Mont Sainte Victoire…almost

A group of us Americans decided to go for a hike today. We started our adventure with the goal of climbing to the top of Mont Saint Victoire, Mount Saint Victory. Everything started out well. We took the bus to the base of the mountain.

headed in the right direction

Once we got started walking, we had some trouble deciding on which trail to follow. After much debate, we picked a trail. There was one trail that headed down alongside the reservoir at the base of the mountain, and someone had heard that you had to walk along the reservoir before beginning to climb up the mountain.

There was also a trail that looked to be going in the opposite direction away from the mountain. We chose the first trail, but we chose wrong. We never made it up the mountain. Or got remotely close to climbing the mountain. Instead we bushwhacked our way across the provencal hillside along the edge of the lake. It was beautiful.

trail blazing

The weather today was gorgeous! The high today was in the upper seventies, the humidity was low, and there was not a cloud in the sky. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day.

I am always struck by how dry the region is. The ground always looks parched and is covered in a light layer of fine, orange dust. The countryside is covered with limestone, and the pebbles make a wonderful tinkling sound when they got knocked around when you walk. The clink of pebbles provided the perfect soundtrack for our hike. (Gravel crunching always makes me think of the Sound of Music when the family is pushing the car out of the garage at night just to be caught by the Nazis.) It seems impossible that so many plants and grapes can grow here when the ground is so dry. (This makes me think of Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources.)

la beauté

The lake is made by the dam at the other end. As you can see, the water is crystal clear and a lovely shade of turquoise. The water looked so cool and inviting that some people from our group went for a swim. We packed a picnic lunch and sat on the bank overlooking the water and mountain and ate sandwiches, cheese, and fruit. I could not think of a better way to spend an afternoon or celebrate the start of fall!

It’s easy to see why so many painters fell in love with this area and spent so much time trying to capture the beauty on canvas. My photos do not even begin to do the landscape justice. The views and nature here are absolutely breathtaking!

this is the goal!

This afternoon was a lot of fun, and we have all agreed to make hiking a regular activity. Hopefully next week, we’ll find the right trail and finally make it to the summit!

Btw, I have another fun link for you. Let me introduce Jenna, my wonderful roommate. We have daily “blog time” when we both work on writing new posts. Check her out!

One thought on “Mont Sainte Victoire…almost

  1. Lauren,
    Your blogs are a wonderfully entertaining end to a workday here.
    The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies and I vividly recall the crunching gravel scene. Perfect description.
    Have a great weekend. In contrast to your cloudless sky, we here in Philly have a gray day of rain and a forecast that calls for five more of them!
    C’est la vie!

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