Part 1: Antibes to Carcasonne.
Part 2: Carcasonne to Grasse.
Provence, July 2019
From Carcasonne we went back to Provence and stayed at Best
Western hotels around Arles and then Avignon.
To get around we had hired a Citroen C3 Across from Hertz. It was an excellent car.
Click each photo to enlarge
We went to Avignon to see the papal palace. Once, for a period of 100 years the popes were French, and during that period the pope lived in Avignon. That happened in medieval times in the 1300s.
Avignon, July 2019
Near the papal palace is the famous Pont d'Avignon. It's a very old bridge built in the 1200s. It crosses the river Rhone, however, a third of the bridge is missing.
The next couple of days we went lavender hunting. It seemed that more fields now were in full bloom and the colours and smells were unbelievable.
Murs, July 2019
We stopped in various villages to refuel either petrol, coffee or water. Here we are in Murs, a tiny village north of the Luberon mountain range. We had coffee at the cafe Le Crillon.
Vaucluse, Provence, July 2019
From Coustellet we headed north toward Lagarde-d'Apt. We wished to find Chateau du Bois. It seemed that we had hit a centre of lavender fields around Chateau du Bois.
Menerbes, Provence, July 2019
We also went more wine tasting. Near Menerbes we visited the Domaine de la Citadelle.
They make fab wines at Domaine de la Font, both red and rose! Our humans bought 3 bottles.
It was time to head east. We reached Manosque and stayed at the Best Western for the night.
On our way east we suddenly reached an area full of lavender fields including a sunflower field! Wow. It was fantastic and the place was already invaded by tourists. There was a local lavender distillery and there was a carpark with several huge coaches and many cars.
At the distillery one of our humans decided to get a real lavender bear. We named him Lavende - it's French for... lavender!
It was no wonder that tourists stopped to admire and take photos of the lavender fields here.
On our way east we stopped to have a selfie at the turquois blue artificial lake, Lac de Sainte-Croix. Then we headed on following the south rim of the Grand Canyon de Verdon with its sheer cliffs. We even spotted a griffon vulture flying high in the air.
Then we arrived our last hotel of the trip: Best Western in
"Best Western PLUS!" Roger pointed out.
Lavende was all excited.
"Travelling is much better than sitting squashed in a sales stand!"
"Well..." Tom said. "The thing is, you're not a real travelling bear, unless you're stuffed in a bag!"
We went to see the International Musee de la Parfumerie. While
walking around, Roger was learning how to distill perfume. He
felt inspired to become a fashionable perfume designer.
"I am the creator of "La Perfumerie du Roger"..." Roger started to visualize...
We bought some perfume for Olivia. After all it was her birthday on the 17th July and she hadn't had the chance to visit Grasse herself.
From Grasse we went to the highly famed Monaco with its yachts and rich citizens. McBear was all excited. It is here the famous Monte Carlo Formula One grand prix takes place every year.
Roger wished to see the famous Pink Palace on top of "le Rocher": the Rock. It was here the prince Rainier III lived. He was married to the great Hollywood star Grace Kelly who tragically died in a car crash. When the flag is up, it means the prince (now Albert II) is present and therefore the palace is closed to visitors.
Roger and Tom went to the famous Monte Carlo Casino and
enjoyed something to drink in the lounge. Tom decided to try out a
"It's really good," he concluded. "Worth the 16 Euros..."
Roger was in doubt whether to keep up the sober appearance with a glass of water or to give in to desire. Roger ended up with what McBear would have picked: a cup of coffee...
Roger felt inspired to research and experiment to make a new perfume.
"I already know the brand name: Le Roger le Rocher! I just need somebody enginious"
"You know what?" he told McBear later, "we'll set up a Travelling Bears Perfumerie. You will be the Technical Director and I shall be the CEO. The Travelling Bears will make a fortune..."
It was time to start packing our gear and think of returning to Dublin. We held a last evening party and enjoyed pancakes from the Best Western. We would be bringing home Lavender from Chateau du Bois, wine from Domaine de la Citadelle and from Calavon. And sweets from several Best Westerns. Also, we would have a present for Olivia; a bottle of fine perfume from Grasse.
Read the first half of our trip to provence.
Check out the map of Provence