|The shadow of our hot air balloon over the thyme and lavender growing wild in the Garrigue near Mane en Provence|
|Inside the L'Occitane en Provence Hot Air Balloon|
|Our pilot Max concentrating on his task.|
A few photos from my Provence Hot Air Balloon Flight
- The end of Spring/ beginning of Summer. (end of May and beginning of June... ie. Now) After the spring showers (this year it's downpours) the nature in Provence comes to life like nowhere else. Wild orchids, flowering thyme, the bright green fresh leaves on the local stumpy oaks, little lambs gambolling in the fields (they go great with the wild thyme!), the last snow on the Alps and because the temperatures are not at their maximum there is less haze and the visibility is often very good.
- Mid-Autumn. Haute Provence, indeed Provence in general, is a very wooded area, and the trees are mostly deciduous. The colours of Autumn are stunning and the other added advantage is that the sun rises later so the morning wake up call is a bit more civilised! To see what I mean about the colours see this post : Autumn Colours of the Luberon
- The Lavender season. First of all let me issue a warning. Since Hot Air Balloons cannot be steered, there is no guarantee that you will fly over a Lavender field. But to tell you the truth it doesn't really matter. The pilot will always try to choose a take off spot which will allow you to fly over the fields but as you climb up into the sky you don't look down, you look around you, and there you will see the purple fields making up the patchwork of Provence. Once you have flown and have been able to appreciate the importance of the lavender harvest, then I recommend you get in your car (or book a tour with me!) and discover the lavender close up. Ballooning allows you to see things from a different point of view, and to approach things from a safe distance (like lions in the Masai Mara). But when it comes to a crop like lavender in Provence, or vines in Burgundy you get an overall vision of the beauty of the region before discovering it by yourself on the ground, which is not as easy with the lions in the Masai Mara!
- The rest of the year! Yes, although the highlights of the season are listed above ballooning in Provence is always a magical moment and is a "must do" when you next visit.
|The Forcalquier Balloon alarming the pigeons as it flies past the citadelle of the town.|
|View of Banon in summer with the Lavender in Flower|
|Ballooning over lavender fields at La Rochegiron near Banon|
|Fields of Lavender and also Clary sage (the light pink ones)|
|Balloon with Banon and the Mont Ventoux|
|Flight at the start of the season with the Alps in the background and the Montagne de Lure in the foreground still with their snowy winter coats on.|