Our next destination was a beautiful village in Province, Lumarin, where we arrived Saturday afternoon, just in time to grab a pizza up the street from our  destination before they closed for their  afternoon break.  This region called the Luberon is in south-eastern France. Loumarin is truly one of the most beautiful villages in France, nestled in the mountains, with terrific cafes, hiking trails, intimate shops, and local cuisine,  and not at all commercial. The locals are very kind. Like many of the places we have visited,  there are no Americans and little or no English spoken.  We chose to be there for 10 days for a much needed chill and also to get some good hiking in. Plus, it is in close proximity to Avignon, Lacoste, and the Cote d’ Azure for some fun day trips. Our plan was  use it as a base and venture out for  two or three days.  While John held our place at the pizza restaurant, I walked  up a narrow ally way with the property managers who let me into to our 17th century apartment,  renovated just enough  to be comfortable. After pizza, wine, and unloading part of the car,  we headed into town and found Café Gaby. For many reasons, we would hang out a café Gaby daily. On day two, we headed to the boulangerie for a cappuccino and croissant. We walked the town and scoped out he entrance to the trails. We came back to the car and unloaded and settled in for the rest of the stay, after a great meal at Café Gaby.

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Originally, when we came into town, we were happy to find that the little village had a lot of on-street parking marked with the now familiar white parking lines that meant, “all clear” — no pay stations or towing zones. I reached out to the property managers to double check and got  the good news affirmed. So, imagine our shock when we walked to  the local boulangerie on Monday morning, heading to Avignon, and found that our car was gone.

The car contained all of our wine from Bordeaux, our super Tuscans, a third of our clothes, my prescription glasses, john’s sunglasses and more. But we also lost our transportation and had to weed out what to do in a foreign land, dealing with the police, car company and our thwarted plans. I went into the bakery and tried to tell the owner that our car was stolen, and just then three police officers walked in for lunch. We spent the day at the station outside of town. Their attitude was helpful but lackadaisical. All that we got was a report, and basically no recourse with the losses, and the aggravation of having to take a train to Lyon six days later with all of our stuff that was meant to be in the back of a car.

Having resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be driving anywhere, we found a  hiking trail about a mile and a half from the city center and put the hiking boots to use for the second time of our trip, the first being that long, rainy walk in Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. We came down with colds in Rome, so we were not 100%, but we managed 6 miles and came home beat after seeing some amazing vistas, orchards, and sniffing the wild lavender roadside.

Café Gaby was our spot, and the aloof waiter was our pal by the end of the week.  The shopkeepers  had heard about our plight when we into shops  needing  to replace some things. By the time we left Loumarin, we were in love and looking forward to being stuck there again next year.