L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Journals

Igo's Travel Writing Workshop in Provence, France

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2004 trip to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue by wanderluster

LIsle-sur-la-Sorgue Photo, LIsle-sur-la-Sorgue, France More Photos
Quote: You've seen the ads, now come behind the scenes to read about one participant's experiences: dining, biking, hiking, village-hopping, touring, wine-tasting, and, oh yes, attending travel writing classes in the charming village of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Igo's Travel Writing Workshop in Provence, France

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
IgoUgo's first organized group tour was a travel writing workshop in beautiful Provence, the sunny south of France. Thirty participants from America, Canada, and Scotland gathered to learn the art and craft of travel writing from lectures taught by NYC's James Sturz, who encouraged us to practice what we'd learned by assigning daily writing assignments. Not that there was much time to practice – other than attending morning or afternoon classes, our days were wonderfully jammed with excursions to the surrounding countryside for antiquing, biking, wine tasting, cooking, and visiting Avignon's Papal Palace or medieval hilltop villages. Add to that the typical French dinner lasting a leisurely 2 to 3 hou...Read More

Travel Writing Class

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Our workshop instructor Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Thirty of us fixed our eyes on James Sturz, the published, accomplished travel writer among us. Newly assembled, we had just finished group introductions and were eager to hear from our instructor. "Know your strengths. Know what sets you apart from other writers, and bring your outside experiences in, because the editor will want to know, why you," he said, glancing around the room through black wire-rimmed glasses. Over the next seven days, individual differences in subject matter, angles, and writing styles became more apparent in class, as we read our descriptions aloud. Assignments were voluntary, but encouraged since we learn best from doing. I spotted the subject for my ...Read More

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's Sunday Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Sunday Market Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Hundreds congregate on the Sunday Market in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Renata, Carolanne, and I decided to go early and beat the crowds by being there when they opened. Our walk from the hotel to the village was a pleasant 20 minute stroll along one of the shaded canals. Ducks swam in the cool green waters that bordered a row of expensive-looking homes decorated with pastel purple or green shutters. "Bonjour," we echoed, as scarfed women greeted us on the back road. We admired the tranquil view and nodded at fishermen casting from shore, fishing for trout. Arriving into town, we came to a bridge overlooking small rapids. Beyond, the canal was bordered on both sides by a continuous line of ...Read More

Dining at Le Jardin du Quai

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Le Jardin du Quai Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Four of us from the IgoUgo workshop had reservations at a new restaurant that Noel , Igo's French connection, arranged when we told him that we wanted a traditional French meal, preferably lamb. We caught a ride into town (thanks Tony!) and walked around looking for the restaurant "across the large mossy waterwheel." After a futile ten minutes, we discovered the gated entrance a half a block down from the orange building on the corner. We passed through a rather forlorn garden where wild roses grew out of tall grasses and wrought iron tables sat empty. Inside, we were seated at a corner table in an intimate space. White walls dimly lit by contemporary sconces were minimally decorated ...Read More

Day Trip to Les Baux

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Les Baux in southern Provence Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Approaching from a distance, the village of Les Baux perched atop a rocky spur is not immediately visible, but the prominent chunk of limestone is. The spur, thrust up like a powerful clenched fist, towers over fertile fields in patchwork plots of olive trees and vineyards of yellow, gold and green. And all around the valley, chalky-white boulders of the Les Alpilles range hover. As we drove closer on D27, the outline of Les Baux's former chateau gradually became visible. The arched fortified walls, gray and rough as its base, seemed to erupt from the limestone crag. Its presence felt intimidating even on this sunny day. Small wonder that people panicked at its sight in the 15th centur...Read More

Chateaunauf de Pape Winery

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Chateanauf de Pape Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Once upon a time, way back in the 14th century, Popes left Rome and settled in Provence. They lived a lavish life in an elaborate castle, the Papal Palace, in Avignon, a bustling city on the Rhone just west of L'Isle-la-sur-Sorgue. When Popes tired of the ritz and glitz they escaped to the country, just a short jaunt north, to stay in a castle commissioned in 1317 by Pope John XXII, known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Here they spent summers, roaming vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees on the 10-hectare property and perfected the art of wine making. Today, 264 wineries exist on the expanded 3,000-hectare property where red is king, and Le Grenache grapes rule. Renate, Carolan...Read More
Terraced agricultural fields Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
One day, all thirty Igo participants boarded the bus for a tour of Luberon's Hilltop Villages. We headed east into the 400,000-acre Luberon National Park and listened to our guide explain the terrain. The gentler slopes of the Petite Luberon, which do not peak above 700 meters, are separated by a large rift from the steeper mountains of the Grand Luberon to the east. The rugged plateau, stretching 60km from Manosque to Apt, contains sandstone cliffs, canyons, and terraced hillsides around 68 villages. Each one unique, the medieval villages are tucked into Alpine folds, built into sides of hilltops, or perched high on spires with fortified fairy tale castles. Five Luberon villages are considered among ...Read More
Overview of Roussillon Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
Part Two of the Luberon Hilltop Village Tour: Roussillon Considered the most colorful village in Provence, the seventeen shades of ocher turn blood-red at sunset. In the daytime, brilliant oranges of the village homes and surrounding canyons pop against vivid greens of evergreen trees. Cliffs, spires and canyons beginning here spread for miles eastward, to Colorado Provencal, a prime spot for hiking and rock climbing. Each home in Roussillon is drenched in orange-red-russet shades, colored from ocher quartz in the surrounding sandstone. For years this quartz was mined to create sun-resistant dyes to color paint, fabrics, makeup, clothing and pottery. Now, the...Read More

Biking in the Luberon

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Biking in the Luberon Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
I signed up for Igo's optional five-hour bike ride through the Provencal countryside, hoping our route wouldn't imitate any portion of the hilly Tour de France. Two young guides from nearby Carpentras met our group in the bus parking lot outside Roussillon, and fitted us with bikes and helmets. Fleece felt great while standing around, as there was a cool breeze on this sunny May day. But before we pushed off I removed extra layers, not wanting the hassle once we were underway. Plus, I could use the added incentive to bike faster and work off the week's gluttonous calories. Goodness knows I'd certainly broken my five month fast from sugar here... Starting at the bus park, we headed awa...Read More

Dining at La Prevote

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Renate, myself and Carolanne Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Quote:
La Prevote 4 bis rue jean-jacques rousseau, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Call for reservations: 0490385729 We had reservations at another fine restaurant following the advice of Noel, Tony's friend who lives in L'Isle and generously acted as Igo's French liaison all week. Knowing our writing class ended at 9pm that night, Noel made dinner and taxi arrangements for us at 9:30pm. Almost late enough to pass for locals! When we arrived, the elegant dining room was empty. Two young waiters emerged from the kitchen. Simultaneously grabbing menus, in hushed tones they engaged in a brief discussion before the more serious one approached, and identified himself as our waiter. ...Read More