Labastide de Virac is one of those places on earth where you can find peace, quiet (when the crickets shut up that is) and an unkempt beauty. I love it there and always find myself well rested when I come back home, no matter how short the trip was. Breakfast served from 9 to 10.30, after a good night's sleep and woken up by the coffee machine filtering the last drop of coffee in a loud rrrrrhhhhhh but also with that nice smell of fresh coffee which you know waits for you and fresh croissants and baguettes fetched by dad fresh from the bakery.
Coming back from the market in Barjac, a 16th century medieval village, it was the lavender show... somehow, I was too busy, browsing at the quaint stall merchandise to take too many pictures. Here Kitem plucked a few branches of lavender for the house.
Labastide de Virac seen from the St Roman hill, our house is the nearest to us, you can see two roofs standing outside of the village, the one to the right is my grandaunt's and the one to the left is our beautiful home.
Alex had requested a bit of sightseeing, especially to see how the famous Provence compares to the lovely Labastide, although there was nothing to disappoint, we were all proud to notice that villages in Provence are not any better than our local villages near the Ardeche river. Here Alex and I are standing in the lavender fields of the Abbey de Senanque, below.
This was dreamy, located at the bottom of hills, surrounded by nothing but fields of wheat and lavender. In fact it is not wheat but I have no idea what it is in English, one of those cereals. We also visited a village typical of Provence, which claims to be one of the prettiest village of France but I did not think it was worth a picture. Now, this village, just a few minutes away from Labastide was worth a hundred pictures but it takes too long to upload them, we were in love with Alex, here mom and dad were walking along the ramparts on top of the village.
A trip to Labastide would not be complete without a descent to the Ardeche, although strong storms made the water too cold to swim, we still went down to enjoy the walk and this living river. See if you can spot my 6 foot tall dad to appreciate the hugeness of the place (and that's only half of it up and probably only a speck wide).
Finally, dad took us on a tour along the river, it is a long journey and we don't start it at the source! There were many stops along the river to take in all that millions of years old river from which we can see the marks left from the ice age and where there is a few 'grottes' no idea how to translate that - where we found wall drawings made tens of thousand years ago.
Here at the end of our journey, le Pont d'Arc (the Arch Bridge),a natural arch shaped by the water through the milleniums the Ardeche river is flowing.
We - I - but Kitem as well - and daddy too and even pepie (dad) are just looking forward with anticipation to bringing the little fella here next summer. I grew up here, I mean every summer of my childhood was spent there, I can't wait to let my kid take in all the sounds and smells and beauty of this place. It's almost magical.