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When I arrived in the South of France just over a week ago, it was surprisingly cold and damp. Winter had not quite relinquished its grip. Now all that has changed. The flowers are blooming and the vineyards are waking up. The sky is looking bluer and the fields greener. Suddenly it’s springtime in France.

vineyards everywhere

isabel's garden2

Each time I’ve visited this country – I’ve fallen a little more deeply for the place.

I love the French sense of aesthetics. I love the food and the wine and the old, battered shutters. I love the plants in clay pots and the beautiful historical buildings everywhere. I’m smitten with French blue. And here in the Languedoc Region, amongst the stone buildings and stone walls, I’ve fallen for the rugged, rolling, stony countryside.

Tornac 2

old doors

st hipp

fabulous old shutters

random doors

I love that the French say “enchanté” when introduced. I adore the elderly weathered French men who tip their hats and remove their sunglasses to say bonjour when I am out for my daily walk. The way the woman in the post office cheerfully puts up with my pathetic attempts at speaking the language and then helps me count out my change. Social niceties still seem to matter here.

flowers

It occurs to me that I’m remarkably happy in the rural South of France. Perhaps it’s the fresh spring air, and the company I’m keeping, and the charm of the place. Oh yes, and all the fabulous food I’ve been eating. 

charcuterie

OLIVES

produce - anduze market

Maybe this is the famous French joie de vivre – the comprehensive joy of living – that thing that we sometimes forget and lose and have to find all over again.

Thank you France – for the beautiful reminder. I’m smitten.

blossom along the walk

 

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22 thoughts on “in France and smitten

  1. I fell in love with the Languedoc-Roussillon region nearly five years ago when I travelled through there en route to Italy. Couldn’t quite believe some of the towns and villages I happened upon, mostly by bus as I don’t drive. Saint-Bonnet-du-Gard, near Pont du Gard was delightful. Uzès, for its mediaeval (?) market place. The Pont du Gard was one of my favourite afternoons out. Even Remoulins, where I stayed as it’s nearby the Roman aqueduct, had its 12th century architecture. Enjoy the South for me, as well.

  2. I’m so glad you know this area Johnny – it is magical. I remember my late father raving about the Languedoc. He toured a different region of France every year, always renting a Citroen and driving like a Frenchman. But like you – I’m carless. However my wonderful hostess has been amazing – and this morning she is taking me to the market. Yesterday we were in a place known as “St. Hippo” – who could resist that?
    À bientôt…

  3. I really really love all that I am seeing and reading in this post. Its charm is beyond words. I was in Dijon last year and it took my breath away. I hope I will get to visit the southern part. Thank you very much for sharing Lindy. I can’t wait to see your next post. Have a great time 🙂

  4. France is truly a special place. I’ve never been to Languedoc before and your photos are making me want to hop on a plane right now and go back to my favorite country. Enjoy your time there! And of course, eat lots of food.

      1. Good point Eliza. And thanks for that because I had four different types of cheese for dessert tonight. I can’t tell you what they were called (goat, cow, sheep and blue)- but they were FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Oh Lindy…I’m living vicariously through your adventuresome spirit…and remembering what a privilege it was to live in France…if only for a short time. Have a delicious, flaky, buttery croissant for me!

  6. My sister has a house in Olonzac, so I’ve been in that region, visited Minervois, and some of the other beautiful villages – you are so lucky. Hope it warms up soon!!!

    1. How wonderful to have a sister to visit in France! You are lucky! Yes – it’s been wonderful to be here and it has actually warmed up beautifully. I’m hoping it warms up soon in Ontario – in time for my return…

  7. Bonjour. What a lovely post. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to the south of France. I must get down there and visit Isabel’s place. Did you spend any time in Montpellier? Someone called Karen in your previous post asked – how do you say “yum” in French. It’s “miam”.

    Take care, Juliet

    1. Bonjour Juliet! Miam – quel mot fantastique – merci!
      I flew in and out of Montpellier – but otherwise did not spend any time there. It was a heavenly day – 25 deg C when I flew out late last week. Your Paris photographs are BEAUTIFUL.
      À bientôt, Lindy.

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