Manosque and Roussilon

I’ve always been a fan of L’Occitane and their skincare products. I love the floral scents and the soothing body lotion formulations. Since we’re currently not that far away from Manosque, L’Occitane’s hometown, I thought it might be nice to pay a visit to this little old town, perched in the hills of Haute Provence. I thought Manosque would be a quaint old place planted with lavender, lemon trees and verbena, with headily fragrant roses wafting their intoxicating scent as they entwine theimeslevs around old wrought iron balconies. Alas, I was to be disappointed. Yes, there are olive groves everywhere, but that’s about it. I paid for fours hours’ parking in a town centre car park and went off on foot around the town, for all of 20 minutes. Still here are a couple of pics anyway:

How I imagined the whole of Manosque would be.

 

They put up a parking lot.

Just outside Manosque is the hill of St. Pancras. There are some lovely views across the olive groves and the Luberon vineyards. It is a beautifully scrubby landscape, interspersed with woodlands all baking in the sun. Small wonder Peter Mayle chose this area for his Year in Provence. I’d love to have a house here. I can dream…

View from St. Pancras over the hills surrounding Manosque.

Then we went up to the tiny village of Roussilon, famous for its production of ochres for use in paints and textile dyeing. The soil around the village is resplendently red and yellow and attracts tourists from all over the world, seemingly. When we visited this afternoon, though, the only locals seemed to be the ones running the cafes and restaurants. I expect the rest of the villagers are away on holidays for the whole of August.  In Paris.

 

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You can see the ochre tints everywhere.

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It seems that all of Roussilon’s houses are finished in these earthy colours.

 

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View across the Luberon from Roussilon

 

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Spectacular colours in the rock.

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