June 30, 2008

Lavender... and finally, the Cote d'Azur

From Provencal into Digne-les-Bains we drove past many many lavender fields filling up every nook and cranny. From mesa tops where we saw rows upon rows, to rocky fields where the tiniest area was filled with plants - oh! to have been travelling a couple of weeks later when everything was in bloom to see the magnificent fields of purples.

These pictures show the fields with a grey look, which is the stalks of last year's blooms left on the plant. This gives the field a fuzzy look when you are zooming past it in your car.
Here is a link to a map of where lavender is grown in this area of southern France.


We arrived in Antibes, our base for exploring the Cote d'Azur, on a Sunday afternoon and discovered a "boules" tournament taking over the entire inner harbour area, filled with teams from far and wide.

The game of boules, otherwise known as p├ętanque , is perhaps the sport that is closest to French hearts. Similar to British lawn bowling or Italian bocce, the French version is traditionally played with metallic balls on a dirt surface beneath plane trees, with a glass of pastis at hand. The local boulodrome is a social focal point in southern France.

The object of the game is to throw your balls — usually with somewhat of an arched back-spin — so that they land closer to the small object ball (cochonnet) than those of your opponent, or strike and drive the object ball toward your other balls and away from your opponent's.

Many a lazy day can be spent watching games and get caught up in the on-field drama of the shot 'almost made'.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...