Le Vieux, Le Meilleur

So if you were passing through the Luberon, Provence, and you had one pit stop, where would I take you? Well… Le Vieux, Oppede le Vieux.  Here time stands semi freddo, Miss Haversham cobwebs cling to crumbling castles and fairytale cottages, paths weave up from the square that glows softly in the apricot evening light and at each turn the Luberon is spread out before you carpeted in its fields of lavendar, hill top villages glinting and crowning it all  a tiny jewel of a baroque church.

oppede le vieux on arrivalIt’s a speck on the map, a village deserted in 1900 for laissez-faire valley life, slowly artists and a few brave souls enchanted by its beauty set up home after 1945 and unlike many Provencal villages which are postcard-perfection Le Vieux is still half empty, medieval windows open to the elements and vines curling up through broken facades.

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look up though and you will see evidence of loving restoration.

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But I have run ahead of myself,  let’s start in the square, gently take in the atmosphere

oppede le vieux

magical right?

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I like to sit down, have a drink, soak it in, watch the cats

oppede le vieux cafe soak up the lanes either side

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the flowers, the houses, the warm lightIMG_4891

pick a favourite or twoprovencal house oppede le lieux

I love the tender care lavished, the gentle ove …

then you set off through the archway, and every path leads up…

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tantalising nooksIMG_4898

Rapunzel towers

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vast wallsIMG_1648

tiny details testament to the eternal human trinity of ‘hearth, home and humour’.

oppede le vieux detail

and as you rise up… the views

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the glories

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including naturally a castle, for us all to dream beside …being English

castle Oppede Le Vieux

A last corner, a final look over the edge IMG_4906

then the church gleaming after its recent restorationIMG_4927

inside  work continues, to preserve what’s imperfectly-perfectly leftIMG_1672

momento mori’s remind me that life needs living

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ancient graffiti lingers on

IMG_1674and the colour-rich climax is still inspiringIMG_1668

 I am not known for my religious fervour, but I am blown away by this tiny village every trip, where time seems curiously absent, as you are absorbed into its  ageless beauty so removed from daily life.

But I am back now and there’s lots of plans to be made, trips to be planned and blogs to be written.

One thought on “Le Vieux, Le Meilleur

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