Our Vacation Rental Homes in Sablet, Provence

Sablet Village, Vaucluse, Provence, France
Maison des Pelerins and La Baume des Pelerins, or "les Pelerins" as we affectionately refer to our dream come true, of owning our own homes in Provence, are located in the heart of the Vaucluse. We thoroughly enjoy hearing from our guests to "les Pelerins" that they feel they are spending time in their own home in Provence. To be a part of village life, Sablet is the perfect place. "Les Pelerins" dates back to the time when the Popes administered the Catholic Church from Avignon, with a Papal Vice-Legat having a residence right here in Sablet. Our neighbor's home was the Vice-Legat's residence. Ours was one of the buildings that housed visitors and pilgrims and was connected to it, as we can see from the internal portals, and the front door of Maison des Pelerins. Hence the name - Pelerins is French for pilgrims. I hope this Blog will help you get to know Provence and live your Provencal Dream.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One of Life's True Pleasures ......

One of our life's true pleasures....... is meeting and even for a short time, sharing 
"les Pelerins" with an incredible group of people who are our guests. I am constantly amazed by that group - their kindness and consideration, their observations and insights, which make the experience of  "the Provencal Dream" a much richer one.
Our blog below is written by Paul Baxter, who with his lovely and talented wife Diane recently visited "les Pelerins" and Sablet once more, with their family.  Paul is an Archeologist, at the State Museum of Anthropology, of the University of Oregon in the USA. It was so enjoyable to read his observations of our village, which he has kindly allowed me to share.  A big thanks to Paul and Diane.

"It is one of life’s true pleasures to go to a place that is the essence of its surroundings and become enveloped in that gestalt.  Whether that place is a bustling street in Mombasa, a fishing village in Alaska, a coal mining town in England, a train stop in Kenya, or a wine producing village in Provence, becoming for a moment a citizen of that place, reveals our universal heritage and common humanity.  And there is no better place for that to happen than at a table in the little café in Sablet.   

Patrons of the Cafe des Sports in Sablet, enjoying "un verre"* and a game of cards.
Pleasure can be defined as doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, and having a cold beer or glass of wine served with gusto by the smiling proprietor, who no doubt represents generations of smiling proprietors at this very spot, certainly qualifies.

Bruno, the owner of the Cafe des Sports in Sablet - always welcoming and friendly.
The interesting, and telling thing about this exercise, is that it is virtually unchanging, like Sablet itself. Except for the faces of a few participant observers such as us,  the cast and the experience takes place daily, as it clearly has since the 11th century.  And further, exchange the cassis and the Affligem beer, and the old men gathered at the table near the door of the bar could be in Kansas or Cairo. But they are not.  These old men have spent their lives producing the best wine in the world – there is no arguing about it – and now they are relaxing with very old friends, to laugh at the world and all in it, particularly themselves and by gracious extension, us.

The trail to Seguret lies along the cleared edge of fields, their grape vines heavy with fruit.  Somehow the greens of the trees are different, the soil is uncommon, the air is unusual, the little lizard, not quite the gecko of other trips. Travel, done well, changes one’s perspective on the world, on oneself.  Thoughtful introspection has space to occur,  a more difficult task at home.  This time, this place, for you, will not happen again. The phrase carpe diem, no doubt spoken in this place by some well-travelled Roman, floats in one’s mind.  The Britisher, he seemed British as we sidled by, seated in the midst of the trail sketching studiously, if not well, an overhanging tree, will be part of this diem for the rest of my life.  I did not sketch it, but because of him, I will remember it, and I thank him for that, although I would not have bothered him with my appreciation.

And then you return to the little apartment, with its views of the vineyards, underlined by the tiled roofs of this old, old village.  Eleventh century roof beams, wholly preserved, partner perfectly with the rough quarried limestone to create and continue this little town.  What can this mean in a world of international travel, instant texting, and scattered, scattered, families?  It is at the very least, a symbol of stability.  Those old men, the wine makers, are the sons of wine makers, the grandsons of wine makers, the great grandsons and so on,  for 50 generations, for 1000 years.   The depth of human-time is palpable. If one listens to these beams, to these stones, one can see the people down through time, in the streets, in the fields, growing the grapes, making the wine, sitting at the little café, telling the stories, and laughing."

Please Note:  The pictures were taken by another of our very talented guests!   Loran List - a Professional Photographer from Monterey California.
I have shown pictures  of Loren's pictures, as the originals are 24" x 18" and too big for my scanner.
The Originals are far superior in photo quality, but the composition is so wonderful
that I wanted to share them on this blog

* un verre - literally - a glass - or as common usage - "a drink". 

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