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A Road Trip to Provence by Lucy Coleman

Some people fly, but we are a road trip family and heading to one of our favourite areas of France—Provence— is always an exciting adventure. No matter how many times we pack up the car and head off, each time we discover new and enchanting little places to stay en route.

And at the end of our leisurely drive, the jewel is Provence. A part of the infamous artists’ trail, painters flock to this wonderfully colourful and vibrant region which is full of sights, sounds, textures, and evocative smells you will never forget. Of course, the most tantalising of them all being the wonderful lavender fields.

Painters love the special quality of the light, apparently due to the Mistral wind—which removes dust from the atmosphere and greatly increases visibility—and the temperate climate shows nature’s palette of colours at its best.

But there are many treats in store for those who take the journey. Every stop along the way will add to the experience. We always plan our route, rarely staying in the same place for our overnight stops more than once, because that’s a part of the adventure.

Picnics are fun, too. Stopping off at a supermarché to grab some cheese, baguettes, some wonderful cooked meats, and fresh fruit to follow, the rustic simplicity is a joy. We usually go in search of a riverbank, with shady trees to while away an hour or two and people-watch during the hottest part of the day.

Provence is home to some wonderful farmers’ markets. Always buzzing with activity and shoppers there is everything from fruits, vegetables, meats, honey, olive oil, jams, soups and so much more.

Look out for the markets at Sénas, Coustellet and Velleron – all well worth a visit!

I always feel that choosing a setting for a story is a little bit like choosing a pair of shoes. It isn’t just about the colour and style, but also the fit.

As a writer, I carry little one-liners around in my head that, over time, develop into an idea for a new story. But it wasn’t until Provence came to mind that a tiny seed was able to grow and ‘Summer in Provence’ began to take shape.

Provence wasn’t just the perfect setting, it was the only setting for this heart-felt story of life and love. A place with heart, where the sheer beauty of the surroundings will make you stand and hold your breath. As you breathe in the warm, fragrant air there is something incredibly special about it.

Something once experienced, you will never forget.

If you can’t get there in person, take a virtual trip…

 

Lucy’s novel, Summer In Provence is available now in ebook, audiobook and paperback. Get your copy today by clicking on the cover below.