Friday, August 21, 2009

La Belle Provence

After climbing, time to rest - what better than vacation in Provence, this picturesque and famous corner of France? The scenery is beautiful indeed, wine and food delicious - nothing like it to grow the stomach back up after the exhortations required for the sake of alpinism. And the dessert - nothing like a sweet shop for the addicted chocoholics - below the stupendous Chope Gourmande in Baux de Provence:

Given the high temperatures sightseeing remained an arduous undertaking, although we did spend a couple of days at it, mainly driving - but also looking, i.e. the monestary of Senanques, famous for its lavander fields unfortunately already cut in August:

Nothing better than a family hike to the top of Ventoux, the small giant of Provence, a little short of 2000 meters, but still giving creeps to bikers of Tour de France and a little exercise to the early trekkers:

And there is climbing! We used the rope in Dentelles de Montmirail, near the same old Ventoux (below), but many other spots abound, such as Buis les Baronies, Buoux or the hard St Leger du Ventoux. They are all situated in small villages less frequented by tourists and thus still preserving their charm, if not untouched, than at least not completely violated or destroyed by the merchants in the temple as in Aigues Mortes for instance. However, summer is not exactly the most appropriate season if you don't want to get up at 6am or start climbing after 8 pm - and when the Canicule is gaining strength....

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