1 The highlight of my summer trip to the South of France was the helicopter ride to view the lavender fields north-west of Grasse - the perfume capital of the world.
2 Taking off from Antibes - Jean Pigozzi, Kevin Sharkey, and I flew first to Grasse to pick up our host, Michel Mane.
3 The views of the coast were phenomenal - we got bird's eye views of all the great homes on the coast.
4 The rocky Côte d'Azur
5 The azure water
6 The mansions and villas
7 A large establishment
8 Some of the properties are amazingly large for a place like this, where real estate is at a premium.
9 Antibes from the air
10 Many great yachts were anchored in the harbors.
11 This villa has a Jacques Wirtz garden landscape recently installed.
12 You can see just some of the symmetry.
13 This funny looking boat was designed by Philippe Patrick Starck.
14 A very odd design
15 The port of Antibes
16 An amusement park on the outskirts of Nice
17 Marina Baie des Anges is a famous apartment complex in Nice - very 'modern' and huge.
18 A closer view - It looks like ruins of pyramids from the air.
19 The crowded marinas
20 Flying north to Grasse, the landscape becomes more hilly.
21 We landed in Grasse at the Mane distillery for perfumes.
22 The factory in Grasse, where the highly automated fragrance and flavor blending and encapsulating activities occur.
23 So many wonderful scents for the perfumes of the world
24 We took off again to the lavender fields.
25 We saw all kinds of sights, including stone quarries.
26 This is a limestone quarry.
27 Barren mountain tops
28 The mountains started getting higher.
29 And the landscape became more barren.
30 There are small farms nestled in the stony hills and mountains.
31 So beautiful
32 The trip was about an hour, but we covered so much terrain.
33 It would have taken hours to go so far by car.
34 Huge cliffs
35 We flew over forests and fields.
36 Grassy hay fields, wheat fields, and and dairy farms.
37 More rugged landscapes
38 Limestone cliffs and canyons
39 Here is a murky river cutting through this canyon of limestone.
40 So unbelievably gorgeous!
41 The winds were quite brisk at this altitude.
42 You can definitely see the remoteness of the place.
43 The nature is so unique and the landscape so diverse.
44 All of a sudden a great lake of bright turquoise blue materialized.
45 This huge lake is used for irrigation as well as recreation.
46 The pale lavender fields were the first sign we were approaching the lavender center of France.
47 Hundreds of fields and thousands of acres!
48 Every purple block is blooming lavender.
49 Lavender is a fragrant perennial herb used for fragrances.
50 These are plowed fields and harvested lavender plants.
51 The lavender plants are fantastic.
52 Such straight rows
53 Every acre is used so well.
54 The yellow is blooming mustard plants.
55 Every acre has thousands of plants.
56 Mr. Paul - a French lavender grower and Michel Mane - our host
57 This lavender is about to be harvested.
58 Lavender grows in neat mounds.
59 On the ground the plants look very different than from above.
60 Recently harvested lavender stalks
61 Ready to be harvested
62 A closer view
63 This lavender is growing in close proximity to golden wheat.
64 A blur of sunflowers from the car window