Sunday, July 27, 2008

Labastide de Virac

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.

The Laurels have bloomed beautifully, I remember when my grandmother planted them, they struggled to have more than 5 flowers at a time for many years.

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.


Jeannie said...

I would love to walk this with you. You have such an obvious deep love for the place an outsider like me might miss much of the beauty if it were not pointed out.

tweetey30 said...

Sounds magical Helene. I wish I could see it some day but not anytime soon. You make a great story of this and I can see why you love it there so much. Let me know about the yarn also if you cant find it. If you have a walmart or something. I have to admit I dont know very much about other countries.. I found two very beautiful greens and a white I wanted to use.

Jay said...

Oh gosh, it looks and sounds like a little piece of heaven.

SME said...

It does look a little like paradise! The Canadian Rockies do the same for me - I feel utterly replenished and calm after a few days there.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful... I am so poor this summer that I aint going anywhere... but I live in the sea on the south coast.

Kitem said...

Ah on va bien s'amuser à le laisser barboter dans la rivière, le seul problème est qui va pousser la poussette quand on ira se promener dans nos jolis villages?

That girl said...

How lucky you are to live so close to beauty.

Your child will appreciate nature from a young age... how awesome!

Kitem said...

A la parfaite future maman, j'offre deux "awards" qui me viennent d'Amérique, presqu'aussi bien qu'un Oscar d'Hollywood.

M.Kate said...

Beautiful pictures!! and I see why Kitem is so glad to have you as her precious daughter..and congrats on the baby too :D

The Zombieslayer said...

I love that natural bridge. I've seen a few of those in real life but don't remember where.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Those pictures are absolutely breathtaking!

How lucky your little man will be to spend summers there! :)