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Lavender Fields of Valensole and Gorge du Verdon

Lavender Fields of Valensole

We stayed in an Airbnb in a small cobblestone village on a hill called Beaumont-de-Pertuis as a base to explore the lavender fields and Gorge du Verdon. Beaumont-de-Pertuis is a quiet town of young families and beautiful views of surrounding vineyards where the grocery store and boulangerie took a 4-hour siesta break and were closed by 7pm. We had hoped to encounter some lavender fields around this little town, but when that didn't pan out, we ventured towards Valensole.

Nimes and Pont du Gard

Nimes, France

Nimes is an ancient town in the south of France. It was known as the Rome of France in Roman times. Much is left of the Roman era here: a Roman arena, parts of a Roman wall, tower, city gates on a Roman road and a temple or two. 

Saving Time and Money in France

Saving on Time and Money in France:

Baguette lunches: Between driving 6600 km in 3 weeks and hiking where shops don't shine, our lunches tended to be on-the-go. A couple of baguettes, ranging in cost at 0.48 EU to 1.10 EU with soft creamy cheeses of 1.10 EU to 3.50 EU (Camembert, Brie, Chevre, Roquefort etc), and/or a spread (ham, duck pates, sausages, pepper, aubergine spreads) made for quick lunches. Burgundy raisins went well on top of the baguette and cheese. We carried along with us an insulated bag that we got for $1 purchased back home to keep cold our cheeses when placed with a frozen bottle of water. We gladly consumed the cold water afterwards.

Calanques, Cassis, France

Calanque d’en Vau hike, Cassis, France

The Calanques are steep white cliffs jutting out of the Mediterranean Sea in finger like inlets. We started our hike near the seaside town of Cassis, at the Presqu’il where a large parking lot charged 8 EU for day parking. There was some street parking along the way but none that was available when we were there.

Pyrenees (Gavarnie), Camargue and Toulouse

Cirque de Gavarnie, Gavarnie (French Pyrenees)

My pictures don't do justice to the scale of the Cirque de Gavarnie in the French Pyrenees. At 8 miles rt with 1400 ft elev gain, it was a nice day hike, after a 3 hour drive from Toulouse. The Cirque de Gavarnie consists of about 12-15 tall waterfalls cascading 1000 feet from the top of the wall to the snowy bottom of the wall. The water from all the falls seem to converge at the bottom, near the Hotel de Cirque, in a blue gushing stream. The cirque also contains Europe's tallest waterfalls at 1385ft, called Grand Cascades, on the left side of the cirque when walking towards it.  We met a flock (or two) of sheep along the way.