One more stopover in Italy and we entered France, the place we used to live near St Maxime. As we visited friends it appeared to welcome us back with continuous rain over the next few days and we were moved from our aire by the police due to the risk of flooding but it was nice to be back.
The moon, two thirds full, looks as if it is about to tip, falling straight into the rolling hills of olive trees. Before it falls it is as if she is taking as much information as she can before her final glow, watching over us with such force it stops you in your tracks. She is a disturbance in the endless blue sky yet she’s the one who holds your attention and makes you smile.
Further west along the south coast we arrived at Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer, a place we have never visited before. The Camargue is famous for its wild horses and pink flamingos. Our weather here in late October was mixed between glorious sunshine and pouring rain. The aire (found on Park4night) is situated right by the coast which is fantastic yet the thunderous weather flooded parts of it so beware of the weather before visiting! This is the perfect place for a weekend or a city escape. The flat marshes overlooking wildlife and endless blue is cycling and photographic heaven and evidently even caught the attention of Van Gogh providing inspiration for his paintings.
The next day twirling rages of clouds approached and the roaring waves charged forward like the wild horses of the Camargue.
We took a side trip inland to the famous UNESCO Heritage Site Vers-Pont-du-Gard . The triple layer roman aqueduct was a fantastic structure of architecture and the tallest of its kind (Roman built); even more stunning with endless forestry and olive trees besides the reflective river surrounding the imposing structure. Early November yet the sun was still shining -and warm- and to top it off the crowds were few. Walking away from it and into the hills makes the landscape even better with full panoramas of this early piece of engineering.
Continuing west we visited Mourèze as it’s known for its unusual landscape. The formations were truly one of a kind, rising from the earth like pairs of reaching hands. The landscape was varied between quaint stone villages and heather shrubs within the formations and to the lush forestry up high in the hills overlooking deep lakes. The walks vary between short and long, the one we took rose high into the hills overlooking the unusual landscape. It wasn’t too busy at this time of year so not only did we get to enjoy the beauty but also the peace, the sounds of crickets and the feeling of the sun beating down without disturbance. If your child likes to climb all the walks will be suitable as their interest is elsewhere; Jed speeding up formation faces and back down small cliff sides without even pondering on his exhaustion. Again we were rewarded with beautiful weather, only the nights brought cold currents.
Two hours west and we entered Carcassonne, famous for being a UNESCO Heritage Site (making it the second one we visited in a short period of time). The fortified city was quaint with the castle being its biggest attraction. It’s amazing to think how Carcassone has been inhabited since the Neolithic and although it has been restored it still holds its history and beauty. Camping was hard to find at this time of the year as it was all closed however we found a car park not far from the city which is suitable to park for the day.
Instead of staying in Carcassonne we drove a little south to Lagrasse; a great find. Although the village was small and empty of tourists it had everything: fortifications, a monastery, cobbled alleys, good wine and surrounded by beautiful scenery. To top it off the aire was free and had all the facilities needed.
*Due to losing all my photos from this years trip from a house break-in I have used and will be using phone images from now on until this trip is completed*.