Au Revoir Reillanne

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fullsizeoutput_9cdWe will miss you. We already miss the silence, the tranquility of our former abode, the captivating view of Luberon hills from our balcony, the sometimes mysterious, ever-fascinating sky, friends and friendly village folk … Life on the Mediterranean coast, where we now live,  is so different, but it has many pluses. More about those in a future post.

We were attracted to Reillanne because it is a genuine, old  Provencal perched village. It has not been gussied up like those Luberon villages Peter Mayle made famous: —  Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Menerbes. Reillanne can be rough around the edges, ruts in some streets, lanes, — especially the Impasse where we lived. Many places could definitely use a fresh coat of paint,  No classy boutiques. No fancy restaurants. No locals nor visitors in designer attire. Jeans and tattoos and plenty of funky, folksy charm.

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Reillanne is ancient, with origins dating back to the 6thcentury.  In its early years it was a fortified village with a hilltop chateau and ramparts. The chateau is long gone, but vestiges of an 11thcentury chapel remain. And, a new (1859) church, St. Denis , which is the town landmark and a favorite photo subject. I must have hundreds of St. Denis shots. Parts of houses in the vieux village (old village), a maze of skinny, serpentine alleys, date to the 11th century.IMG_0071

During the ’60s Reillanne was a hippy enclave. Joan Baez is said to have had a home in Reillanne – or at least vacationed there. Some residents of that era remain, geezers easily recognized by their hairstyles. Some of today’s younger residents are seeking the same alternative lifestyle that attracted their predecessors. They are joined by artists – painters, photographers, ceramicists – who have settled in Reillanne.

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Reynard Bouchard’s ‘s veggies and fruit are the best: “Products of Provence that are grown with lots of love.”
Reillanne’s Sunday morning market is a star attraction, and not just for locals. We went faithfully every week to buy from our favorite vendors, to meet friends and share a coffee or glass of wine after shopping.

We can’t look back. But, I can share these photos of some of my Reillanne favorite things.

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A Reillanne favorite with great burgers.

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Moroccan Sadki Lahcen offers more than tea.  We love his tangines and couscous, perfect take-home, ready-to-eat meals.

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Our former house and pool — lots of wonderful memories.

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Fisherman Maurice Garcia comes to Reillanne from Marseille every Friday with delectable treats from the Med. This was our favorite, loup sauvage ( wild sea wolf).

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Thanks to proprietor Antoine, Cafe du Cours brings a variety of music to Reillanne.

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Colorful evening clouds seen from our balcony

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My roses. I will not miss all the work and watering but will miss those blossoms.

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My guardian angel, my savior, my confidant — neighbor Nicole. She gave advice, cared for the cats and plants and more when we traveled, was there when I needed her. She is a rare treasure, a true friend who will be dearly missed, as well as her adorable and feisty companion, Iros.

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Friends and extraordinary food — the outstanding cuisine of chef Maarten who recently moved his restaurant, La Pastorale, to Reillanne

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This was the Reillanne moon’s farewell to us — shot from the balcony a few nights before our departure.

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Welcome to the Chahinian family who will soon reside in our former home.
The quick sale of the house, finding a new home, then emptying  a big house loaded with furniture and far too much stuff for a move to a partly furnished apartment, plus packing for the move,  engulfed my life .  No time nor energy for talesandtravel.com   Life is returning to normal.  I am happy to post again and hope to do so more regularly.  Stay tuned. If not already a Tales and Travel follower, sign up, upper right.  Your address is kept private and never shared.

Don’t be shy.  Comment please. Click below then scroll to the bottom and let me know your thoughts

24 thoughts on “Au Revoir Reillanne”

  1. Leah and Rob we did love to visit you both in Reillane. Altering life may be the justification to leave the house where you lived so much in happiness. Now things have changed for you, at least, to the better. Your Mediterranean change, close to the Italian border, is exiting and we know that you can get well acquaintance to your new surroundings. For us, well aged, it will be too far to visit you, however we are aware that we can keep up our friendship. You will make a great life at the Mediterranean.
    Ben & Rob

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    1. Ben and Rob.. we will miss you but are grateful for the good times we shared. Good friendships like ours are lasting. We will come back north to visit for sure. Yes, this new venture is exciting….

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  2. Leah et Bob Nous avons passé de superbes vacances chez vous à Reillanne dans un endroit magnifique. Vous nous avez superbement bien accueillis. Vous êtes, comme on dit en français “de bonnes personnes” et vous avez une grande ouverture d’esprit, d’hospitalité, de gentillesse. Nous avons découvert un côté de la Provence que nous ne connaissions pas et ce fut un enchantement. Vous êtes curieux de tout, des gens, la nourriture, du bon vin, des lieux….et c’est super. Leah et Bob, je n’oublierai jamais avec quel ravissement vous avez apprécié “le beurre blanc” que je vous avais fait et le Muscadet de notre ami vigneron de Château Thébaud. Serge et moi vous souhaitons autant de bonheur dans votre nouvelle vie, votre nouveau lieu de résidence qu’à Reillanne. A très , très bientôt. Nous vous embrassons bien tendrement. Leah, tes photos et tes reportages me font toujours voyager et rêver. Patricia et Serge de Château Thébaud

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    1. Merci Patricia et Serge. On a passe les beaux temps avec vous deux. C’était un vrai plaisir de faire la connaissance des gens si sympa et généreux et interessants… Ton beurre blanc est le meilleur. On a bien apprécié le bon Muscadet aussi. Si vos voyages vous amener près de Cap Martin, svp nous avisez. On serait content de vous voir encore.

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  3. I know, why didn’t I make it to visit you before the move ? . Your post and photos made me realize what a wonderful experience for you and Bob to have lived. Well understand why you will miss your life there. Admire how you got it all
    together to accomplish the move. Now, open a new window and discover Tales and Travel destinations from your new home.

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    1. Yes, it is a real pity you, as well as brother Dave and Joan, never visited us in Reillanne. We look forward to more discovery and adventure soon, And, a visit from you in our new abode.

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  4. Change is always bittersweet and you’ve captured that beautifully. You will always carry Reillanne on your heart, but there is so much room left for new adventures!

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  5. Nice to have a really special place or thing. We lived just south of San Francisco and had a funky cabin in the Sierras. Love those places. Savored them. Appreciated them. Glad we could do that for a while. I think the satisfaction of having a beloved place is sweet. Enjoy the new location. .

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    1. Reillanne is indeed special and we had some special, memorable times in our home. Always good to hear from you. Appears you had a great trip in England. Now that we have a simpler life, I hope we can do some traveling again.

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  6. Dear Leah—-
    Thank your for your tribute to this lovable village and I’m so sorry you are leaving it. I enjoyed many fun evenings with you and Bob on you dining balcony overlooking the pool and the surrounding hills. I’ll not forget your warm hospitality and wonderful meals —- nor this overlooked (thank goodness) Village. I look forward to reading Tales if your new life on the coast. Hugs, Gloria in CA

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing your reminiscences of Reillanne with us, including your beautiful photos. Reillanne was surely one of the most memorable chapters in your lives, but we hope that the new one will prove to be satisfying it is own ways. We still regret that we never made it to your part of France while you were living in that lovely house. Looking forward to hearing more about the move and your new abode. How did the cats handle the move?

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  8. Dear Leah,
    What a wonderful description of Life in Reillanne. We discovered the village long before we met you and Bob; also long before we bought our house near St.Saturnin les Apt. At the time, the only house we could afford which met our needs was in La Pourraque. Long after we settled in our lovely little Hameau, we continued to visit Reillanne as restaurants there were actually open in winter and the village was full of real people and not so full of tourists. I know you will miss the village and also that you and Bob will be truly missed by all of us whose lives you have touched in the Luberon.
    Sandra Eddy and John Bean

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  9. Read below — Lynne’s comment. This is my reply which ended up in the wrong place.

    We definitely need a less “logistically demanding ” lifestyle, and this should work. As you have said, we are beginning a new chapter. Give us time. We will fill the chapter with interesting discoveries and experiences. Thanks, dear Lynne, for your wisdom, advice and friendship. I miss you, but look forward to seeing you soon..

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  10. Wonderful photos and commentary! You really hit the highlights of life in Reillanne spot-on and I believe that you will truly miss it (and be missed!). What a contrast to La Côte d’Azur! But life is, indeed, not “un long fleuve tranquil”, but rather a series of chapters and I’m sure you’ll find your new one stimulating and less “logistically-demanding”!

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