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On to the Luberon

July 18, 2022

Time to join our group of fellow photographers at a chateau outside the village of Ménerbes, made famous by Peter Mayle in his books A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence. We were grateful for the refreshing depths of the pool!

Lori, our trip leader, has hired Martine to cook for us, and that’s truly a blessing, as people straggled in from their flights. Lori spent the afternoon collecting people from the Marseille airport, and they were pretty exhausted by the time they arrived. But we had plenty of rosé and tempting food to make us forget the trials of travel.

The temperature approaches 100, and we have no air conditioning, just strategically placed fans. On this morning we set out to visit Roussillon. Cheri and I can only travel together, as my Covid test is now positive as well. We will have to eat away from the group too, and of course, mask.

As we caravanned up to the perched village, Lori got stuck trying to go up a steep hill, and as I was behind her the same thing happened to me. Even gunning the engine in first gear left us rolling backward. I really dislike the new parking brakes — a little lever as opposed to the old-fashioned kind you yank up, which could help get you out of any situation. When we finally made it up the hill and into the parking lot, we met the people who were behind us — Americans, as it turned out — who were so sympathetic, as the same had happened to them.

Roussillon is dramatically perched atop stunning ochre cliffs, and is fun to stroll through.

Our visit to the Lavender Museum in Coustellet provided a fascinating look at how these flowers, which grow in vast fields as far as the eye can see, are cultivated and harvested. The museum has a collection of old copper stills, some dating from the 18th century, and other artifacts associated with the lavender industry. Because of the unusually hot temperatures this year, many fields have already been cut — as we will learn when we set off for photo shoots as the days wear on, and find only stubble awaiting us.

Tonight was the super moon, so we attempted to capture it.

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3 Comments
  1. I am sorry to hear you have tested positive and hope you will continue to have mild symptoms. the cliffs are so dramatic and beautiful! Enjoy the food and the company — from a distance.

  2. John permalink

    I didn’t realize that was a super moon, but I did set up my spotting scope in the driveway and admired it’s amazing clarity around dawn.

  3. John Merrill permalink

    Stay hydrated. The heat and forest fires in Europe are big in the news back here in the states.

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