I am back with one more pre-scheduled post with some pretty provencal pics.
The other day we went northbound for Gorge de Verdon and eventually to Lac de Ste. Croix, where the girls love to swim in the fabulous turquoise waters and have fun with the paddle boats that we can rent by the hour.
I am not so keen on the paddle boat thing, but I said that as long as they would indulge me in one thing first, then we could go to the lake later.
The thing was, I have long dreamt of seeing large wonderful fields of lavender spreading out in all directions. Normally we come to the south of France later than we did this year when the flowering period is over except very high up in the alpes. Last Saturday I spoke to a charming Englishman at the local market in Brignoles. He has been living here for 20 years making his delicious nougat and moving his bees around the area to get different kinds of honey. I bought a jar of laveder honey and he told me that his bees had spent the last weeks up in the lavender fields in the higher regions. I was of course curious to know where I could find these fields.
He said; "Just go to Lac de Ste. Croix and continue UP..."
Sounded reasonable to me....
When we arrived at the lake the girls were already hot and would have liked nothing better than to jump in the tempting water.... Mum however, was on a mission to find lavender....
Sooo, we had arrived the lake and there were no obvious signs of lavender ,..nor indeed of what would be considered 'UP'...
I can be stubborn sometimes , and let me just tell you this was one of these times,...lol!
After driving around the French countryside for three hours on roads many would hesitate to call roads at all, I was all but ready to give up. We had stopped a very handsom young German on his bike far up in the alpes and he was kind enough to share his map with us and told us he had indeed seen some plants a while back but he was not very encouraging. He did however,ask us if we would like to take a photo of his map... -And people say the young are not considerate :-)
After some more miles in the car and no lavender to be seen anywhere we decided to get out of the car for a little while and eat our packed lunch.
Another biker approached and this time it was a middle aged American man. We started talking and he wanted to know all about us and said it was unusual to see 'a car of women' driving around. We explained the situation to him.
He was fun to talk to even if he was very happy to give his opinions on absolutely everything and not very keen on hearing ours... I think we talked for an hour! And he had not seen any lavender for days either. Sooo I decided to give up.
After a short while we had to stop and ask directions from two local ploicemen standing by the road. They seemed happy to try their English and pointed us in the right direction.
We did not have to go far before I was in heaven!
Everywhere I looked were large blue patches of lavender in at least two nuances (true lavender and the lavandin). It was just breath taking!
Here are the girls in front of what I think is lavandin because of the unusually light colour.
And here is the field next to it with a darker coloured lavender.
This little fellow is a 'cigale'/cricket and together with his friends they make the fantstic sound effects in this part of Europe. I would really miss the sound should it suddenly stop!
The next shot is of the famous German map!
We were lucky because right next to one of the fields were a large patch of sunflowers that were just starting to open their beautiful faces to the sun. What a wonderful colour combo this would make!
Even the elder girls liked the lavender and sunflowers a lot, but Beatrice was actually in the hot car sulking a bit because it took so long before we got to the paddle boats.
I am pretty sure that some of all the shots I took will soon make their way onto a scrapbook page near you!...Just saying,..LOL!
After these beauties and the lavender had made my day I was very happy to continue the last few kilometres over to the lake and we all spent a nice afternoon with the two boats I rented.
We really needed to cool off !