Stories and experiences
Here you can read all the stories and experiences of the people who have already visited Les Deux Pigeons. Do you want to share your experiences with others? Send us an e-mail and you will see your story on this page as soon as possible.
'Le Decapotable premières!' (Citroën ID19 Cabriolet)
from: Cees and Anneke Eekhout
Monday towards Grenoble, the weather is good, fresh but with a faint sun, the hood immediately open. First along a castle garden in the old fortified town of Cires, where we were on Saturday, then on to Le Route Napoleon. After searching Grenoble for the correct road number, the D85, the wind goes up. All in two, the car runs excellent. Not very fast but steady. The sun is shining and we drive a long way up the route, up to Sisteron. On the advice of Dutch people with a B & B in France, who had no space, we look for our Chambres d 'Hôtes with Jan and Marijke in "Les Deux Pigeons", the two pigeons. After some searching and calling, they thought we were coming from the other side, we drove into the yard and arrived at a place where you think: this is how a house should be in France. It felt good right away. Beautiful garden, gravel path, swimming pool with terrace, outdoor tables under the grape veranda and everywhere seats and benches to sit in or out of the sun. Wide view of the farmlands, space around it and the mountains (some even now snowy) in the background around and not the only house in the perimeter. Bought a ruin and with the renovation of it (10 years of renovation and not quite finished) of course had all the problems that you see on the TV.
After a cup of coffee and some talking, it is easy for the Dutch, Jan says that the neighbor, 300 m away, you can see his house and barns, also has vintage cars. You can go and see, he only has convertibles: BMW, Jaguars and Corvet's. He does everything himself. If I want to go there and ask the road, Jan asks if he can come. Yes of course, why not? He gets into the 'Rose Dame' with me and we drive there via a detour. When we arrive at the neighbour's yard, the neighbor stares at us with open mouth and repeatedly calls: Le Decapotable premières !, Le Decaportable première !, or something like that. We meet and he says that his wife is not interested in his cars, but he is sure that she makes an exception for this. He goes to get her first and she comes out immediately. The ooo's and aaa's are not in the air! He then shows his own collection of restored and unrestored cars and immediately opens the bonnet every time he tells his story in French. But of course I don't understand anything and Jan translates very little. A wall of his shed is completely occupied by portable gramophone record players and viniel girths from the 50s and 60s. I ask Jan if his girth is also listed, no, but he will do something about it as quickly as possible. Before we leave, I leave the neighbor in my car with a grin on his face and take a picture of him, which I later mail to Jan. He prints it for his neighbor.
We have dinner in Sisteron about seven km away. In the evening Jan and Marijke ask if we will sit down. They have four private guests. A friend from his youth band with his wife and a brother from Marijke with his wife. Both couples have a cottage in France but in a different region. The weather is so bad there that they have come here. The weather is always better here, but now the temperature is also lagging somewhat behind. I had seen three guitars in one corner and a small amp. We get a glass of wine and talk to each other while Jan takes his guitar and plays some chords. Everyone just keeps talking. "We always do that, we never sit down and listen." It appears that we are sitting with two members of the Bintangs, Jan and Frank. A band from the 60s that has remained until today. They performed in the old composition with, among others, Barend and Van Dorp, De wereld twist door ed. At the time they played together with The Golden Earrings, Rolling Stones, Status Quo, Deep Purple and other acquaintances of that time, even with my favorite back then The Oldsiders. Names like Satana, Eric Clapton and The Doors come to the table as inspiration. All band members still play, but also Ad, Marijke's brother, once played drums. He went with De Bintangs once. They then had a very serious frontal accident in which Ad got the windshield wiper in his head, ran right through his chin and other serious injuries. Frank now saw him again for the first time after 32 years. Frank is the lyrics and songwriter of The Bintangs and was the designer for almost 30 years at the Veronica magazine. He has made a book about 92 of his own songs, with a very nice artistic photo by his son. He dedicated a book to Ad with an emotional story written especially for him on the inside cover, which we were allowed to read.
We decide to stay a day longer, we feel like the famous God in France here. We are advised to look at two villages that are close to the mountain slopes. You drive into our village and then to the other village is the advice. We do that, I cross the bridge and there is a truck on the square. I therefore drive straight on, but the street goes up steeply around the bend ...... and not so little either. It is becoming narrower and more curvy between the houses that are directly adjacent to the street. The reproaches are obviously not of the air and this time I say: I should not have done this. But I cannot go back, there is no possibility for a return, so I have to go on. After a sharp turn, an oncoming post style comes up, the postman. He shoots in a driveway when she sees me and immediately puts it back in another driveway. It is of course used to it. Where it came from was very steep and the turn very sharp. With the foot on top of the brake, I slowly move through the bend in the hope that the 'pink lady' will fit through the facades with her broad nose. It remains unchanged style and narrow until we reach the square again. That was a round of real French mountain village of maybe only 300 m. Damage released from, what a car! We then drive on the spacious country road of 2.30 m wide to the next village, but I cannot enter it. Why not, I still try, it went well anyway? Parking in the new parking lot at the bottom of the village seems Anneke exciting enough. The bend to it is again sharp and steep but manageable. Marijke tells later that "our village" consists of 170 inhabitants and that includes ourselves and the other people from the valley.
After the visit to the Bastillion of Sisteron and with the knowledge of the way in which Napoleon easily enters the impregnable fortress with 1200 men without any opposition, we again enjoy the sun and the terrace by the swimming pool, just like yesterday. But the temperature remains low, it is cold from the sun due to the wind and low temperature. We are invited to join us for dinner. We eat duck breast. Jan and Marijke cook really well.
Customer service in 2011
from: Fons Schoemaker
In the Netherlands in the last six months there has been considerably debated about customer service and the role of the help desk, but especially how large companies have filled that out. The term furniture boulevard has since then acquired a new meaning. After all, there are display boxes in long rows and large showrooms. Unfortunately, this is not about the literal interpretation, but about the proverbial: being sent from the box to the wall. But not a cupboard, but an entire boulevard! Endless sobbing and peddling with your complaint or problem. Even a complete magazine is dedicated to it by a famous comedian.
Enough about those big companies. In the week from 9 to 16 April we stayed with a small group of gliders with followers in Les Deux Pigeons with Jan and Marijke Wijte. Customer service has gained a completely new meaning in the exceptionally good harmonious atmosphere at Les Deux Pigeons. Customers help here disinterested - in an atmosphere of respect for Jan and Marijke - with running their chambre d 'hotes. For example, one of us (yes, you read that correctly: the customer himself, also referred to by Jan as the service technician) repaired the grass machine. And it didn't stop there. Helping customers with pleasure in everyday work.
In short: customer service has been given a new dimension. That is why the combination has been given the title of five-star gliding for us gliders. Because on the one hand the airport Sisteron is so close and on the other hand the hospitality is so great. As a result, gliding rises to great heights, because earthly matters have been filled in so wonderfully by the owners of Les Deux Pigeons. An absolute must for those who want to enjoy the good French life.
from: Lida and Jan Straat
Because the weather was very bad in the Alps, we decided not to go to Chamonix, but rather to make our visit to Jan and Marijke a bit earlier. When we called to ask if we could come, the answer was: "Of course, you are very welcome and ... not sure for one day? What time do you think you will be here, and will you eat with it, will you?"
Look out for Jan and Marijke. You are always very welcome and you hardly get away. (And if you have to leave already, make up something to stay longer. [This for insiders])
After a successful journey we arrived in Vaumeil around the clock of four and were we allowed to take a seat in the new one? extension of the estate "Les Deux Pigeons" The mini campsite with an unobstructed view was not full, so we were allowed to find out for ourselves which place we wanted. And then of course the welcome drinks, which went in like a cake after such a long journey.
In the evening Jan had to play at the airport during a barbecue, and we were cordially invited to participate. The band played great and kept the atmosphere good. Also the food and drinks went well and finally we were gassed on 'une grande surprise', as a vocalist Marijke gave a great recital with the band and so rightly managed to get hands on again.
Unfortunately, the long journey and the long evening together were a bit too much for my hip, because I actually already suffered from a nervous constriction in the SI joint before the holiday and it played a lot on that evening. But Marijke also had a solution for that, because a man lived in Vaumeil, who probably knew what to do with it. He was a little alternative, but achieved good results. I was allowed to come on Saturday, Jan went with him as an interpreter, and wonder oh wonder, I was able to get along pretty well on Saturday evening. An extra treatment on Monday and after that we would leave again for a camp site located to the south. For the record, it is now the end of September when I write this, and I have not had a moment of trouble.
Thursday 17 June 2010 we arrived in Vaumeil and since Luzanne and André Dekker, also known from Jan and Marijke, were camping in the neighborhood, we called them if they also wanted to come to the mini-campsite Wijte & Co. However, they were already in the final phase of their vacation, but wanted to come to Les Deux Pigeons for an evening. So Jan and Marijke suggested that they even come and have dinner and we had a very pleasant evening. We all ate on the terrace, drank and mostly chatted. On Saturdays we visited the alternative therapist in Vaumeil and on Sundays we went on a nice trip to a couple of flea markets. First via the Domaine du Petit Arlane campsite, where André and Luzanne were, but that certainly wasn't our next destination. Through the beautiful lavender fields near Riez, we drove to Ste Marie Moustiers, after which we returned home after a snack and a drink. The next day we went to the alternative healer once more and after that we would leave again to the south. Jan and Marijke got friends from the Bintangs from the Netherlands to stay and, given their condition, wanted to devote themselves entirely to them.
When I turned on the mover of the caravan on Tuesday, it turned out to do nothing at all. Good advice was expensive, calling the dealer, calling and mailing to the manufacturer and eventually the switch box turned out to be the culprit. A new box was sent from the Netherlands, so we were forced to stay for a few more days.
We have all had really nice days together. The friends of Jan and Marijke soon involved us in the group and when the mover was finally ready again and we finally left, the goodbye to Frank and Diane and especially to Wil and Mary turned out to be quite emotional.
Needless to say, we would miss Jan and Marijke especially after that short time, and that certainly applied to them too, because within a week they already came to visit us at our new campsite Domaine les Lauzons near Forcalquier.
Jan and Marijke again thank you very much for the great welcome and that nice time with you. We hope to see you soon in Opmeer soon (February 2011). We're looking forward to it.
A warm greeting from the both of us from Opmeer
Day-dreaming about two pigeons
from: Arwin, Gerbrich and Hadewych Nimis
If you have endured meandering the mountainous roads, the beautiful old house with chambre d 'hotes by Jan and Marijke rises up on an emotional plateau. Like a crown, a house for pigeons stands on top of the impressive building. Le pigeonnierre. This stately dovecote has just as much allure as the lovingly renovated house. Les deux pigeons (indeed, the 2 pigeons) is therefore the name. And everyone knows that pigeons are medium-sized, compactly built birds with full, round breasts and small heads with a straight flight. What many do not know is that, unlike other birds, pigeons suck up water with the beak. And through the house of Jan and Marijke there are many collected statuettes or candlesticks of this kind of birds (with an imaginary water source) sucking water. Incidentally, it would not do justice to the interior (and exterior) to only talk about pigeon candlesticks. It is a great place where you can sit outside and gaze over the plain, but also watch satellite TV inside. Then you have more eye for the original lush French tile floors. And you can eat with us. And that is highly recommended. Classic dishes with organic non-headache wines. We ate duck breast in raspberry sauce, coq au vin. Delicious. And striking now that I write it down: 2 types of birds on the menu, no pigeons and do honor the pigeons by calling the house so ... Would that be a coincidence? A protest against the silent black history that France has with pigeons? After all, during the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris the shooting of live pigeons was on the program. Approximately 300 birds were killed for this part. This yielded a lot of blood and feathers. The part was replaced by clay pigeon shooting at the following Olympic Games.
And what does that have to do with les deux pigeons? Actually nothing. Or maybe. Namely that in the week that we were there we had a wonderful time, with two very nice lovely people, had a delicious meal and could muse about things that are about anything and everything. Relax in a beautiful place where you can also visit a beautiful castle in Sisteron. Next time I will muse and collect facts ... Because we will definitely come back.
The Provence-Luberon marathon
from: Bert de Wit
When Ad me in June last I was immediately enthusiastic about the Marathon de Luberon. My last marathon was already in 2006, so it was time again. Outside of us Adrie, Hanny and Pauline also signed up. After registering with medical approval, which is mandatory in France, everything was done and so we left Friday morning October 2 at 6 o'clock in the south. The ride took us via Brussels, with the only traffic jam, to Luxembourg where the car was refueled (€ 1.02 per liter of euro). Then via Dyon to Grenoble. Ad had purchased a new Tom Tom that works on the satellite. Now we have known that; through the smallest roads that can be found, we always heard the voice of the woman: "turn right at the next pub." But after many turns, nice, we finally arrived at our Gîte de France, 'Les deux pigeones' in Vaumeilh, about 1200 km from Alphen, a long drive! We were warmly welcomed by Marijke and Jan, family van Ad. They have built a beautiful Bed and Breakfast here from real ruins, which would not have been out of place in the 'I am leaving' program. There is now a beautiful house with beautiful rooms, but even now there is still plenty to be done. Corry and Pauline have also arrived so that the group of seven is complete. In the evening we were served a real runners meal, penne rigatta with salad and wine and cheese from the region. Jan, who played the Bintangts in the band in the sixties, shows some guitar playing and then the curtain falls over this day.
Saturday was all about rest, although this is a relative concept for this group. At half past eight it is gathering for a walk through the mountains to Vaumeilh. Now we know what awaits us tomorrow, just rise and fall. After a great breakfast outside on the terrace, we go to Sisteron, a historic town. Some visit the citadel, a castle from the 14th century. After this we go back to our stay where lazing around the pool. It's unbelievable, 26 degrees and that on October 3, while the weather is very bad in the Netherlands. Marijke and Jan have again provided a pasta meal so that 'stacking' is no shortage. We go to bed early because we get up early tomorrow.
Sunday, October 4: finally the day of the marathon. We have trained so much for this and it must now come true. At 6 o'clock we get up and after breakfast we drive with 2 cars, the 'caretakers' also go to Pertuis, about 100 km to the south. Here we are on time. Our numbers are ready and again we are asked for the medical statement! Then at 9 o'clock Ad, Adrie and Bert leave for the 42,195 km. First a lap on the cinder track, then a round through the village and then on the way. It is still nice and fresh now, but that will change during the rest of the process. At 10 a.m. Hanny and Pauline are leaving for half. We have already been on the road for an hour on a trail that goes up and down, on gravel paths and dams between the grape fields. This is really a very difficult course and already after 15 km I feel my legs rise and fall. Sometimes it's even worse than a cross. At the lake we walk through a forest where the excellent roots have been painted red. We also walk through villages with stairs and alleys. This really cannot be compared with the flat asphalt of Rotterdam. Moreover, it has become very hot and I am running the rest of the race with the shirt in my hand. That way you get some cooling. But the care is excellent. Every 2.5 km there is a stand with water, cola, sports drinks and wine and also snacks. At 30 km we get such a hill that everyone walks up against. There are also dropouts who are taken away with the ambulance. For us, too, it is survival now and I have been out of my mind for a while. If you think that we will now stay on asphalt, you are wrong, because they still have a path of high grass in mind. But in La Tour d'Aigues lies the liberating finish. This was a tough marathon and, as Corry said, "apart from giving up, we were fantastic." As for myself; I dosed well and didn't break, but my 52nd marathon was the toughest ever. And the time, which is not important here, because the last one finished in 5.45 (limit 6 hours). We returned home with a medal, t-shirt and bottles of wine, where the marathon was analyzed once again at the swimming pool.
On Monday we were waved goodbye by Marijke and Jan, lovely people who really pampered us, and we drove back to Alphen where we arrived at 10.30 p.m. A nice sporty and enjoyable weekend was this and definitely worth repeating. Maybe next year?
Here is the result:
84th Ad Heesbeen 3.52
114th Adrie Roor 4.01
199th Bert de Wit 4.30
496th Hanny Maarleveld 1.56
939th Pauline Aalbersberg 2.29
France, Provence, Les deux pigeons
from: Theo and Marian Wildenberg
'France is a beautiful country but no French should live there. How often have I heard this false statement. But the French are very friendly people. That turned out to be the case when I asked the way to Jan and Marijke's chateau to an old gentleman who was soaking in the shade. Those who ask for directions in France should preferably do so in French, whether or not inadequately. But first you wish someone good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on the time of day. Then you apologize for disturbing the person in question and only then - and not before - do you ask for directions. It is better to also ask about the health of the person in question and to compliment him on his beautiful garden or something. But my knowledge of the French language then falls short and as a Dutchman you want to go a little faster towards your goal. So I limited myself to: "Bonjour monsieur, excusez moi mais ..............". It helped. With a friendly smile the man lifted himself from his seat in the shade of the thickets and showed me the way. I thanked exuberantly (that is part of it) and found the correct route flawlessly.
The scene that I found reminded me of an advertisement for tomato sauce from such a sun-drenched country. A number of people sat at a table chatting while enjoying a glass of wine from the well-stocked cellar of Jan and Marijke. We joined the company without any problems and my happiness was complete when some cheese from the region came on the table. In Provence you live outside and our luggage, the interior of the house, our room, ... that was possible later. You must not be in a hurry in those parts of the world. We also got that tour later. And to our great pleasure. It looks beautiful both outside and inside. But something is still missing for enthusiasts. A small thing but not unimportant for me. Had this old chateau been in England or Scotland, at least one spirit would have been present. But in this house there is no inexplicable sound of footsteps on a creaky staircase, no cold drafts and fluttering net curtains while all windows are closed, no moving door handles while no one is present and no doors that open by themselves. Now Jan has professionally made everything in such a way that there is no question of cracking or drafts, but a real ghost knows how to handle it. No, none of that, but as a lover of the occult you still miss that.
I do understand why that is. In areas where people are subjected to the cravings of a chilly climate and die of gout, rheumatism and winter feet, people die unhappily. The mind remains fruitless in search of something better, the basking warmth of the sun, a good glass of wine, good food. In short: to a life like God in France. But if you finally go around the corner after a long and happy life in Provence, take a good glass first and think: it has been beautiful. With Jan and Marijke no spirits (by the way, nowhere in Provence), but all the good things the region has to offer. We will come back.
The electric guitar
"Cinq euros," said the trader on the flea market in Malmoisson, when I asked how much the "Cort Perfodriver Series model Telecaster" should yield. At first I thought: "That's a joke." But the man behind the displayed merchandise looked a little stuffy, as if even five euros were too much to ask. Picked up the guitar, looked at it. Nice right. The four remaining strings tuned a bit and it didn't sound unkind. Considered for a moment to bargain, but I did not dare to do this nice flea door.
Coming home with my new addition, put on new strings, set a bit octave-clean and connected to the VOX AC-30 guitar amplifier. That was a shame. Only one sound and volume and tone control plus the selector switch are set for 'Jan-with-the-short-last name'. So just call Henk the guitar builder. In no time the wiring diagram via the mail in the house and therefore the soldering iron looked up.
And truly ...... everything works. Selector switch for front or rear element or combination of both. Volume button, tone control, everything works. A real guitar for 5 euros, a set of strings of 6 euros, a bit of work and for fifty euros of fun. Who does you what. And everyone who hears and sees the guitar ....... does not believe his eyes and ears.
Surprising new introduction to Les Deux Pigeons
from: Ad and Elise
When we take the road in Vaumeilh in August 2007 that leads us through the fruit trees of Les Passerons to Les Deux Pigeons, we do not know what we are seeing. More than two years after our last visit, a dazzling monumental building glides in the distance, blending in style and appearance with the picturesque backdrop of Provence. In recent years so much has changed in the home (again) that the renewed acquaintance evokes admiration from a great distance.
Of course, that judgment cannot be viewed separately from the disarming beauty of the leafy environment. And of course Les Deux Pigeons is located in a unique spot between the Alpes de Haute Provence, the river Durance and the robust Sisteron. As well as the numerous hours of sunshine per year contribute to an exceptionally pleasant living environment. But that does not alter the fact that the 'house with the authentic dovecote' has been converted into a rustic jewel that far exceeds the French level.
If we drive that particular August afternoon on the path we fall from one surprise to the other. A new roof, restored walls, everything painted tip-top, an immense (beautiful) garden in the making, a glass extension on the side to create more light in the living room and various cozy terraces. Not to mention the interior. Everything has been rebuilt, renovated and refurbished. With the youngest acquisition, the first chambre d'hôte.
We are the first guests to make use of it. Curious we go up the stairs to the first floor, where Les Ramiers is located. The room is spacious, tastefully decorated and has its own toilet, shower and sink. The view is just as impressive. If you open the shutters in front of the windows, you look out over a vast plain with the imposing mountain Montagne de Lure in the background. The stay at Les Ramiers is exceptionally good, as we also experience our family stay at Les Deux Pigeons as very pleasant. The four of us walk and our two Golden Retrievers Noor and Ollie through the hills of Vaumeilh, drink coffee in the morning on a terrace in Sisteron, have lunch with a glass of rosé cozy outside in the sun, visit friends in the neighborhood, do nice trips in the region, drink an aperitif in the afternoon and enjoy an extensive French meal with a good glass of wine in the evening under a starry sky.
When we leave after a week, Provence in general and Les Deux Pigeons leave a particularly impressive impression. Who would not want to live here - like Jan and Marijke - like God in France. If only for a few days!