Monday, December 10, 2007

La Garrigue

Much of the land in Provence is what I would call chaparral. Similar to southern California, the arid hills are covered with low dry-land shrubs. You could call it scrub land; the French call it garrigue.

La garrigue above Mérindol and the Luberon mountain behind.

Mérindol, in the valley of the Durance River and at the foot of the Luberon mountain, is surrounded by la garrigue. There are countless dirt roads and paths that lead from the town up into the hills behind and to the Luberon mountain itself.

An incredible looking house up in hills above the town of Mérindol.

We took a walk or two up there during this trip. We couldn't go far since we weren't really prepared to do any serious hiking, but we got plenty of exercise climbing up and down nonetheless. It really did remind me of California, with one exception. A whole lot of the wild shrubs growing on those hills are rosemary and thyme. What a fragrant place!

A view of the Durance Valley below the Luberon from up in the garrigue, with plenty of genêt (scotch broom) in bloom.

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