From our front windows on the 7th floor (8th floor to y’all in the US), we can see the local iconic mountain Pic Saint Loup in the foothills of the southern Cévennes range. At only 2100 feet it just squeaks past being considered a hill. Friends Paul and Paula had been wanting to hike it for some time, so during their last hurrah car rental week we tagged along. Hill or mountain, I don’t care, it’s all fair game for a day trip in my book.
It took us about 45 minutes to get to the trail head from Montpellier. We’d been warned that the trail is quite rocky; Paul noticed that the trail is where the rain washes, the path of least resistance which has eroded the topsoil. It occurred to me that the rocks were the bones of the mountain that we were climbing.
Mark said the trouble with climbing mountains is you don’t get to see the mountain. All I could look at were my feet so I wouldn’t turn an ankle. But it was a crazy beautiful day.
Through the binoculars, Mark spotted some Montpellier landmarks, though sadly not our apartment. I would have liked to have reversed our normal view.
We came to this lovely little grove of trees
And I wondered how Van Gogh might have seen it
Paula and I, realizing that going down was going to be harder than going up, decided to sit out the summit. We spun a tale of how we had in fact speedily ambled up and down, but the guys were dawdling (again!) and we had to wait for them. Mark and Paul went on, but turned around just before the steep climb to the top. Live to climb another day.
We had our picnic under the Van Gogh trees, and then went back down and off in search of some coffee and to visit a few towns in the area
Notre-Dame-de-Londres is a gorgeous town of about 500, where, as I told Paul, I would slowly go mad. There’s no there there.
Village living is on our list of things to try, but not this village. Nor any of the other pretty villages we would see on the way back home. But there’s no village shortage here. If we want one, we’ll find one and have fun looking for it.