No Ordinary Road

Grey Skies France

What do you think of the place above? The grey skies and the truck are obvious, a dull place on a dull day.

Look again and you can see the road is drying out, the dark parts bear witness to damp weather and suggest a rough surface where the water can briefly shelter from the breeze. Then look at the houses, they look economical and their steel shutters are closed, are they vacant? Weeds line the side of the road.

The image is from Google’s Street view. It’s a road somewhere in France, the kind of place that tourists avoid and you probably want to avoid. But tomorrow I’ll show just how different things can be.

30 thoughts on “No Ordinary Road”

      • The hills are too low to be Alps, but too high to be north of Paris. I would guess something in the Vosges or maybe massif Central. And, because of the intro, surely an important spot in an upcoming Tour stage.

  1. Right hand side of the picture suggests logistics for stage start or finish… big boring areas the Tour needs for the rest of the circus – village for press, team buses, sponsors, competition winners, works…and Ben Stiller.

  2. That road kinda has the look of a finishing sprint to me. Not perfect with the fence and houses on one side, but still looks like a straightaway for a sprint finish for some reason. There’s gonna be a finish line banner right there, just wait.

  3. Best guess is Massif Central, damp, wet and hilly with some industrial areas on the southern and northern fringes – somewhere like St Flour. In truth it has the looke of many French towns !

  4. While this could be a backroad of a small village in Provence, it sure as heck isn’t the lovely city of Vaison le Romaine, or at least not the bits I saw. Plus, that town is nestled on the edge of a steep ravine, and this seems quite flat, though with big hills in the distance.

    And the perspective is all wrong for Bourg d’Oisans – the mountains tower over that town. If the horizon were the Alps, this would have to be halfway to Genoble.

  5. It’s sure looks like the profile of Ventoux all right, but doesn’t seem to be shot from Vaison – the perspective seems wrong – it would seem much closer from there. This shot seems farther away and to the south of Vaison. Almost like from Aix-en-Provence. Maybe that’s too far.

  6. I’d say around le Ventoux too. Definitely looks meridional…
    But tourists don’t want to avoid Ventoux…too high for ardennes…too low for proper alpes, alpilles…Ventoux!

  7. It’s probably Provence-a Maritime Alps region. You can generally tell a region of France by tile type and roof pitch. More chance of snow, steeper pitches on the roofs. Also different tile types.

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