Around France

How Can One Fine Day Go So Terribly Wrong?

Tragedy in Nice

When I look back at the tragedy in Nice that ended the July 14th holiday, it’s almost impossible to believe the day started so well. 

July 14th isn’t just any day in France. It’s French National Day. The country celebrates its memorable holiday with festive events, family gatherings, and fireworks. This year, I traveled out of Uzès to Caromb to visit with friends and to see what we could see on the Tour de France. Caromb is only a short distance from Mount Ventoux, the twelfth stage of the 2016 race.

Mount Ventoux viewed from Caromb

Mount Ventoux is viewed from Caromb.


The day started out better than we could have ever expected. Mistral winds were blowing briskly, so the skies were sparkling blue, and the temperature was pleasant for mid-July. With some time to spare before the cyclists reached our viewing spot, we stopped the car and walked through the hilltop village of Crillon-le-Brave.

Parking for Tour de France

Parking for Tour de France

Then, we were off to find a parking spot near the race fans’ gathering. What luck! A car parked only a few steps away from the crowd pulled out of the most perfect place — albeit on a curb. “The French park anywhere they please,” we joked. “So will we!”


When the cyclists were near, a parade of cars appeared first, all painted with the sponsor’s colors and logos. Then, the bikers passed en mass in what seemed like an instant. Over the next few minutes, cars with dozens of bikes perched on racks on top whizzed by.

What fun!

IMG_4783After our quick glimpse of the Tour de France, we returned to Caromb, where our friend, Carola, and her new puppy, Fan Fan, were waiting to hear all about our adventure. Carola informed us that she had heard on the radio that the Tour de France leader had been involved in a freak accident. He had lost his bike in the crash and had run in his cleats to win the race. It was an unfortunate turn of events, but not enough to steal the “buzz” from our wonderful day.

When evening came, we tried the new restaurant in town and walked home. On the way, we all remarked about the peaceful glow of the moon over the village.



Mount Ventoux is viewed from Caromb.


Who could have dreamt the moon was shining on a tragedy in Nice.

Prayers for Nice. Prayers for France. Prayers for the World.


Pray for Nice. Pray for France. Pray for the World.


Categories: Around France, Blog, Caromb

8 replies »

    • And thank you, Patricia, for sharing your day with me in Antibes. I was so happy to see there is still so much joy in France, in spite of the tragedy. Life goes on, thankfully.

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