Monday, April 23, 2012

One of the most beautiful villages in France?




I am a bit of a spoiled traveller. Having had the Taj Mahal to myself at dawn, the Bayon Temple in Angkor the same at sunset, I don't like to feel as if I am, well, a tourist even if that is exactly what I am these days when out visiting. 


So there was a slight tingle, that vaguely uncomfortable nibble at my fingertips while we walked around the village of Grimaud. 


Is it charming? Why yes. But it is also teeny to the point of whiffing of "wee" while being packed to the gills with other folks just like myself with their cameras out and at the ready. 



True, as I have already written about Oppede-le-Vieux and Vaison-la-Romaine, girlfriend is begging for her closeup at every corner. But something about this lovely lieu made me wonder if I opened a door I would find that it was only a stage set!


But I am being a snot--I warned you I am spoiled! Because really the sight of lavender springing out of an ancient wall, side-swiped by the afternoon light, was worth weeding through the groups lead by bull-horned earnest guides.




The wind picked up, giving us a little "how do?" as we crested the ruins of the chateau. St. Tropez glimmered like the unattainable jewel that she is as the land exhaled into the sea below.


And so we too, descended and found...utter authenticity. At the bottom of a series of cresting waterfalls, we were lead by burbling to the Pont des Fées, or the fairy bridge. 


One thousand years old and still standing--although I did hold my breath while I crossed it! Who knows what kind of magic had inspired its name but to be spell-bound by it was exactly the sentiment for which I had been searching. And yes, here, we were alone.


24 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    Lovely as Grimaud certainly is, your account makes us shudder slightly as we think of so many 'picturesque' villages the length and breadth of England which drown under the sea of tourists throughout the summer. And yet, as you found, just a short step from these madding crowds, there is often something of real joy and beauty just waiting in peace and calm!

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    1. Yes, I imagine that it is exactly the same! Hence my use of "wee" as in Ye Olde Tourist Shoppe!! I wish you both could have seen that bridge though, you would have loved it.

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  2. Thank you for another beautiful post and photos

    Eerie I feel looking at the first picture remembering years ago painting a wooden mailbox for a friend as a cottage with wisteria, blue shutters and pale yellow walls.

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  3. Thank you for sweet words on my blog:) I loved your little ..living in the country story:)
    This post you have is great. If you want to see my hometown Gothenburg, you can check out my new post:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis

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  4. Love seeing the Wisteria and the lavender growing out of the walls, I love it. You're much braver than I am crossing a 1000 year old bridge I would have never done it. Easier to swim across water then get conked on the head as you and debris fall. Do you know how luck you are to be surrounded by all that history? I'm envious but in a good way.

    XX
    Debra~

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  5. Beautiful village and really feels like a movie set, isn't it? Though I never travel with the guided groups but quite often and inevitably I found myself in the tourist crowd, helas! And with the camera climbing and crawling.
    You are lucky and privileged to be a happy insider and local to revisit these beauties whenever your wish ahead of tourist tides in May-September.
    Your images are getting better and better with each new post.
    Thank you Heather for sharing so generously.

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    1. Oh my, I really, really appreciate that compliment coming from you!! And you are so excellent at lifting yourself out of a crowd situation--that insanely beautiful post on the Guadi cathedral is proof of that!!

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  6. But don't you love taking a picture and having some other "tourist" stopping to see what you photographed, then snapping a shot of their own? Though I am glad you had the bridge to yourselves...

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  7. Know what you mean, but I also think that in a way these extra-pretty villages have acquired a new personality over the years - they're meant to be visually enjoyed just as much as lived in.

    Lovely photos and I'd love to read more of your work, maybe you can post some links one day?

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    1. Thanks Jenny! I haven't been writing as much professionally lately but do post about it when I have an article out or sometimes I post an excerpt from past articles such as here:
      http://lostinarles.blogspot.fr/2011/11/past-adventures-rose-with-greater.html

      I don't like to post the whole article for copyright reasons but it is something!

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  8. Oh, it's in your very bones Heather, to want to seek out that which is different, far from the madding crowd. And thank goodness it is too, for otherwise you wouldn't be able to take us on the same adventures. The lavender growing impossibly out of the wall, the crumbling old bridge - that is the beauty to me. xx

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    1. Two peas in a pod, Virginia. Two peas in a pod!

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  9. Lovely indeed... and charming photos. thanks for posting

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  10. Heather,
    That is right up there for the most beautiful village, no question. I love, love, love wisteria and wish I could have it all over my garden. Your photos are so pretty. I'm having serious photographer ability envy these days!
    I'll have to add this pretty girl to a day trip list.
    aidan xo

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    1. Oooh, it would be far for you Aidan!! And what ever you do: DON'T GO IN HIGH SEASON. :O

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  11. Heather your excursions are so very inspiring!! A wonderful little village!

    I am featuring Anita Rivera, our Friend, Designer and Paper Artist with Castles Crowns & Cottages, & her Giveaway on my site!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  12. Hi Heather, For some reason I'm having a hard time commenting. Here's hoping the third time's a charm...Oh good, looks like it's going to work! I'm glad we were able to travel vicariously with you to this pretty village and enjoy without adding to the maddening crows - although I bet escaping from the masses helped you enjoy that moment of peace and authenticity all the more!! XO

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    1. Jeanne, I really appreciate your trying THREE times to leave a comment. I think that you know how happy they make me and so bravo for your tenacity!

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  13. I REALLY love the Wisteria photo - I'm a sucker for that particular shade of violet-blue. Thanks for popping over to my blog today; it was so good to hear from you! I read all your posts but don't always have time to comment...life is on a fast-track right now and I haven't had much time to spend on my blog or to play with my blogging friends. Hopefully, things will gel soon and I can breathe and play!

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    1. Good to hear that it is just busyness, Linda! Just checking in. :)

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  14. I THOUGHT I left a comment yesterday about this post, but it must not have registered! What I wanted to say was this must be my all-time favorite village you've blogged about. Love, love these pictures. The stone walls, wisteria, lavender. Lovely beyond comprehension! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I thought that you had too Sanda! I don't know. It looks like Jeannie had trouble above so it must just be blogger business.

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  15. Amazing and wonderful as usual - I have been away in Brisbane for several days so stopped blogging and what fun to come back and see your lunch and this wonderful imagery again!! Cheers - you fill a bit spot in my inspiration!!

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