France’s “Outer Space” Mountain! The Tour De France Race Course Up Close On Mont Ventoux – “The Bald Mountain”!

Let’s Head To The Moon!

The Tour de France is one of the world’s most celebrated sporting events – and did you know that some years the course includes a trip to the moon?

Well, it just LOOKS like the moon – and it’s an amazing part of the race course. As you can tell, I have a bit of #wanderlust, since we are all mostly still waiting out the pandemic in the safety of our own homes…

Flying Over France…

As most of us are still living our #quarantinelife, I wanted to share some of my favorite adventures around the world.

France is such a beautiful country, as you can see – just flying overhead gets you excited for what lies ahead…today, we are going to go for the world’s most prestigious bike ride!

Welcome to Mont Ventoux – “The Bald Mountain!”

Mont Ventoux is located in the Provence region of southern France, located a few miles northeast of Carpentras, Vaucluse. It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the “Giant of Provence”, or “The Bald Mountain” – for reasons we will show soon. It has gained fame for its role in the world’s greatest bike race: the Tour de France.

Now, who is kidding who? I wasn’t riding up the mountain…instead, we took our rental car for a leisurely drive up a gorgeous summit. Here we are, halfway up the mountain. It’s a beautiful, relaxed drive through beautiful woods…with strategically placed markers alongside the road telling cyclists how far they are from the top!

Mont Ventoux is legendary as the scene of one of the most grueling climbs in the Tour de France race, which has used the mountain more than a dozen times since 1951. As you get near the top, you can see a great expanse below…

And then you head to the Moon!

After driving a few more miles, you suddenly come upon a completely unique and foreign-looking landscape, including the legendary “ORB”:

As you go past this, the surrounding landscape turns white, an eerieness that makes it feel like you have landed on the moon:

And We Have Landed!

It really is like landing on the moon – assuming the moon has candy for sale!

And when you finally park at the top, you are surrounded by a moonscape that is stark and yet beautiful – and you understand why they call it “The Bald Mountain”. But you get more than just a serene void: you get a funny collection of buildings, restaurants and more:

And just like they did when they landed on the moon, we pulled out our camera and started taking pictures of ourselves!

Bikers, Bikers, Bikers!

And we weren’t alone – EVERYONE takes pictures under the sign at the top of Mont Ventoux, especially the mass of bikers who have made it up to the top after an arduous ride…

There were hundreds of bikers there – all posing for pictures and embracing their successful summit – and after taking pictures, they also looked out at the beautiful, stark landscape.


Behold The Moonscape!

After you gaze upon the moon-like landscape, you are, naturally, a bit hungry…but no fear, they have a restaurant up there as well!

And, crazy enough, you can also buy bulk candy as well! Well, I guess the bikers need the energy, but what was my excuse?

After taking lots of pictures, we headed back down the mountain and let the bikers enjoy their day on the moon!

My wife and I have had incredible adventures like this in the south of France – including the time we cooked on the stove owned by Chef Julia Child:

Cookbook Author Patricia Wells was given the stove by Julia, who was her good friend – and I cooked on it!

See more of that cooking adventure at Patricia’s house by clicking here:

https://johnrieber.com/2012/06/10/tasting-provence-cooking-with-patricia-wells-food-and-travel-unite/

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https://johnrieber.com

I cannot wait for this worldwide pandemic to be solved so I can return to France and explore more of our great world!



Categories: Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Sports, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Great photos! It looks cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that looks cool. I also want to go to “the moon”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved your pictures! this place looks surreal!

    Thanks for sharing!

    MagicandBliss | https://magicandbliss.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great adventure John! What an interesting landscape on top of that mountain!

    Like

  5. I have never watched the Tour de France, John, so I didn’t know about this bit of France. How amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i am not a sports person, but watching the Tour de France highlights on TV every evening is always a must; scenery, interesting villages and all those hair raising bends. It would be fun to have your camper van on one of those hillsides, or the route coming through your village, but after the anticipation they are all gone by in a flash!

    Like

  7. Wow, that is so otherworldly! I’ve watched the tour, off and on for years as my aussie son in law is really into it. I love all the drama and the strength and sheer will of the cyclists!

    Like

  8. How wonderful! It must be above the tree line. Really looks like the moon. That stove is pretty old- very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have driven past, but didn’t go up. Sorry I didn’t now! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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