We spent 4 days down in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, close to the ancient Roman city of Sisteron, in the northern region of Provence that’s the southern end of the Aples.  The area is an interesting combination of hot, dry climate,  southern type geography  but also with aspects of a higher elevation. It’s a part of France that has over 300 days of sunshine per year.  However – we can tell you when at least 4 of those days of non-sunshine are.  We had no rain on Wednesday when we got there – but then there were only parts of each of the following days that weren’t raining.

Entrepierres is a incredible 11th century tiny stone village that is nestled in between two mountains (hence Entre-Pierres “between the rocks”)  The little rental unit that we stayed in was originally the town parsonage, built right on to the side of the chapel.  It was great to be surrounded by stone buildings, beautiful rock outcroppings, and lot’s of things that don’t grow farther north in our stretch of the Alpes.  There are olive trees, orchards all over the country side, wild rosemary all over the hills and so much thyme that you can barely take a hike without stepping on some and releasing its fragrance into the warm dry air.  It’s also the region with lots of lavender production, goat herding, honey, vineyards that produce the sparkling Clarette-de-Die, and not far from the famous Nyons olives.  The winding road that heads from here starts out as a divided autoroute, but quickly becomes an incredibly windy, narrow road.

We went down to be able to spend some time with our friends the Pavey’s who are moving back to the US next month.  They go there annually as most of the village (4 buildings) is actually a retreat centre for French pastors and church workers, and missionaries in France or other Francophone countries. 

It was a few days of really going nowhere in particular – just on some walks, some small hikes, and hanging out inside when it rained too hard to go out.

The kids are currently in the middle of  2 weeks of vacation – so it was nice to not have to come home and get the kids ready for school the next morning.  Just a mere five loads of laundry (yes – even washing machines are smaller here) and we were back to normal.