A Villa En Provence

We have been cycling in the south of France since the late 1990’s. On trips in 1998, 2001 and 2007 we toured the area and took in the sights and smells that are Provence. We were on point to point trips, sampling and moving through the area pretty quickly. When the chance for an extended stay trip presented itself, the allure of settling in and really getting to know life in Provence was a no-brainer.

Our search for where to stay had several criteria. We wanted access to good cycling routes while still being close enough to civilization for shopping and decent restaurant choices. Since we had 5 weeks we decided on 3 locations (for more varied cycling options) and I set to work exploring VRBO.

First up, St. Marcellin.
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The village is very small. It’s a suburb of the more robust and touristy Vaison-La-Romaine, which has very old Roman ruins high on a cliff.

Roman ruins
Roman ruins
The arch bridge is more than 2000 years old. They built them to last in the old days. This bridge would have been torn down 65 times if it was in Atlanta.
spans the Ouveze River
spans the Ouveze River

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Welcome to our house for our first 2 weeks in Provence.
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The gravel driveway greets us at the end of each of our rides. This is a very private house, surrounded by gardens at the top of the driveway.
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Come around the corner and you see a very inviting swimming pool.
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Inside the window on the left is the eating area and living room.
taken through the window, dining table in foreground
taken through the window, dining table in foreground

The window on the right is the small, but sufficient kitchen. I suppose it’s the proper French kitchen–there is no microwave, but that hot water machine can make a cup of tea in two minutes. You won’t be surprised to find out that the house is owned by British people.
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Down the hallway are three generic bedrooms and a bathroom. The water closet is at the end of the hall.
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The inside is really nothing to get too excited about, but the outdoors. where we spend a lot of time, is divine. It’s completely private. Hedges block out any neighboring property and the road below. The pool is surrounded by beautiful fruit trees, herbs we have used in our cooking, and the sounds of cicadas.
taken from the higher terrace level
taken from the higher terrace level

There is also an outdoor shower area next to the grill.
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No clothing is required in this yard…no pictures please!

Two hammocks are available for the ultimate in relaxation or napping.

it's like a reading cocoon
it’s like a reading cocoon

Included in the price of admission is a Bocce ball court, and clothes drying lines to kick it old-school and get that fresh-air feeling in your cycling clothing.

Coming up, we move fifty miles down the road to a new location and a new villa, which is where I’ll pick up the narrative in a few days.

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