Sunday, November 8, 2009

chateaux cathares. and la plage.

During our day trips in Southern France it seemed we were always driving towards one of two extremes.  The dry, rocky mountains or the sunny, glittery ocean.  

Chateau de Quéribus on a cloudy Sunday.

Dates back to the 12th-13th centuries!


Chateau Peypertuse from above.

The chateaux cathares (cathares is the style of fortified castles found in the south) were certainly much different than the classical chateaux tourists are accustomed to seeing in France.  They were focused much more on security rather than showboating wealth (think Napoleon. Louis XIV. Versailles.)  Walking along what was left of the stone walls, every so often there would be a sliver of cloudy sky passing through a small hole in the wall, where soldiers and guards were stationed to defend their fort/base.

There was clearly an advantage to being so high on a hill.  From Chateau Peypertuse we could see across the wide valley to Chateau Quéribus (think smoke signals, fire/flame communication,etc) and beyond that, the Mediterranean Sea.  And to the South, we were looking almost straight at the Spanish border.

When we weren't visiting chateaux, we were weaving along the coast, dipping into Spain one afternoon.  

My favorite seaside town- Collioure.

It was much warmer in the sun than in the shadows of the city's ramparts.  Late season sun bathers were taking advantage of the wonderful weather.

A view from the highway snaking down the side of the Mediterranean.

Moi.  Overjoyed about the sunny weather.  And slightly self-conscious about the French road-trippers looking on....  That didn't stop me though.

Looking at sunny beach pictures while the weather-après-vacation is less than stellar is a great way to transition back to work : )

How do you ease back into work?

Wishing you a happy sunday!

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food for thought.

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