For lunch in Saignon, we settled on a spot below the castle ruins near a church, a cemetery and a grade school. There was almost as good a view from here as from above— if I could have read Alex’s thoughts I’m sure they’d have said “why did we risk life and limb when this view was here all along?” I pulled some Chipsters, a baguette and some wine and cheese out of my backpack. Chipsters are like American potato chips, but a bit lighter, more airy, and seemingly less greasy (and they go great with red wine). We ate and drank, and enjoyed the hilltop breeze that carried the sounds of kids playing in the nearby schoolyard.
Leaving the village by car I noticed a sign with a slash across the town name, Saignon, marking our departure from what I would remember as the least touristy, most quaint and most authentic feeling of all the villages we visited.
That afternoon, back in Apt, we got ingredients to make a quiche from the local mini-mart-type grocer. This place had everything we needed: more kinds of ham than I’d ever seen, farm-fresh eggs, crème fraiche and shallots. They even had a nice selection of inexpensive wines and a boulangerie attached—not bad for a small store. We passed on the bread, since we were still getting our morning delivery of fresh croissants and baguettes from our hostess.
A little later we enjoyed Alex’s quiche with cheap but delicious Bordeaux while watching the sunset through the top floor windows of our Restoration Hardware meets French country apartment. From our window view, the promontory of Saignon was lit up by the late afternoon sun. “Can you believe you climbed up that today?” I said proudly. “More like crawled up” Alex answered with a mix of fear and self-deprecation. “But it was worth the crawl?” I asked. “It was worth the crawl,” she said with a proud smile.