L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue was our destination today and what a find. Friends had told us about it, but when the word ‘Venice’ creeps into a town’s name, I become concerned. Of course it is nothing like Venice, nothing is, I mean, it has cars, there are no Gondoliers and you can’t get lost! But what it does have is natural waterways running through this ‘decades of centuries old’ town. There is the ‘grand canal’, about ‘a long gondolier’ wide and maybe ‘2 boaters’ deep, with lush scarves of seaweed straining at the leash as the water flows slowly but urgently through an array of moss covered weirs.

A half size gondolier flows through another part of town but deeper and Venetian type off shoots of all depths, widths and flows disappear under buildings, temporarily hide under bridges, and often appear when you are not looking. The colours can be dazzling as the sun, the clouds, the shade, the rocks, the moss, combine to produce stunning contrasts. Like that unique painter from Aix, Cezanne, you don’t have to move your position to produce different art, but simply turn your head or wait a little.

Corrie and I followed the Sorgue out of town a little way where it stretched its arms no longer confined by artificial means, no longer needing to parade in this village gallery. Visitors in their cars can now share in the river’s exploits, while the more adventurous ride or walk along its tree lined banks as the locals bathe in its beauty from their riverside homes. We joined the very few walkers searching for shade, sitting a while, or watching it’s streamlined body from a bridge.

This river village continues to delight with its plaza trompe-l’oeils telling their different stories – the shopfronts displayed in eye catching designs – the paintings and coloured columns of the baroque inspired church – the narrow streets looping and winding – the water wheels providing a cool spray – and the shops simply beckoning you in. For us it is one of those towns that it is simply a delight to be in, so we will be moving there soon for a few days to soak up the atmosphere and get to know it a little better.