Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Valensole Plateau is filled with rolling fields of lavender that seem to go on for ages. The smell is incredible, the color is so vibrant, and perhaps it's the aromatherapy, perhaps it's just the way of life, but everything feels so relaxed. That is certainly one thing I think the French have a knack for - enjoying life and taking time to appreciate the seemingly small everyday details.
Since it wouldn't be a proper mid-July without markets and festivals, there was also a lavender festival in Valensole.

We watched a man distill lavender oil on the town square, they gave free bundles of lavender to visitors, and lavender was used in a variety of foods available for purchase from chocolates and ice cream all the way to pâté. There was even a parade and group of people dressed in lavender, which is a sight you don't often see. They clearly take it seriously and it made me wonder where they are able to find so many uniquely colored accessories.

My favorite purchase was some edible lavender oil, which can be used in cooking (or making ice cream).
Before our trip I wasn't aware there is also something called lavandin, which is a cheaper species, but we were schooled in all of it. All of the fields have a steady hum of insects.

As we drove through the fields we stopped to take photos (thanks to our gorilla pod and remote)... kind of like nature meets photo booth.

Both of these also came in hand later in the evening, because we stayed in Allemagne-en-Provence and there were galaxies visible above with the naked eye. So many stars! There were things moving high up there and it made me feel very tiny. I don't really have great lenses for night photography, but with my trigger release I could at least capture some of it.

The home we stayed at was gorgeous - complete with a beautiful pool. It was a bit chilly when we arrived, so we just dipped our feet in. It was the perfect setting to make me think about cashing in city life for a fleeting moment.

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