Our Latest Gallery Of Photographs From Provence
We’re very lucky at The Chain Gang that some of our customers are much better photographers than me.
And our newest gallery of photos from Provence are a case in point. These were taken last June by Brazilian Chain Gang regular Roberto.
You can see the whole gallery here. , but I’ve chosen a few photographs that reminded me about why I enjoy our Provence tour so much. Remember you can click on the images to enlarge them, and feel free to comment.
The View From Les Baux de Provence
It’s a decent climb up to Les Baux, but worth it. The views are spectacular.Les Baux has a fascinating history ( click here ), as the hideout of a bunch of renegade French nobles finally brought to heel by Cardinal Richlieu (of Three Musketeers fame), and as the place where Bauxite was first mined.
That’s aluminium to you and me (or aluminum to our American friends who are still getting the hang of pronouncing certain English words) – believe it or not, this beautiful village and ruined fortress on the edge of the Alpilles is the birthplace of Aluminium.
But what you’ll remember are the views. Maybe the most spectacular views of our whole week in Provence.
The Lavender That Everyone Goes On AboutFrom late June until the end of July the lavender is in flower, and Provence is covered with the stuff.
I don’t know why it is, but everyone seems to love lavender, and I’m no exception. There are several pictures of lavender in the gallery, but I chose one to show you here.
Provence is also well-known for the thyme and rosemary that grow wild by the side of the road. I had a memory that lavender and rosemary might be related. On checking I find that they do belong to the same family, mint!
Can you believe that? Rosemary, lavender, oregano, basil, thyme and even the teak tree are all members of the mint family !
I couldn’t resist this – a classic piece of gurning from French officialdomI’ve no idea if this policeman knew he was on camera, but I’d like to think so – you might have to click on the image to see what I mean.
In the UK we have a weird tradition of gurning, which is basically pulling faces. But we have a World Championship, which takes place in Egremont, Cumbria. You think I’m joking? I’m not! Have a look here for more info, or if you think you’d like to enter.
Here’s another weird, slightly more troubling fact. In France, insulting a public official is a crime. Luckily for us, in 2000 the sanction was downgraded from a prison sentence to a fine – up to 45,000 Euro if the official you insulted turns out to be the President. (It occurs to me that, depending on who the US elects as President later this year, they could enact the same law and basically abolish tax!) I hope our gurning French Official doesn’t see this photo having got out of bed the wrong side.
Good luck in the Gurning Championships mate, I think you’re in with a shot. But practice in your own time, eh?
A view of Mont Ventoux
You will have to click on this photo to see the point.I love Mont Ventoux. For cyclists it’s an iconic mountain. Known as The Giant of Provence, it features regularly in the Tour de France and is always, always a highlight when it does.
The main thing that people on our Provence tour need to know is that we don’t have to cycle any where near it! But we can see it, a lot.
From a distance it always looks snow-covered. It does get a lot of snow – I’ve cycled up it in June (with Hugh Quigley – hello Hugh) and near the top, in sheltered areas, there was plenty of snow lingering.
But this is Provence – snow doesn’t survive long in June and July! The white peak is bare limestone – hence its occasional nickname of The Bald Mountain. But from a distance it means you can always tell which one is Ventoux – it’s the white one.
In this photo, there is a mountain in the foreground, but all Ventousiasts (and Gary, Steve, Hanna and I know that means us) would know immediately that can’t be it – wrong colour. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it, and behind the first mountain you’ll see the distinctive white peak of Mont Ventoux lurking behind, all 1,912 beautiful metres of her.
Enjoy the whole gallery here, and feel free to let me know what you think.
I’d be delighted if you wanted to share your own photos of Provence, you can post them on our Facebook page.