France

Giverny

When I was last in Paris I was given a choice - a particularly difficult one in fact (life hasn't exactly been complicated to date). Embrace my inner five year old and go completely wild at Disneyland or take a train, a bus and a rain-dappled foot journey to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet. Actually, I lied. It was a stupidly easy decision. I packed a bag, donned my sort-of-sensible walking shoes and made for the Paris outskirts. The water lilies were calling. In seemingly sleepy Giverny, a town which seems completely untouched by time or the bustling capital, which is less than an hour away, there are blooms aplenty and a powerful sense of artistic history. If you've got a day to spare, make the journey, wander the footsteps of Monet and fall for the power of colour, reflections and bucolic France.

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. Claude Monet

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love. Claude Monet

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. Claude Monet

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Giverny

Tour Mont Blanc

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Passing through Italy, France and Switzerland and circling the mighty peak that is Mont Blanc, the aptly named Tour Mont Blanc is one of the world's great walks. Passing scenes capable of inducing wobbly knees, a mix alpine cottages, glacial remains, snow capped mountains and valleys that stretch into eternity, the walk, which takes a week to complete, is for those predisposed to wanderlust. Aided by a mule called Coco and fuelled by a diet of bread and cheese (the wine would prove too heavy to carry), my own venture around the mountain has been etched into my memory - the thick forests, mirror-like lakes and towns abandoned by time are not something you ever really forget. Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

Tour Mont Blanc

The Ride

Photographer Angela Terrell (who is making a printed appearance in issue 1 of Lodestars Anthology, out this September) has spent the past week cycling around some of France’s most stunning, vine-filled villages. She has shared with us some of the candid, mid-ride shots captured in Ribeauville, Colmar and Bergheim; places where time makes little sense, the wine is faultless and character abounds. If scenes like this don’t make you want to hop on your bike and bask in the brilliance of provincial life we’re not quite sure what will.

It should also be noted that when we last got in touch with Angela she was just sitting down to dinner - comprised of a glass of rose and a sundae. And let that be a piece of glorious travelling advice. When travelling in unfamiliar land and fully embracing the adventurous spirit there is absolutely nothing wrong with acting like a child. Having fun, belong a tad irresponsible (on the nutrition front at least) and letting feelings, freedom and emotion guide you actions. Happy cycling.

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride

French bike ride