31 July 2014

La Route Française

By Haleigh In Non classé

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. My stories haven’t quite caught up with my whereabouts, but I guess a story wouldn’t be a story if I didn’t tell it from beginning to end. This little one began in Paris and ended in Provence. Somewhere between the two I realized though that in this little tale I found a thousand. I can’t help but get a bit emotional driving across this country. In the time I spent away in the last year I realized how paramount France is in my life. I’ve never been the expat type to contemplate and write about the peculiarities of life in a foreign country. I just arrived here one day and started trying to make something of it, perhaps the same or different than I would have elsewhere. It was never an experiment, just a life. On this trip I realized just how much of mine I’ve spent here. Not in years but in friends and memories. Everywhere we went there were pieces of them. Staying with friends of friends I’ve made in the past six years, with former colleagues turned friends from past jobs, stopping by to say hello to old acquaintences who settled in a quieter place than Paris, even just familiar faces in my favorite little village restaurants from summers past. I embarked on this road trip with the hopes of taking beautiful photos and perhaps making a little film. Neither of those really happened. Half way through I kind of let go of that and realized that I must have needed to do it for another reason, something more personal. Most of the time I just put down the camera and tried to enjoy it. On our last night before heading to Italy, we ate at my favorite little restaurant in the whole world. On our way home through the countryside between glowing little villages we did what I always love to do in Provence: drive through the night with the windows down, warm night air billowing into the car. Our favorite song came on and we turned it all the way up. I looked over and Audrey had her head out the window eyes turned up to the sky breathing it all in. I thought this is it, one of those moments you’ll never photograph because it’s so simple and altogether too big to fit in a photograph, all at the same time. I feel lucky to have even just handful of those in this country. It’s still nice to have a few photos too though. I hope you enjoy these.

Chateau d'Ussé in the Loire Valley

Chateau d'Ussé in the Loire Valley

Chateau d'Ussé in the Loire Valley

Sunflowers in the Loire Valley

swimming in the lake in the Loire

vintage market in Bourgogne

Noyers in Bourgogne


A few tips for road trips in France. You can rent cars anywhere and drop them off at a different location. Don’t forget that renting an automatic car costs more in Europe than a manual, and supply is limited of them because they are less common. Gas costs about 70 euros for the average tank (lasting about 350 KM) and tolls roads which is pretty much every highway cost about 12 euros for every 100 kilometers. Basic amenities can be a bit limited in terms of accessibility. Things like pharmacies close for a good chunk of the afternoon and earlier in the evening. Make sure to get what you need when you come across it. It’s not easy to find everything you need. Some villages are more lively than others. The Villages Fleuri are the most beautiful, and have been awarded as the 100 most beautiful in all of France. If you focus on seeing these villages, you will not be disappointed. You can find them all here. In all of these towns there are what is called Chambre d’Hotes. Some are more beautiful in a bed and breakfast style by many are quite basic. They are all over the countryside and the best places to stay. We stayed with friends most of the time, except for in Provence where we stayed at Le Domaine de Mejéons and in the Loire where we stayed at Le Moulin Brégeon. The Moulin is an entirely special spot unlike any other.

Noyers in Bourgogne

lavender fields in Valensole, Provence

Valensole, France

horses in Provence

Lourmarin at night

dessert at La Recrée in Provence

swimming in Provence at La Domaine de Majeons


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  2. Sophia Charles 31 July 2014

    You tell the most beautiful stories and you take the most beautiful pictures, I really enjoy reading your blog. Sunflower field and lavender field on a same trip? Lucky girl!


  3. Maria Inês Ribeiro 31 July 2014

    these pictures are amazing! felt inspired!

  4. Glory 31 July 2014

    I’m a believer in buckets lists and dreams. I have quite a few, but more than anything, is to take a road trip similar to this one. See the castles, flowers, landscapes, people, architecture and country roads of France. One day 🙂

  5. Mimmi 31 July 2014

    Absolutely stunning photos. Provence seems so incredibly lovely! I definitely want to go there someday.

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  6. Carrie 31 July 2014

    So bloomin’ beautiful!! x

  7. ediot 31 July 2014

    making up for the blogs name with this photos
    amazing photos
    love them

    your blog is so inspiring


  8. Marina Coelho 31 July 2014

    Your photos are so good…

  9. Synne 31 July 2014

    What a positively beautiful way of describing the good life on the road! Your words make me smile and your photos make me dream, like always!

  10. I’m so envious!! I mean I’m probably reiterating what I say every time and what every one else is saying too. But this looks so lovely, especially the lavender fields! Looking forward to your next stop… and I will be pinning oh so many of these lovely photos! x

  11. Mariah 31 July 2014

    Wow! You just make my wanderlust so bad. I can’t wait for the day when I can explore Europe for a while. It looks amazing and exciting and beautiful 🙂

  12. Melissa Cuentas 31 July 2014

    These all are some beautiful snapshots! Love the one from the lavender field! So magical! Plus too many places to add to my bucket list! XOXO

  13. Nora 31 July 2014

    Your pictures are so beautiful, the 1st pic, the sunflower and the lavender fields are my favorites ! France is such a gorgeous country, I need to see more of it…(would be easier with a driver licence :/). This roadtrip looks like a perfect summer x

  14. Michelle 1 August 2014

    Thank you for bringing me to france while im in Manila!
    You are an inspiration!

  15. Emily 1 August 2014

    This post is lovely, and your writing evoked such an air of nostalgia in me. The tips are great too, my aunt wants to go to France for her birthday next year and mentioned wanting to rent a car to see outside of Paris and into the countryside so it’s very helpful stuff to know! Especially about the type of car, it’s not something I would have thought of at all.

  16. Bianca @itsallbee 1 August 2014

    Really beautiful pictures! I would love to do a road trip in France. Thanks for the tip on the automatic cars. I drove a manual when I got my licence then bought an auto and havent driven a manual in years.


  17. Michelle Vincent 1 August 2014

    The flower fields are absolutely beautiful! I’m glad you had a great trip.

  18. maria 1 August 2014

    so happy for you haleigh!
    both for your full of joy travels and the recognition you have received from your clients!
    you so worth it!
    xo maria

  19. Jill 2 August 2014

    My fiancé is from Caen, but lives in Nantes. We are trying to decide whether to start our married life in Canada or France. This post of yours has pretty much made my mind up 😀 😀 :D. Now, in which village or town to get married. Thank you for these absolutely perfect and inspiring images!!!

  20. Vish 2 August 2014

    Beautiful photos! I am in love with the one in the lavander field. 🙂

  21. Heavenly! Just like living in a summer fairy tale. x

  22. Charlotte 3 August 2014

    Such beautiful photography.

    I’ve always wanted to go to France and discover the beautiful lavender fields it has to offer – this post makes me want to go tomorrow!

    Very glad I’ve discovered your blog, a new firm favourite!

    Charlotte, http://www.whatcharlottewore.blogspot.co.uk x

  23. Nikola S. 3 August 2014

    Perfect photos and beautiful place ! ♥

  24. Thanks for finally talking about >POSTCARDS FROM FRANCE <Liked it!

  25. Phoe 6 August 2014

    Magic. I want to be in these photos right now.

  26. Mille 13 August 2014

    Oh those lavender fields.. Breathtaking!

  27. Amber via Amused 15 August 2014

    Simply stunning! I visited a quaint little town in the south of France when I was 15, and it was right when they were cutting all the lavender. I still can remember how magical everything felt.

  28. Bryony 19 August 2014

    Your photos are so beautiful, I’m so envious!

  29. […] Valensole, Provence – France © Haleigh Walsworth […]

  30. Laura 14 September 2014

    Amazing photos as always! You look beautiful 🙂

  31. Faye 16 September 2014

    You are gorgeous! Xx

  32. Eline 3 October 2014

    Gorgeous pictures!


  33. Christelle 27 October 2014

    oh you’re too cute, it’s not “deux cheveux” (the blue car) but “deux chevaux” (which isn’t less weird :D)

  34. laura 24 December 2014

    This post is really beautiful! And I love France <3


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