LE TOUR 2009: And so it begins

[L'histoire] Introduction

Many years ago [i don’t remember when] I started watching Le Tour de France. Sitting up late nights in front of the TV, I was mesmerized by miles and miles of green and yellow country side and the quaint French villages dotted along the path.









Some nights the tour was mostly flatlands and only broken by an occasional hypnotic field of never ending lavender, blurring into a purple haze as the bikes sped by. Other nights contained dramatic hillside views climbing high into the mountain ranges not far from the Spanish border. And some nights charmed me with Historic Churches, ancient Villas and glorious Chateaus, or simple country farmhouses popping up to greet the riders.




villasinfrance







So you see, my interest lay solely in viewing France, not the race itself. Then along came Lance Armstrong, fighting back from cheating cancer, and from that point on, I must admit, I occasionally took some interest in the racing. [I hope this will be the year for aussie cyclist ‘Cadel Evans’].







But mostly, this annual event will always be a mini vacation, taken from the comfort of my lounge. A sleepy vacation in the wee hours of the night, noted by a blue hazy light flickering across the room and eyelids drooping from want of sleep.




This is my chance to dream of travel, and a simpler life surrounded by the beauty of the countryside. Thank you SBS for bringing me these dreams, year after year!







arreau - french village







french countryside - 1




french country


























OH




I guess I should include a rider or two!!




Seeing we are starting at the beginning, so should the images. Here are some images from the very early years of this annual event. Starting with ‘Maurice-Francois Garin’ who won the Inaugural Race held in 1903.




Maurice-Francois Garin - won 1903 - le petit ramoneur

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Henri pelissier - won 1923

[source]







I hope you too will enjoy ‘Le Tour de France’ this year




21 days of beautiful, glorious French Countryside. Along the way I will bring you a post or two to celebrate the various regions of each Stage. The first Stage this year commences in Monaco. Home of the late ‘Princess Grace’, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and beautiful cliff-side vistas.




Please come back and join me for my own version of ‘Le Tour’





IMAGES: Vintage B&W Le Tour riders: http://www.letour.fr/ , Other colour pics: google image search

7 comments:

Tracy-Girl said...

Beautiful pictures... I have never been, and I am dying to go later on this year!

Jacqueline said...

Hi there Julie, Ahhh. The Tour de France.My husband has it on the television to watch the racing and I just love to see them ride through the lovely little villages, passing the lavender and sunflower fields.And then, into The Pyrenees and the magnificent and rugged mountains. We go to France quite a lot as my friend has a house there, and the friends we are going to the Amalfi coast with this year, her husband is off to the Tour de France tomorrow. He goes every year as he is a very serious cyclist and is very fit. We went to Venice and Florence with them last year and he took us up every tower the Italians have ever built and, although we ate and drank all holiday, I lost weight !!!! Sorry to have told you my life history. Once I start, I can't stop !!! Lovely post and fabulous pictures.

Jacqueline said...

Hi Julie, AAhhhh. The Tour de France. My husband watches it on television but I love to watch them cycle past the lavender and sunflower fields and the beautiful little villages and then up into The Pyrenees, so rugged and dramatic.We go to France quite a lot as, a friend has got a house there. Our other friends, who we are going to The Amalfi coast with, her husband is off to The Tour de France tommorrow. He is a serious cyclist and very fit. Last year we went to Florence and Venice with them and he took us up every tower ever built in the area and walked our legs off !!Even though we ate and drank more than our own body weight, we all lost weight !! Sorry, I've rambled on. Once I start, I can't stop.Fabulous post and beautiful photographs. Sorry if you got this twice. It didn't seem to work the first time. XXXX

Exquisite Accessories said...

Lovely picture's will stop by for the next stage, how I love Monaco carn't wait :)

Alicia said...

Naww, Im with you the countryside over shadows the riders. I watch it with friends every now & then and while their checking out the guys Im checking out the scenery...
and an occsional rider.
Have a lovely Sunday.

Maya said...

It's true the Tour de France IS a Tour de France..., a sightseeing tour really, never thought of it that way, and never watched it. It's truly gorgeous.

Mélanie said...

Julie, I love your version of the tour , it is great . What a glamour tour