Saturday, July 23, 2022

Viking Cruise Day 3 

The Lavender Fields of Provence

"You'll smell it before you even see it.  That unmistakable aroma that fills your nose and seeps in to your scenses. The scent is lavender"

***excerpt taken from the story Blue/Gold from the popular app "Calm"

That is what started my obsession of wanting to visit the lavender fields of Provence.

It has taken 4 years to get there but it feels like a lifetime of desiring to see the beauty of the fields and breath in the relaxing scent of lavender.

Our journey started bright and early on our third day of the cruise up the Rhone River.

(actually we went down from Avignon to Arles and then back up the river back to Avignon.)  I'm not sure why we did this but I mean, I just follow the rules....(sometimes)

***squatting in the lavender fields......

The bus picked us up for the 9 hour journey through Provence.

Our first stop was the lavender museum. So we could all learn the history of the lavender fields. But....since I've listened to Blue/Gold about 400 times, I already knew it all.

Heck. I could've taught the class...

***warning, photo dump***

The lavender museum with an unknown woman...

I tried to buy these canisters but they weren't for sell. 

This was one of my favorite parts of our journey, because it was so interesting seeing the distilling process ages ago and then learning the process now.
(You'll see)

this was the first lavender field we found.  The guide yelled "STOP THE BUS"
because with the drought in France right now you just never know if they will have already harvested.  
This wasn't the most beautiful field we saw.  And as you can tell, it was sadly quite dry.

But then we found the good stuff!
Although it was hot as heck there was no humidity and the weather truly was spectacular!
in all honesty, I don't remember where these two pics were from. lol

after a beautiful lunch (that "W" and I are disagreeing about the location....)
but,,,I think it was up here somewhere....

we visited a true working lavender farm!
And learned how they distill it now!

they put the lavender in these huge steel containers

and then they compress it with a huge, heavy tire filled with concrete.
***Green/Gold did not tell me about this process...
but the steam was intoxicating!

SO, after seeing and learning the distilling process we got to go out to the fields and cut our own lavender!
...with a really sharp sickle
in case you don't know what a sickle is.

Take a guess at who got to be the first to cut some lavender...


***dangerously sharp.....

My life is now complete.....
Tomorrow we tour the beautiful 5th century town of Viviers...(the s is silent)
Stay sweet y'all!

Friday, July 22, 2022

Viking Cruise Day Two

The Town of Arles, France

So, after working with my blanking Mac AND I phone trying to download photos, I think (hope) I have got it all figured out.

thank you to my daughter Jordan for suggesting google photo.

It's only taken me two days (and countless hours)

***it stinks being old and not growing up with technology***

We started day two of our trip from Avignon to Lyon by stopping first in the town of Arles as I mentioned in my previous post.

Arles is full of beautiful remains and gorgeous light. It is easy to see why so many of the artists in the 1800's (well actually anytime for that matter) were drawn to this beautiful town.

We visited the Les Arenas and learned about all the entertainment that went on centuries ago.

WOW. They loved to fight.

(Kinda reminds me of our government right now)

but lets move on....

Les Arenes

there were also other great things to look at.....

let's zoom in on that photo....

I was so mad I didn't bring my heart stickers because I would have slapped one of those suckers right on this car.

just shoot me an email if you would like one of these stickers for your car...
(they also come without my name on it!)
They are 5.00 (includes postage) each and are 4" x 5"

just stunning gardens

SOOOOOO mad at myself for not buying these

and especially mad at myself for not buying one of these Handmade Guinea Hens
travel tip:
if you see something that you love, buy it and find a way to bring it home.  I'm still kicking myself for not buying a set of dishes I found in Paris 15 years ago. And now I'm mad I don't have a hen....a large green one to be exact.
(August 8th is my birthday)

I could have eaten my way through Arles with this....

so this was our guide showing us the picture of the painting that Van Gogh painted of Le Cafe La Nuit

and this is the actual cafe.
How dang cool is that?

I just thought this was pretty.

"vive la france"

So...after we walked ourselves to death over uneven cobblestone roads. (wear comfortable but of course cute shoes)

these were so comfy. Veja from Zappos

(and if I might add, after a trip like this you don't have to bend over much to tie them)

because I couldn't.......😆

We made our way by bus on an "extra" excursion
Meaning...we had to pay for it.
Totally worth it by the way

"The Delights of Provence"
We traveled to the village of Fontvielle which is home to the Bourdon family.
They own the Moulin Saint Jean.
We toured the olive groves that are home to more than 6,000 trees.
W and I are both olive oil lovers so this was really really neat to see. He hates olives though.
I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...
and dessert.

one of the owners explaining the process.

I'm such a teenager......

we then drove up to the bottom of a really really REALLY steep hill and walked up to this beautiful little cafe that neither one of us can remember the name of.  All I know is that it was stunningly beautiful and the olives (and wine-which is why we can't remember the name) was amazing....

this is the route though...

Okay folks! That's it for today!

Stay sweet!