Purple Chanson - Summer in Provence


In my opinion, first impression of lavender in my mind is related to Xu Shaoyang's Lavender series. The classic songs "Flower Aroma" and "Moment of Happiness" are still well remembered. Later, every time I watched series about lavender, I again dreamed that one day I would come to Provence, a place with such a beautiful name. So, when that day really came, I couldn't believe my eyes and nose: all lavender field, field of sunflowers, strong scent of lavender blowing in wind, and unique charm of summer in south of France is more beautiful than summer. Imagined beauty is a hundred times a thousand times better. If you have opportunity to come here, it's definitely worth a trip.

About renting self-driving cars: (copy material written in previous article):

@http://www.EconomyCarRentals.com/ Cheapest to rent a car locally. There are many car rental companies, so compare. Pay attention to difference in price between using a domestic IP and after going through wall. It is recommended to rent a car at EconomyCarRentals.com. First, price is same before and after going through wall. Third, there is no mileage limit. The car rental companies you find on EconomyCarRentals.com are not necessarily large companies, but can be small local car rental companies, so look at reviews to see which one. We finally rented a car from Sixt, after comparing prices it turned out to be really very affordable. Driving in France is most authentic experience of truth that there are no meat machines, only meat people. While driving in France, you will never feel uneasiness of driving in China. The average speed of traffic flow corresponds to maximum speed limit. There will never be slow cars idle in lane and fast lane on expressway. maximum speed limit will always be there. The intersections are all roundabouts, there are no traffic lights, and you will always wait for cars to pass inside roundabout before entering roundabout. where there is no movement in three directions. The road signs are perfect, there are priority waiting signs at intersections so you can drive by just looking at signs.

Besides, a very important point. Many turn to a notary for notarization when renting a car in Europe. My husband looked through many websites and found that in car rental only basic information of certificate is needed to be translated. Translate it yourself, because now our driver's licenses are all in English. If you don't believe me, then see for yourself. Of course, at first I was a little worried, afraid of problems, but it turns out I was too worried. Therefore, do not chase after notarized documents and save time and money.

Cost: car rental for two days - 211 euros, and gas fee, speed collection and parking fee - 144 euros, later it turns out that finefor speeding is 30 euros.

When and where to see lavender and sunflower fields

Every year from early July to mid-August, lavender can be seen in Provence. Generally speaking, mid-July is best time to bloom. Lavender is concentrated in Sault or Valensole. The area with most beautiful flowers this time Valensole. However, height of Sault is higher and flowering period is later, so if you come here in early August, it is recommended to go to Sault to see flowers, since, as a rule, all flowers in Valensole are already collected by this time.

Itinerary through Southern France and Provence:

7-20 (TGV) Paris-Avignon

7-21 (self-driving) Avignon - Gordes - Abbey of Senanque - Roussillon - Valensole (two hours by car)) - Lac de Saint Croix - Avignon

7-22 (self-propelled) Avignon-Arles--Fontaine-de-Vaccluse-Annecy

All routes:




---------------------------------------------------- ----------The trip to Provence is officially open-------------------------------- --------------------------

On evening of 20th, we boarded a train to Avignon with TGV tickets purchased online before departure. (For information on how to buy tickets, see Preparation section). The road from Paris to Avignon takes about 2.5 hours.

Price: €114/two people

Hotel in Avignon

Name: Confortel Avignon (Confortel Avignon Hotel)

Rating: A little far. Buses run from train station to surrounding area and you can buy tickets directly from driver when you get on bus. The train arrived late at night and we took a taxi to go there. After renting a car, distance is not a problem.

After a good night's sleep, early next morning we went to pick up car near TGV train station. There is a large car park near train station, which is used by large car rental companies. Each car rental company is a rectangular room, you just need to find your own car rental company.

This is a handsome little brother who rents a car from Sixt. At this time, you simply give him your passport, booking form, credit card and transfer. The credit card is used as a double guarantee.

The process of obtaining a car is not complicated, but it takes time. It took guy about half an hour.

After whole process is complete, he will give you key and then tell you parking space and password to exit parking lot. will let us park car and leave it straight. Just put key in little mailbox in their house.

Originally ordered Volkswagen POLO was temporarily transferred to Opel as it was no longer available. The husband said that this is a product that cannot be sold in China, but in Europe it seems to sell well. Surprisingly, this car has its own navigation, which is very easy to use, which is great.

Okay, car has been successfully matched, my favorite disc is filled, and self-driving has officially begun.

Finally, you don't have to run crazy. The scenery along the way is incredibly beautiful and intoxicating.

It takes about an hour to get to first stop ---

Stone Town Gold

White and gray stones become main tone of this small village. Due to its special geographical position, scattered houses, special charm and typical architecture, Gordes has been listed as "one of most beautiful villages in France".

Go to panorama

I met a guide who said that sitting here is most beautiful place to take pictures. But everyone should pay attention to safety.

Walk down Gould and you will come here

Senank Abbey.

A relatively narrow mountain road leads from Gord to monastery (it is not difficult to drive), along which there will be a small observation deck overlooking monastery.

Look at picture below, you can already see it.

The monastery parking lot is located on side of monastery, it is quite large and free.

There are several medium-sized lavender fields in front of entrance to monastery, although lavender fields behind are many times larger than this. But when I saw it for first time, I was still very excited and frantically went into photo mode.

Go inside a bit and you will see monastery.

I found this handy lavender doily online. I used it all way to see real scene on paper. That's very beautiful.

There is a souvenir shop near monastery where we bought fridge magnets, lavender and lavender honey. I heard that this honey is very good. I tried it when I got home. He is really good. It is completely different from honey tasted in China. It also has a strong floral aroma and is very tasty.

I bought a pack of dried lavender and some empty bags on Taobao. Packing them is a good gift for friends.

You can also take a picture of monastery from side, it's also beautiful. By way, there is also a toilet here, don't miss this opportunity, don't miss it.

On way, I bought our little boy his favorite tomato. Super juicy.

Past a large grape field.

Leaving Stone City, our next stop is Red Earth City—


First of all, let me tell you about parking. After you drive in, you will soon find a parking lot. There is no toll collector in parking lot, you need to buy a parking ticket yourself. This is car below. It's 2 euros here. You put coins in, he gives out a piece of paper, and then you put it on car window.

There is a legend about origin of city from red clay of Roussilon: young and beautiful wife of lord fell in love with a bard, and narrow-minded lord brutally killed poet out of revenge. rock, died in love, and blood flooded city. Since then, earth has acquired a dark red color. This is area with largest reserves of ocher in France. Natural pigments made from red loess from Roussillon were once world famous high quality pigments, but it was only in middle of 20th century that they were gradually replaced by industrial pigments. Both Van Gogh and Gauguin were particularly fond of pigments produced in this area, which is one of reasons for vibrant colors in Van Gogh's work.

The climate here is very suitable for growing succulents, there are so many of them, I like it so much.

The city of Juntu has many unique shops, especially workshops, with different styles of painting, which bring many surprises. Since large paintings are not easy to carry around, we chose only a postcard.

After about an hour of shopping, we left Red Earth City and went to Valensole, which we miss endlessly.

Past a field of sunflowers

Attention, dear ones, on way to Valensole you will pass by L'Occitane factory store. Prices inside are really low, and there is a tax refund on purchases of 155 euros. Do not miss.

Below is a specific address found on web, just search for it in your navigation.

This is front of store.

I brought a set for two mothers and myself, and also gave a lot of samplers, I'm happy.

After leaving, keep moving forward and finally arrive


This is first big flower field we saw, bunches of lavender stretching up and down to hills in distance, it's very spectacular!

Valensole is very windy, so you can imagine how wonderful it is when you leave station in a field of flowers and you are greeted by a very, very strong scent of lavender.

Go ahead. On way to Valensole, near D6, there are also large lavender fields. Basically, if you see a car parked on side of road, you will know where someone is taking pictures again. Just be careful when crossing road, speed is very high.

The flower field is so big, most importantly, few people take pictures of it. Immediately set up a tripod, pose and get high.

Reluctantly, we leave Valensole and arrive at last stop of the day - Lake Sainte-Croix.

Because it was past 6pm when we arrived, there was no more boating. It is recommended to come here early, rowing should be very comfortable.

After admiring lake, we set off for Avignon. Go back and take high speed.

It is estimated that cost of labor in Europe is too high, and high speed also requires self-help. Take speed card at crossroads and door will open. When leaving track, you can also insert card yourself and fee will be displayed, and you can put money into machine yourself. very advanced.

Nine o'clock in evening, sunset is infinitely beautiful.

The lavender field is so pretty, Anne

The next day we went to Avignon.

I finally got baguettes for breakfast.

The baguette is a sharp weapon, if you don't obey, you will be hit on head

The same applies to self-service parking.

Avignon, seat of the papacy, is rich in art and architectural treasures. The Avignon Theater Festival is held every July for three weeks. We just caught up with this year's Drama Festival, which is very busy.

The Papal Palace (Palais des Papes) was residence of Pope in 14th century. It is largest Gothic palace in West. It is both a fortress and a church. You can buy tickets to go inside, but we didn't.

Pont_Saint-Bénezet, also known as Broken Bridge of Avignon.

Legend has it that in 1177 a young shepherd named Benese heard a voice from heaven saying, “Benese, take your stick and go down to a place called Avignon. Go to city by river. local residents that bridge should be built." So he came to left bank of Rhone from Mount Ardèche, where he lived. Guided by an angel, he reached right bank of river Rhone and paid last three coins around him to boatman, who ferried him across river. He announced oracle to locals, but locals thought he was crazy. On Sunday, when Bishop of Avignon blessed square in front of Notre Dame, Benezet called him and said: "My lord bishop, I have come to build a bridge across Rhone by will of Almighty God ..." To confirm his statement, church asked him to lift a huge stone and throw it into river Rhone. To lift this boulder, it takes strength of at least a dozen strong men, but shepherd, without hesitation, picked it up and threw it on future bridgehead in river in front of everyone. For Benezer, this miracle means not only that his request will be fulfilled, but also that he has become a saint. Alms and donations immediately poured in, and bridge plan was approved. Although Benezet was never formally canonized as a saint, during thirteenth century his faith spread and his image often appeared on tombstones.

Now folk song "We dance on Pont d'Avignon", popular in French-speaking countries, refers to this bridge. As a result, Avignon Bridge has become a rendezvous point for many crazy men and women. In 17th century, waters of Rhone destroyed Avignon bridge. This broken bridge has a kind of unfinished beauty that makes a lot of people obsessed. When you walk towards broken bridge and look at broken bridge under setting sun, it is not as dilapidated and ruined as Great Wall. The broken bridge of Avignon is completely preserved, as if in order to fully preserve memory of bridge. The bridge is covered in lavender, and purple top of grass caresses ancient broken bridge. It seems that young people who have worked all day have gathered on Broken Bridge, and everyone gathers in a circle, singing "Dancing on Avignon Bridge."


Hurry up to buy fruit when passing by Carrefour store. Apricots are delicious.

It's very dry in Europe. I was walking past a pharmacy and bought Avene Soothing Fountain Spray. It costs only 40 yuan for 300 ml. Is it really cheap? The suit on left is also busy, original price is 9.9 euros minus 2 euros, which is only 7.9 euros.

Gueling on side of road is also self-help. Note. The price of gas varies from place to place, so try adding it in a big city. When it will beDo not pick up car, staff will tell you what fuel to fill in, remember. If you do not have a Visa chip card, there are two ways to refuel yourself: first refuel and then go to store and pay. There is also a way to go to store to pay first and then refuel. For second type, I am very depressed because we need to fill up car in order to return car. If we pay first, what should we do if it is not enough and if it is full, I am worried. Later, I added this only on my own assumption, because French English is too difficult to communicate, so I have to rely on myself.

Departure from Avignon to Arles.

The place where Van Gogh's famous painting "Sunflower" was created

Native sunflowers usually start blooming at end of June, and flowering period is about a month.

“The sunflower must be my flower,” Van Gogh said to his brother, such a golden color, hot as sun, a beloved artist, this is a bird flying towards sun, love will make body dissolve.

After that, we officially arrived in Arles.

Arènes d'Arles, Roman arena, is a landmark of Arles, entrance to it is paid, ticket costs 5.5 euros.

A traditional costume festival is held in Arles every year, and costumes here are very beautiful.

Saint Trophime Church: This is a Romanesque church in Arles, Provence, south of France. Together they witnessed process of integrating Arles, an ancient city that was once immersed in ancient Roman civilization, into medieval culture of Western Europe and was listed by UNESCO in 1981 along with ancient Roman ruins such as arena and ancient theater in city, in List of World Cultural Heritage.

I have to admit that most attractive thing about this church is his "aha" gesture.

We had a lot of fun there.

At noon we had an unforgettable dinner at Arles Hanger restaurant.

With five points for English and three points for imagination, I ordered steak tartare and Sarah.

The lemon beer is still very good.

Look! Think of a filling of raw beef with raw eggs, accompanied by small pickles. My husband and I were stunned when we saw this, we heard that Europeans love raw food diet before we came here, but we were still stunned when we saw it. I mustered up courage to try it but was surprised to find that there was no weird smell and it didn't feel like eating raw meat stuffing. But there is no taste, and there are few pickles, husband said that if you give him more pickles, he will cope with everything. If you like to try new things and be brave, you can try, it's actually not that scary

In addition to boiled eggs, this salad is also raw. Especially when eating raw mushrooms, I almost cried, I still prefer boiled food.

After this dinner, which didn't really solve problems with food and clothes, I continued to walk aroundcity.

Roman theatre. Built at end of 1st century, this is an open-air Greco-Roman amphitheatre. Although theater has been dismantled and subdivided to varying degrees over centuries, its majestic appearance can still be seen vaguely.

The so-called "Van Gogh's Cafe" is prototype of Van Gogh's "Night Cafe".

If you think about it, Van Gogh didn't have any money back then, so he could only come here at night to ask for a cup of coffee. I'm afraid boss didn't welcome him. But now yellow canopy that was demolished has been restored and Van Gogh has made his fortune.

Leave Arles and head to Fontaine Springs.

The city is quaint and small, quietly sheltered by a spring. In hot summer, cool spring water flowing from mountains carried away the scorching air and brought a gust of refreshing coolness.

What a beautiful locomotive

Take some lavender ice cream.

I love cute babies

Leaving Quanshui City, it was already 6 pm, and we drove to Annecy in a hurry.