The Amazing Colours of Provence
Trip Start Mar 27, 2010
63Trip End Aug 11, 2010
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From Cucuron we headed over the Montagne du Luberon to the city of Arles to go to the Saturday market. It was pretty crowded in town so we had a bit of difficulty finding somewhere to park the camper. The ‘marche’ was heaving with people and the temperature probably close to 40 degrees so the experience was a little challenging! However, we picked up some meat, vegetables, fruit (melons and cherries are everywhere), cheeses and olives to keep us going for a couple of days and had a bit of a look around all the ‘provencal’ stuff.
Our next destination was the ‘Tire-Bouchon’ (corkscrew) museum and Domaine de la Citadel vineyard
Mum’s choice for the day was to visit the little hilltop village of ‘Rousillon’ and this is where the colour story starts. Rousillon is situated in the heart of the world’s biggest vein of ochre. Ochre is bright orange and is quite similar to the colours you would see at Ayres Rock or the Grand Canyon. Ochre is a used as a pigment for paint. All the houses in the town are painted in various shades of orange and effect is quite beautiful. Next to the town is a walkway next to the cliffs and natural quarries where you can see the various shades of colour. We spent a bit of time wandering along the walkway and around the town.
As we left Rousillon we were determined to find some lavender growing. We heard that it was the time for harvesting and that it might be difficult to find some still with flowers. We found a few fields close to Rouissilon but decided that it might be better to head to Valensole in the Haute Provence (at the heart of the lavender growing area). We had also heard that there was going to be a ‘Fete de Lavande’ at Valensole the following day!
As we drove up onto the ‘Plateau de Valensole’ we were not disappointed. There were beautiful purple fields everywhere! It really is incredibly striking, you cannot quite believe what you are seeing. We found a campsite about 1km from Valensole. It was in a lovely elevated position looking over the purple fields!