I’ve already reported on our success at reaching the summit of Mont Ventoux; but before that day, we had tried even though it appeared to be cloudy at the top as we’d seen it cloudy several days in a row when it had cleared up in the afternoon. Though we didn’t make the mountain, we had other adventures.
|Roman port in Manaz|
Alas, the clouds were not leaving the mountaintop, so we opted for a U-turn and headed back toward Carpentras to look at some sights we had missed at the last visit.
|Outside Chez Serge|
We then headed toward the 14th-century synagogue--the oldest in France, which we’d discovered on our previous visit but which was closed. This time, while it wasn’t yet open, we were willing to wait until opening time along with another couple. So we sat in a sidewalk café watching the door for a sign of activity.
Upstairs, the men were handed yarmulkes and we were escorted inside. The worship space is small and humble. The torah is kept behind a large embroidered satin curtain. The upstairs balcony was used by the men in earlier years but is no longer safe. The chandeliers were donated by members over the last several centuries—some long ago and some as recently as the 19th century. In the balcony were three menorahs, two of which were from the 16th century and the third from the 19th century. The woman who let us in and showed us around was easy to understand and happy to respond to my requests for clarification. A small child’s chair was located high above the seats and was alleged to have been associated with Eli at the time of his circumcision. We were told that on the ground floor was a boulangerie for making matzo and other ceremonial breads; but it was currently being refurbished so not open to the public.
|L'Eglise Saint Siffrein Rose Window|
We drove through Le Thor on the way back in search of a theatre where we plan to attend a concert and where we had hoped to visit the Pierre and Poppy Salinger Museum in the next week (reported previously).
All told and like many other days, though we didn’t do what we had planned, we discovered new places, ate new food, drank good wine, and learned unknown facts about unknown surprises. It’s a privilege to fill my head with it all.