fit my body, dang it) and some gorgeous scarves. I got me one of those. Reminds me of lavender flowers and fields. We then had a delicious lunch at an outdoor cafe. The menu du jour was filet mignon with champignon (mushrooms), tomato and mozzarella. So we were thinking our kind of filet mignon, you know, cow flavor. Nope, this was pork. And absolutely delicious! We sat next to a very large party hosted by a very gregarious man with a sweet big dog who sat with him. Unfortunately he kept talking to us but I have absolutely no idea what he was saying. So I just smiled, a lot. I can follow your French if I first tell you that I don't speak it, okay maybe just a little. And if I know what the subject is. Words out of the blue stay out of the blue for me. But I liked the dog.
After lunch we hit the tourism office to see if there was an area that other stores we could wander in, you know, stores other than wine stores. And she either didn't understand me or there really weren't any. Or at least that is what I understood. I finally just asked where I could get a post card and she told me the Tabac, but it didn't open until 4. Mom was not eager (or even willing) to wait around an hour an a half for that. Oh well, my one goal, quashed. But we did go to a chocolate store on the way out of town. A very fancy chocolate store. And we bought stuff. Now to get it home without melting...
We regrouped once we got to the car. It was all up hill. Steep, steep hills which took a bit to recover from. Hey, I probably could have run back down to the Tabac at that point. (teasing!) We decided to go to Roussillon. It is a town known for the red coloring of the cliffs that it is built on. If you are from my area, its kind of like Red Rock just up from my parents' house. Or for the rest of you, similar to the color of the Grand Canyon. That is how they describe it. It was quite the adventure getting there. We let the lady (GPS lady) direct us. And we went through some pretty crazy small, skinny, windy, hilly roads. The kind where you hope there are no cars coming around the corner. The lady did pretty good this time. Well except for one time. Although her directions were accurate, she kept saying make a left turn, make a left turn. I bust out laughing because if I didn't follow the road to the left, the only way it was going, I would have driven directly off the cliff. I don't think my passenger thought it was that funny. Maybe you had to be there.
The cliffs really were beautiful. And they have an overlook that shows some erosion that has happened, but you get to see a range of colors from deep red at the top through orange and yellow, down to a shade of white at the base.