this incredible, spontaneous journey to so. france began from a Providential meeting with an eclectic
artist~ mary de la salandra, who was visiting her friend judith, in my small hometown of whitefish, montana.i was asked by judith to take care of her 93 yr. old mother while her and mary played around this area for the next 5 days of mary's visit. when mary showed me pix of the cottage she and her husband raymond had lived in the past 12 yrs. i couldn't believe me eyes....it was my dream cottage, and it was for sale!
i then shared it with a sweet soul sister brooke, who was dreaming of cottages in france as well. brooke's parents called me over the next night to look at the pix and talk, and then the next thing i knew, they had booked tickets for the next week to go check it out!!
yet we could only stay 3 short days....
the cottage is a 300 year old stone structure that raymond and mary have been lovingly working on since their journey 12 yrs. ago... she from oregon, he from england. every nook and cranny is as charming as could be with their lovely, whimsical artistic touches!
the next morning brooke and i explored around the grounds of the old home/converted-hotel we were staying in. it reminded us of a secret garden where enchanted treasures were buried.
yet we didn't have enough time to explore as much as we would have liked then, as we were scheduled to go to the farmer's market in the town of rodez. there we were delighted to find in the center of town, the local bread, cheese, olive and wine makers, as well as vegetable and fruit baskets, all canopied under umbrellas to catch the light, early morning misty rainfall.
brooke and i enjoyed getting lost in the many winding, narrow stone and brick roadways that were delighting us to our childlike core!
the next day in this wonderland we went to a nearby village 20 km. west of rodez. the lovely ruin in the photo above was where we journeyed across the bridge then the road turned leading us to one of the most beautiful villages in all of france, the ancient village of belcastel. every structure in this village was built of stone. a magnificent fortress, the chateau de belcastel was built 1000 yrs. ago on a gigantic rock,
and became the fortress of knights, nobles, and rogues.
the view below is from one of the castle windows of the charming belcastel church and beyond that the road ends with a hamlet of about 4 farms.
maybe to roam on a long adventure, to open new windows of wonderment and inspiration,
as it already feels like a home away from home.