Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Driving through the French countryside

We set out this morning in our little rented Fiat 500.  Harry's always wanted to drive one and he's just loving it. Such a darling and maneuverable car. It's perfect for these narrow roads but has the pep to handle the highways as well. We've christened her Blanche.

Our first destination was a tiny town in the bend of the Tarn River, it's a deep bend that makes the location of the town almost an island.

We drove through this tunnel and came into Ambialet, a hamlet of maybe 50 people. It feels like we've gone back a couple of hundred years here.  Especially early on when the mist was still shrouding the sun.

The first thing we saw was this newish Chateau-like building. It turns out to be the facade of a small hydro-electric station that creates electricity from a river.  Who said these things have to look so industrial?

We stopped at a sweet little cafe under the chestnut trees in a garden full of flowers for a cappuccino....  And then walked up a hill behind there to see some old houses, probably abandoned.

Everywhere we looked there was wisteria blooming.

I liked this little metal stove that someone seemed to have abandoned outside their house. Too bad it wouldn't fit into my suitcase!

We followed the road up to the top of the "presque-isle" where we found an 11th Century Medieval church and its graveyard (which seems to be more contemporary--from the 1800s).  Here are a few photos of this lovely spot.

The inside of the church was so lovely that I was moved to light a candle for people in my life that I've loved and lost: my son Kevin, my mother, my father, and my ex-husband. It seemed fitting to remember them in this special place.

I'll leave you with a view from the top down to the village on the river bend and another view of the blooming wisteria.  The scent was hypnotic.  So was our day.

Later we went to another village called Cordes sur Ciel, a Bastide village high up in the clouds. I'll save that for another post.


  1. That misty shot is a wonder! Terrific shots.

  2. What a beautiful little town. 50 people ? Love the 2nd photo that sets up the rest of your post. So lovely !

    cheers, parsnip


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