10 May 2013


We’ve just had Wednesday and Thursday as public holidays – so went with my friend in the village Miki on a day out. And we decided to visit Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert … one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages of France). 

It’s only about an hour and half drive from Bize and another place I’d yet to visit. Just reminds me how much there is to see in this region and of course it’s a gorgeous time of year to be out – poppies everywhere……

Abbey of Gellone
Dog carrier / carrier dog
A dried ‘cardabelle’ – on quite a few doors in the village and recreated in gift shops in plaster and pottery. It’s supposed to bring good luck and also act as a simple barometer. Apparently the points of the plant’s leaves curl inward when bad weather is on the way. It’s now an endangered species and cutting them (even for the purpose of weather forecasting!) is forbidden – though it does seem that this is not strictly adhered to ………
More of those endangered and 'forbidden to be picked' cardabelles!
Ceramic downpipes

Ruins of a castle, high above the village
Hérault River 

Tres elegant!

A pit-stop at the market in the village of Aniane - delicous warm tarts of goat cheese and onion....
… and a kilo of asparagus which is now in full season – €4/kilo

This huge plane is famous in the village – it was planted in 1855. It is said that during a flood in 1907 a donkey tied to the plane at the centre of the square was driven by the force of the water inside the abbey, through the open doors, left on the altar at the bottom of the apse and was saved from drowning………….. Perhaps a legend – but has a nice ring to it!

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