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    • Day 111


      July 6, 2023 in France ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      We had a very different day today as we journeyed out of Marseille to explore the lavender fields in the region of Provence (specifically, around the town of Valensole). It was pretty amazing seeing the lavender fields as they are only in bloom around 3 weeks a year from late June to early July.

      Rather than paying the $300 for a normal car for a same day return we opted for a van option - we guessed this would typically be hired by removalists but we didn’t care, it only cost $60 (though we did look and feel pretty funny!) We made our way out of Marseille (with some serious concentration displayed by Daniel to navigate out of the right Marseille streets!) and onto the highway en route to the lavender fields.

      We could smell them before we saw them, and when we saw them they were incredible - absolute seas of purple/lavender for which photos could not do justice! We made a quick stop in the fields for some photos and to walk around. We stopped at a lavender distillery and bought some soap (which will definitely make our bags smell better!)

      We then drove to the town of Valensole and visited the town. We explored the chapel, beautiful old streets and shops before trying some lavender ice cream which was delicious! The man at the ice cream shop also let us try some other flavours of ice cream which are traditional to the area such as hibiscus (delicious!), thyme ice cream (interesting!) and carnation flower (also nice!)

      We then hopped back on the ‘lavender route’ and continued driving through the region making a few more stops along the way to take in the sights and smells. It is quite easy to stop on the side of the road (even in our huge removalist van!) for photos and to see the fields closer but there were literally kilometres of fields to view from the car. It looked like there were purple hills around us!

      We then proceeded to drive through the Verdon Gorge which is very scenic. There were lots of campervans around so we didn't feel so small here! We made a stop by the very blue water! We wanted to jump in (it was 30 degrees during the day) but continued back to Marseille

      We then made our way back to Marseille and had to contend with some of logistics of returning a hire car - filling up petrol to avoid the exorbitant costs of the hire company filling up! After trying two different petrol stations (and Gab speaking French to attendants at the service stations trying to understand why the diesel wasn't working and our Aussie credit cards weren't being accepted), it was clear that they weren’t accepting our cards and so we accepted defeat and decided we would return the van and cop the costs. Fortunately, when we returned the van and were told about the fuel, we explained what had happened and the attendant didn’t charge us for the fuel! It was definitely a cherry on top of a fantastic day!

      We went back to the Airbnb, did a workout and chilled out as well as some forward planning for later in the trip before watching a movie and going to bed.
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    • Day 6

      Lavendel so weit das Auge reicht

      July 12, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      Wir haben uns heute Zeit gelassen beim Städtewechsel und sind über Land nach Marseille gefahren. Auch wenn es lange gedauert hat, sind wir unterwegs mehr als entschädigt worden. Uns begegnete ein Traum von Landschaft, da man durch die Alpen fährt. Mit der Aussicht auf hohe Berge, sanfte Hügellandschaften und kleinen Bergdörfern, kann es gar nicht lange genug dauern. Das größte Highlight allerdings fanden wir In Valensole, in der Hoch-Provence. Solch riesige Lavendelfelder lassen einen nur staunen. Ein Traum in lila so weit das Auge reicht. Sehr empfehlenswert.
      Die Ankunft in Marseille war eher etwas stressig, da die Straßen sehr vollgestopft und eng waren. Gesehen haben wir heute noch nicht so viel. Wir sind wie immer gespannt.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Saint-Grégoire, Saint-Gregoire

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