French Honeymoon, Day 8: In Which France is a Visual Cliche of Itself. (With Pictures!)

Today we succeeded in getting up early and taking a day hike along the GR7 (a national trail) to Boussagues, a historic town with “no facilities, but potable water” according to Thomas, who rented our Villemagne villa to us.

After two false starts (“Did you remember the phrase book?” and “Where is Chemin de la Violette? Why does this road turn into a lane which ends in a wall?”), we finally found our path.

I’ll tell the rest with pictures:

We’re actually not even out of Villemagne yet. This is Av. Jean Jaures, on the North side of town.

Rue du Mail. We have to get on top of that wall ahead to get to Chemin de la Violette.

Chemin de la Violette. We climbed a rusty ole’ ladder to get up here. We’ve been walking for about 5 minutes.

View from the Pont du Diable (“Devil’s Bridge”), a medieval bridge about 15 minutes out of town. From here we pick up the GR7 hiking trail.

Wandering at the base of the Pont du Diable. Great looking picnicking spot. Will have to remember…..

Still wandering around the base of Pont du Diable. We found the red/white blazes for the GR7 trail! See the X on that tree? I’m about to discover that means “Not This Way”…….

Found our way!

THIS was the friendly little blaze we were looking for!

Vineyard….

We took this pic for the cloud shadow cast on the mountainside.

And another panorama….

And another vineyard.

And another panorama. Around this time we realized we must be in national park territory, because we hadn’t seen any housing, vineyards, or other kinds of developments for a while.

And another country lane. Our elevation was pretty high by this point. (Well, high for the area….)

And – we think we must be in Boussagues! This is the first building we come to.

The entrance to the ruin. The sign says “S.V.P. Fermez,” which I incorrectly interpret to mean that it is closed.

I absolutely love stone architecture. I could look at this all day. Which is what I am doing, here on my South of France honeymoon ….. 😉

This is cool….

We stop and picnic on a bench near the potable water spigot.

I like the composition of this pic, although I would edit out the railing if I had sophisticated enough software.

Pretty

This is a residential town as well as having some historic structures. No restaurants or stores or even a bodega, but the people who live here probably chose it for the peace and quiet….

Peekaboo 🙂

I’m a sucker for a good stone arch.

And we come to the end of Boussagues and turn around.

And on our way out, we realized that the sign on the ruin didn’t read “Closed,” but “Please keep closed.” So we went in…

Turns out it’s an active cemetery.

We stopped here to read for an hour because our feet were tired.

Yeah. It was this kind of day. All day.

The lighting on the walk back was magical the whole way.

This looks like the same shot, but it’s not. Totally different mountain ahead.

This pic for the sky.

Obligatory harvest-time shot.

Another turn in the road, another vineyard.

Blueberries??…. Certainly looks that way, but we weren’t brave enough to try them…

Very interesting unidentified wildflower.

Horses!

I’m starting to suspect that my husband deliberately walks more slowly than me so that he can take pics of me from behind…..

Pont du Diable with the nearing sunset in our eyes…

Almost home…..

We were originally planning to eat in tonight, but decided we were too tired. So here are a couple more shots of the Villemagnaise 🙂

Chicken 🙂

Fig tart tonight! 😀

Traveler’s Note: To follow our route: we walked through town to the D922, turned right very briefly onto D922/Av. Jean Jaures, turned almost immediately left on Rue du Mail, followed that straight until it became a dirt path through a vineyard until it ended at a low stone wall. Here our map said we should turn right onto Chemin de la Violette. It took us some time and a double-checking of the satellite map before we realized that we had to get on top of the wall to find Chemin de la Violette. We climbed the rusty-looking but sturdy ladder in front of us; on the way back we realized that we could have just turned right, walked to the corner of the vineyard, and there is a much more forgiving slope up to Chemin de la Violette there. Go right on Chemin de la Violette until you hit D922 again (well, you could have just kept walking on D922 in the first place and ended up in the same place – but where’ the fun in that?). Cross over and turn left so that you are walking on the right-hand side, away from Villemagne. After 30-50 meters, there is a little break in the railing and a sign that says “Pont du Diable.” Turn off onto the stone steps you will find there, and from there, follow the white over red blazes (pictures above).

10 Comments

Filed under personal, Travel

10 responses to “French Honeymoon, Day 8: In Which France is a Visual Cliche of Itself. (With Pictures!)

  1. Jeanne S.

    I like reading about your honeymoon adventure. Looks and sounds pretty perfect. Loved all the photos, particularly the stone architecture ones and the one of the horses. I think your unidentified wildflower might be a money plant. http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/perennials/money_plant.html Also, your posts are making me realize I need to eat more French food. mmm, tarts.

    • B gets all credit for all photos of the honeymoon – he’s been vigorously documenting everything we’ve done. I actually had quite a time thinning out the photos, trying to just choose my favorites! And thanks for the link – that looks exactly like the plant we saw! Except the website says it’s a spring-flowering plant, hm. Probably the same plant anyway – I’ve never seen anything else like it. And yes to the French food – we realized the same!

  2. Carolyn

    Ahhh! Almost as good as being there. Thank you for taking us with you! I think the blue things might be sloes. Don’t think they taste too good raw but they are used to flavor gin in the UK. ..and the wildflower I know as “honesty” but it’s probably got some fancy botanical name.

    • Ahh, more flower help! Thanks Carolyn, I love that you recognized it right away. I looked it up, and “honesty,” and “money plant” are both names for the same plant, so you and Jeanne are both right 🙂 Thanks also for the alternative ID of the “blueberries” – I feel much better about passing them by now!

  3. The wild flower is Honesty.

    M

    • So many flower-knowledgeable people in my life! I take that as a good sign….. 🙂

      • I’m still trying to work out how there are so many earlier comments about the flower suddenly appearing – when made mine the page was empty.

      • That’s because of the way I have comment moderation set up. Chronologically, they actually commented before you, but because they are first-time commenters (or first time using that email to id themselves), their comments didn’t appear until I officially approved them. Your comments appear automatically because you’re already approved 🙂 Once I did approve their comments, though, the comments appear in the order in which they were submitted, not the order in which they were approved. In case you were really interested and not just making conversation 😉

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