Le site de Calès à Lamanon, Les Alpilles.
‘Modern’ graffiti decorates the walls of troglodyte dwellings that
housed up to 200 people in the middle ages, at the site of Calès
in the hills of Provence. Constantly inhabited until the 16th century,
this neolithic site in the heart of the valley of Durance is dated
around 2,500 BCE.
After three hours driving on the autoroute, with time to spare before
meeting friends, I stopped in a tiny village marked on my Via Michelin
itinerary. Wearing a summer dress and far from sensible shoes, the last
thing I expected was to join a Gallo-Roman path that took me behind
Lamanon, high up onto a grand circular rock. Following the rutted stone
path and an aquaduct, I arrived at the remains of a medieval castle
overlooking hills ‘perforated’ by centuries of human habitation, with
footholds scaling the golden cliff faces scarred with carved niches.