Read on to find out why a Lux minister's holiday snaps are creating a buzz on social media
The holiday photos of Luxembourg foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn have been attracting a strong following on Facebook.
But they are not your typical beach or city break snapshots because the minister opted for a slightly more active holiday, cycling 1,300 kilometres from Luxembourg to France.
He documented his odyssey via photos and posts on Facebook, starting on 8 August, when he wrote from Neufchateau, in the Vosges, and ending on 21 August, after he climbed the legendary Mont Ventoux, the highest mountain in the region of Provence, which is closely associated with the Tour de France.
Asselborn’s post recalled that the climb had featured 16 times in the Tour de France, in which 10 saw the finish line on the summit. Luxembourg cyclists Andy and Frank Schleck gave it their best effort during the 2009 tour stage which ended on the summit. Andy finished third and Frank sixth, the minister recalled.
The minister, who cycled solo, carrying his own luggage, poetically described the attraction of the area: “The unique feature of the pass is undoubtedly its totally bare summit. It offers a lunar vision of pebbles shining in the sun,” he wrote.
Photo: Jean Asselborn/Facebook, Jean Asselborn is pictured at la Cayolle
In his first post, the minister joked about why he opted for such a challenging holiday. Whether it was to see if he was still physically able to rise to the challenge, to test his inner strength, to be unconventional or escape the daily grind, “There will be no space for philosophy once I get on my bike, I must give it my all!”.
The minister has been a keen cyclist for many years. In an interview published on the official website for Luxembourg, he explained that he received his first bike at the age of nine. However, he lapsed and it was not until 1994 that he began cycling seriously again.
He made his first mini Tour de France in 1995, cyling from Steinfort to Fréjus (1,050 kilometres) in seven days. He has since embarked on similar journeys, heading south “like the swallows” for several years. But it is not only during his holidays that the minister likes to ride. In July 2016, he was photographed on a cycle ride with Andy Schleck and then US secretary of state John Kerry during an official visit.