After the magnificent and transcending walks in Carpentras and the summit of Le Mont Ventoux the day before, coupled with countless vitamin D, natural reflexology and tons of oxygen, we slumbered fathomlessly. We woke up super late the morning after and left the house at 11.30 am, immediately after a quick breakfast.
We headed for L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a small town in Vaucluse, also known as the Venice of Provence.
It was not our first time visiting L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue which was 66 km from our holiday home. It’s a charming little town with its many old but attractive water wheels, the many waterside cafés and restaurants and the little mossy bridges criss-crossing the canals. Charming!
Our late arrival at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue beckoned us to look for something to eat. After all it was almost 1 pm. With the glaring sun and 39 deg C, we were pressured to look for a cool shelter along the canal. There were many restaurants and almost all were full house. We finally found one when a family of 4 just left the table.
We were being served by young entrepreneurs (4 guys serving and a girl at the cash till), who spoke reasonably good English with French accent. Unfortunately the guys were not attentive lots as they had forgotten to bring the free jug of iced-cold water and a mini basket of cut baguette. We had to remind them and the wait for our dishes to be served took a long time.
By the way, the photo collage below may look “Wow” at the first instant, but what we were being served were complete rubbish. The only thing that deserved a positive feedback was the crème brûlée (what I had as dessert)
The starter of warm goat’s cheese on a slice of baguette on a bed of iceberg salad was nothing to shout about.
The main course of grilled steak with fries and salad was the BIGGEST disaster! The thin slice of beef steak was burnt, dry and as hard and chewy as a leather. The fries were a FLOP – burnt and greasy to the core. Yucks! There was NO sauce!!! Conclusion: Our main course was as dry as the Sahara Desert, all burnt under the 39 degrees Celsius of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue!
Hubby and the boys had a hattrick of the most disappointing meal with a burnt dessert of tarte tartin to round up!
Well, what could I say? It was a Eur 16 three-course lunch menu. Even the Eur 14 complete menu at Carpentras was so much better.
Annual Floating Market
What a pity we missed the floating market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue! It’s held every first Sunday in August, however, we had other plan that Sunday (7th Aug). We were equally entertained that day, if you could recall Part 2 of my Back To Sunny Provence post 😉
To have an idea of the Floating Market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, below are some photos which I took from the Internet, which I have given credit to the photographers captioned under the photo-collage.
By the way, the flat-bottomed boats are known as Nègo Chin, which are traditionally used for fishing.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Going Back In Time …
I had no clue about the link between the eccentric late Keith Floyd, a British celebrity cook, TV personality, restaurateur, a bon viveur and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue until I read about the write up on that little town. Apparently, Keith Floyd had established a restaurant there during a lengthy sojourn in South France in the 70’s. How interesting!
Well, our presence at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was not because of Keith Floyd, but more so, for the oldest flea market and antique fair.
That’s right, we went “back in time” inundated with the mind-boggling items sold there. Literally, we did not know where to start.
And then I saw something familiar! I was excited. My mum had and still has the big vase, I’m pretty sure!!
I remembered my Mum rearing 2 baby tortoises in there at one point of time, and then it was used as water reservoir. I haven’t the slightest inkling what my Mum has been using the vase for now 🤔
Guess what, Mum, the vase is an antique!!! It’s worth Eur 120 (ca RM 600) at the antique fair at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue! Better keep the vase in tip-top condition. A little crack or restoration will, unfortunately, bring down the price🙁
This queer-looking antique shop has attracted hundreds and thousands of tourists over the years. The antique dealer deals only in animal format, dead or alive 😳
Down Memory Lane
I had walked more kilometres in a day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue than I would in a week when I’m home! And I had never perspired that much 😁
It was interesting perusing the old scripts from yesteryears, for example the weekly French newspaper, L’Illustration from 1914 -1944. Each newspaper is worth Eur 15 today. I wonder how much it was worth then ?
Meanwhile, hubby was in nostalgic mode when he viewed the black-and-white postcards of Belgique / Belgium. It was interesting watching his expressions of awe at buildings and places he’s familiar with now compared to what he saw on the postcards.
It was fascinating to watch an artist spending his time sketching intricately the detailed Medieval stained glass windows. I did not stay long to watch him splash colours on his sketch. We still had a lot to see.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the price tags dangling on the Panama hats. Each was priced at Eur 70 and above ! They looked like the straw hats from, yes Panama, sold at the daily village market in Provence and each hat was priced from Eur 10 and a bit more.
Finally, I found these cute old suitcases, which reminded me of a school bag one of my sisters and I had when we were in Primary school. We called the bag, “kapit bag”. I’m sure my siblings will be laughing at this point. It’s a family story and personal, hence, I will leave it as such😉
After walking under the glaring sun for 4 hours plus, we wound up empty-handed! Nothing this year caught our eyes. In 2013, we bought a few things back. This year, we had to be careful with the space in our trunk. A good portion of the space had been reserved for the red wines and Muscat!
Anyway, it was another great walk and we enjoyed the spread of antiques from every stall. We left L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue at 5.30 pm.
On the way home, we stopped at Intermarché. I bought some chicken, potatoes, onion, garlic, chillies, shallots, fresh coriander and cucumber. I had brought “Uncle Ben’s jasmine rice”, fresh ginger and Baba’s serbuk kari daging with me on our long-haul road trip 😃
And I made this for our Sunday lunch.
The next day, 15th August was a public holiday in France, as well as Belgium. It’s the day of The Assumption of Mary into Heaven. We’re looking forward to a procession at our next stop.
We had to get up early and leave the house early. Duh!
See you soon!