Friday, July 20, 2012

Running on Fumes to Bonnieux

Our Sunday drive to Bonnieux began as a frantic search for a gas station. Most stations are credit card-only on Sundays, as the attendants (who also act as cashiers) have the day off.

Now of course we own credit cards, but our American cards don't have the special chip needed for certain European card readers, including gas pumps:

Not having a chip can render your card useless here in Europe. From
So we topped off our tank with some spare gas from the lawnmower, said a quick prayer, and off we went! I think we only had 1/8 tank, but Jim swears it was closer to 1/4 tank. Either way, it would've been a long walk home if we ran out of gas!

After a nail-biting drive through countryside, we eventually found a gas station with an attendant about 10 miles outside of Bonnieux. Crisis averted, and 60 Euros poorer, we set out to enjoy some sightseeing.

Bonnieux is a village perché (French for "perched village") set amongst the hills and valleys of the Luberon. You may have heard of this region thanks to British author Peter Mayle, who chronicled his life as an expat in the Luberon village of Ménerbes. One of his books was the basis for the 2006 movie "A Good Year," starring Russell Crowe.

The views from the village didn't disappoint! The town looks out over vineyards, fields and orchards.

We also enjoyed wandering through Bonnieux's maze of old stone streets.

The big attraction in town is the Musée de la Boulangerie, or Bakery Museum, which is devoted to the history of breadmaking. You can even take baking classes there! Personally, I'd rather leave the breadmaking to the experts... I'm much better at eating it than baking it!