Valley of the Seine

This year, the Parisian summer has been glorious.

This is not true. This is an abject lie.

This year, summer has not arrived in Paris. Back in April, it was unseasonably warm. We hit 35°C, dizzyingly, which lasted for a couple of days before exploding into black thunderstorms, and ever since then the weather has struggled to get itself out of second gear, delivering us a drizzly, grey season with temperatures barely hitting 20°C. The post-Covid freedom gave the atmosphere a hint of hysteria – terrasses were full, despite the weather, because nobody really knew when we’d get to go out again. The Covid Vaccination Pass came into play, along with the inevitable Covid Vaccination Pass Mass Protests. I snuck down to the south for a weekend, for the first time since I moved, just to get a hit of that precious, precious sunshine. This week, I had a week off work, and miraculously, the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature hit 23°C (hey, don’t knock it), allowing me to get some Vitamin D and exercise.

view over the seine!

And it was worth it. Let me backtrack a little – I recently started a new job, about which I am excessively excited. It’s a project that is under renovation, and… the renovations are taking a little longer than expected. So last week, we were all given a week off. Having being working pretty much solidly since I moved back up to Paris (sometimes in two jobs simultaneously; frequently in combination with studying), this felt almost miraculous. Until now, the general rush and hurry of it all combined with the grey and drizzle of the typical Parisian weather has meant that I haven’t really had a chance to go and explore the surroundings.

hayfields and valleys

But this week I could! After spending Monday mostly dealing with things I hadn’t had time to deal with yet (why are post offices only ever open while I’m working?), I drove up to Etretat on Tuesday and visited the famous cliffs and the Bénédictine Palace (combining my two favourite things: ostentatious architecture, and liquor), then spent the Wednesday doing this hike.

a forest!!!

La Roche-Guyon is a little village clustered around a central castle, located in the Val d’Oise about half an hour’s drive from Paris. It’s right inside the edge of the Vexin natural park, and despite its proximity to Paris, it feels exceedingly countrysideish. The village of la Roche-Guyon is quaint and adorable, with limestone cliffs and a majestic castle with the ruins of another, cancelled castle sitting above it on the hill like the fanciest of top hats.

castle of la roche-guyon

In these little villages, all sunny August days feel like Sundays. There’s nothing pressing to do; people are there to visit the castle or play pétanque or (if they are me) hike 15km while complaining about it, and the slow speed of life is a far remove from the bustle and beep of Paris.

fountain of la roche-guyon

The impressionists came here, too. Renoir, Cézanne, Monet all painted various aspects of la Roche-Guyon (Monet’s home in Giverny is just around the corner); it’s a fairly picturesque spot. Weirdly, and possibly sacrilegiously, there was something about the glow and swell of the fields that reminded me of England. The Yorkshire dales, to be precise. Just something about the quality of the light, for just a second. But the village itself is resolutely typically-French, and anyway I was too busy actually doing the damn hike to really think about that for more than a few minutes.

more view of the seine!

The hike was beautiful – sparkling with sunshine through the dappled forests, then through open fields filled with cows who looked at me in bewilderment, then more woods with an arboretum and a hilarious woodpecker, then more fields and haystacks, then up to a view over the gleaming blue Seine and the surrounding golden-green countryside, then the adorable village of La Roche-Guyon, then a tiny meandering trail through forests back to panoramic river views back through the woods, up and down and up and down, then finally back through the main forest and back to the car. By the end of it, my legs were fairly pissed at me – 15km is quite a lot for a lazy person, and the ups and downs at the end hadn’t helped – and actually ever since I did this hike my calves feel like they’re going to burst. I really need to get more exercise.

the heeeels are aliiiiive

But you should do this hike! If I can do it, anyone can – this is basically the theme of my blog; I am lazy and indolent and have bad knees, I am not one of those hikers who happily straps on a backpack and sets off for five days through the Alps, I enjoy sitting down and drinking cocktails and wearing very high heels and blaming the cat for the fact that I refuse to get up – so this can be a green light. Seeing the freshness and beauty of the Seine is interesting too; I am so used to the Seine being a few kilometres of grimy, brown water full of chugging boats and poisoned fish and probably corpses and discarded murder weapons, I don’t know, that it’s unusual to see it as a real, living river. One day maybe I will go to a place before it hits Paris and swim in it.

the arboretum

I mean technically I once already swam in the Seine. When I was nineteen or so someone dared me to get in, and I went down the steps in my dress and dipped all the way into the river and came up the steps again, and it was 3am, and it was ridiculous and my dress never got rid of the smell so I ended up throwing it away.

a house built into a cliff in la roche-guyon

But this is not what I am talking about, I am talking about one of those hot days where all you want to do is strip off and jump into the water; not that we have really had any of those hot days here this year, but again, irrelevant, and I am losing my train of thought. The moral of the story is that the impressionists were absolutely correct to paint this region, and you should visit.

Walled cities and salt

I’m jumping back into the South for this post, because this is a place I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now but I kept getting distracted with life and Paris and moving and work and all of the other things that distract me. It would be a shame to skip this though, because honestly, this place is cool.

the city walls

Aigues-Mortes is a little walled city down in the Gard, right on the edge of the sea. I say “city” – it’s a village. It really is a village. But we call it a walled city, for reasons unknown, so I shall continue to refer to it as such even if it does seem to bloviate a little. Anyway, aside from being a really cool walled city, Aigues-Mortes also sits right on the edge of a bunch of pink lakes full of salt and flamingos.

the water is pink, you guys!

I deeply enjoy it when things are pink, and so this was obviously a place that brought me intense joy. The closer you get to the water, the pinker it gets!

yep, that’s pink.

I apologise for the quality of some of these pictures, by the way. I have been to Aigues-Mortes many times, but I only did the trip around the pink salt lakes once, and I only had a terrible fuzzy camera on my phone with which to capture the glory of it all.

the fountain of the main square of aigues-mortes

Back in the day, Aigues-Mortes was apparently a very important place. Charlemagne did stuff there, and Louis IX went crusading from Aigues-Mortes a few times, and I don’t know what else. Nowadays, Aigues-Mortes is mostly for tourists – and honestly, not even that many of them. You can hang out there peacefully in tranquillity, eating ice-creams and walking around the city walls and buying salt, because they sell a lot of salt in Aigues-Mortes.

a mountain of salt

This is probably why. All of the pink lakes are full of salt, and so they build mountains of salt that you can climb up and look at the view from the top of. When I did the pink-lake-tour, which is a little train that goes around the salt lakes, they stopped and let us all climb up the mountain of salt. I was with my friend, and we both sneakily licked the salt mountain to see. It tasted very very salty.

When we got down again, my friend told the train driver that she licked the salt mountain and he was horrified because of all the people who had walked up and down it (in our defense, we licked a fairly clean-looking bit). “You shouldn’t lick the mountain!” he told her, and then turned to me. “Tell her she shouldn’t lick the mountain.”

“I, also, licked the mountain,” I informed him, and he gave up on us.

one of the towers of the walls i think!

As well as eating ice cream and licking salt etc, there is another very good thing to do in Aigues-Mortes, and that is to visit an amazing bar. This bar is called the Tac Tac. It’s kind of hard to find because it doesn’t really have any signs up saying that it’s a bar, so if you’re not looking for it, you might not notice it. But it is incredible. Marc, the owner, collects bottles of everything in the entire world. If you like rare mezcal, or black-forest-gâteau-syrup, or anything really, he’ll climb up a ladder and fetch you down a bottle of something from where the bottles are stacked all the way around the walls and ceiling, and it will always be amazing.

the tac tac! you should go

I don’t really have any good pictures of this place, but you should go there.

A fancy castle

Since things reopened a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been very urban. I did do that white-sands hike last week, and the week before I did a tiny 5km very brisk hike around some fields and forests on a Sunday morning, but mostly I’ve been taking advantage of things being open again. I think I’ve gone to six (?) museums, and to the cinema twice, and to bars and restaurants and I don’t know what else. I had to dig way back into cherry blossom season a couple of months ago to write about the Domaine de Sceaux – but it’s never too late.

everyone wishes this were their house

So anyway, here is the Domaine de Sceaux! It’s just outside of Paris, to the south of the city. It’s a castle and its grounds, which include a giant ornamental lake, a forest, meadows, and these ridiculously manicured gardens which I always find so amusing. I appreciate the effort that goes into them, but comparing this to the classic English country garden with wildernesses of flowers and tangled branches and leaves and scents, I definitely have a preference in one direction.

but let us applaud the architecture

I went here during confinement, when we had a 10km radius to respect. This is just on the edge of my 10km, and I had gone to a rose-garden first before realising that I was an idiot and roses don’t bloom until about the middle of June, so I was just looking at a bunch of unprepared green bushes.

cherry blossoms!

The Domaine de Sceaux has two cherry-tree meadows, which everyone in the damn world had decided to visit on that particular day. One of the meadows has pink cherry trees and the other has white, and both of them had people just crammed together everywhere having picnics. I took a picture of the blossoms from the edge of the meadow and then went the other way.

please enjoy this crooked lake photo

If the Domaine de Sceaux was my house, I would hang out by this lake all the time. It has a lot of geese in it, and also coots, and I like coots a lot. I like the way they jerk their heads when they’re swimming, and I like it when they just suddenly plouf under the water and disappear. Coots. Yeah. Coots are awesome.

forest of the domaine!

I used to think the lockdowns would end up being good for me. I’m always running around everywhere doing a million things, and the lockdowns made me stop, so I thought maybe they would get me to slow down a bit and relax. It turns out the opposite happened. Now that I can do things again, it’s a thousand times worse than it ever was before. The curfew goes from 21h to 23h this week, which is probably going to exacerbate the situation again. This is fine with me. Doing things, I have decided, is the best thing in the entire world.

this COULD be our house

The Domaine de Sceaux is a museum, which wasn’t actually open when I went (because covid), but should be open next time I go. They also do concerts there sometimes. There’s a thing here called Opéra en plein air where they put on operas in the grounds of castles, outside, and you get to watch them with the castle as a backdrop as the sun sets. I used to go every year when I was younger, but the last time I went was in about 2010 before my working hours became prohibitive and I moved to the south. This year I’m reviving the tradition! It’s Madame Butterfly. I am excited. I’m not going to see it in this particular castle so this is a complete digression, but it’s coming here.

paris paris paris

This picture is just of Paris, not of the Domaine de Sceaux. Paris Paris Paris. It’s the best place in the worrrrld.

The white sands of Paris

How’s it going for you guys? Here, we have freedom! Well, kind of. We still have a 9pm curfew, but this is the latest it’s been since October of last year, so it does feel like freedom. And mostly, outside seating is open again for bars and restaurants, along with museums, cinemas, and theatres. When this happened I went on a ticket-buying frenzy and have basically been allergic to staying in my house. It’s been eleven days now, and these eleven days have been such beautiful bliss you can’t imagine. We don’t have a limit on our radius any more for hiking either, which meant that today I caught up with an old friend and went to discover the white sands of Paris.

white sand dunes

“The white sands of Paris” is not something I ever thought I would be talking about, but here they are. Down near Fontainebleau, to the south-east of Paris, there are these swathes of white sand, and dunes, and crinkled glittery rock formations.

climbing through the rocks

Apparently, millions of years ago, this whole area was covered in hot ocean, which created quartz formations. The white sand is almost entirely pure ground-down quartz, and the rocks are also quartz gelled together with silica gel. More importantly, some of them look like weird reptiles.

this is either a dinosaur or a rhinoceros for SURE

This is also the first weekend where it’s been actually hot. No – there was one day, back in March, where the temperature hit 27°C, but that obviously exploded into a storm a few hours later after teetering ominously on the edge for a while. This weekend, the heat was more natural. Yesterday I went out to lunch in the Marais with a friend, and then went to some art galleries and then over to the Petit Palais to look at the permanent collection, and then back to the Marais where I was supposed to get an apéro before dinner with some other friends but the Marais was just so packed full and teeming with people that we couldn’t even do it. We had reservations at a raw vegan restaurant for 7pm, to combat the curfew, so we just went and drank our apéro at a bar near the restaurant. Paris is absolutely bustling with life right now. I have never seen Parisians so cheerful; it’s actually kinda weird.

white sand and a protected tree

Anyway the hike today was wonderful. It made me walk off some the wine from yesterday, too. I know a lot of people are still wary of going out and prefer to stay in, in case of covid danger. I understand absolutely this sentiment, but honestly, I feel like I’d go insane if I had to keep on staying in my apartment all the time. I put my trust in the vaccine and the open air. (I’m half-Pfizered!! second half on the 22nd June!)

foresty stuff

The hike itself was lovely too – lots of dapply forest light to cut through the sunshine, and lots of unexpected rocks and dips and gorges and sudden sandy paths. We got lost a few times, as the trails were frequently fairly vague and kind of disappeared into nothing, but getting lost in such a beautiful place isn’t really too much of a problem. There was a bit of climbing, but nothing too strenuous.

trees and sunshine

And so, so much sunshine.

Trees are lovely

Down underneath Paris, in the Hauts de Seine, there’s a botanical garden called the Vallée-aux-Loups. There are no actual wolves, but there are a zillion different trees, and a bonsai collection (closed to the public due to covid restrictions right now), and the house of the writer François-René de Chateaubriand, now a museum.

La Maison Chateaubriand

While Chateaubriand’s house is currently closed, you can visit it in 3D here if you so wish. Chateaubriand saw himself as “the greatest lover, the greatest writer, and the greatest philosopher of his age” – I think we’ve all known dudes like that. (Confession: “Atala” is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read forever, but never getting around to. One day. One day I’ll do it.)

trees!

I must admit that for me, the trees were the main attraction. I went here this morning with a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time, and with her son. This week she told me she’d never been hiking in her life and wanted to try, so we pencilled in a hike for Sunday. The weather forecast disagreed and warned us that there was a storm due around 3pm, but before 3pm would be glorious sunshine and intense heat. So we picked this garden instead.

what are these little stumpy things, anyone?

We walked happily around the gardens telling each other gossip about people the other person didn’t know (“but you DO know him! He worked at that bar for ages!” “No, but I didn’t ever go to that bar, so I haven’t actually met him.” “Well never mind, anyway, he has a kid now!!” “…Yay!”) and catching up on life and making frantic plans for after-covid, which still isn’t quite a thing, but it’s on its way.

a house, but not chateaubriand’s house, another one I think

So many sentences these days start “When Covid is over” and there’s now a concrete plan for covid to be over: museums, theatres, cinemas, and outside seating in bars and restaurants reopen on 19th May with the curfew being pushed back to 9pm that day too; gyms and whole restaurants reopen on 9th June, with the curfew going to 11pm; and on the 30th June the curfew is lifted entirely. This is not due so much to the figures (our death rate hasn’t shifted much since November, honestly) as to the fact that the economy needs to be kickstarted, and that everyone is pretty much bored with covid now, at least that’s the way it seems. I don’t know how this is going to go. But it’s going to go.

i could have read the plaque to see what kind of tree this is, but i did not.

In personal news: well, nothing really happens during the Covid Era to me, nothing I can blog about anyway. I switched out my Coke Zero addiction to those San Pellegrinos with fruit juice to see if I would feel healthier and it would make me sleep better; so far I feel exactly the same, but I suppose it’s nice to have a change. The cat and I fight a lot. I went to some of those outdoor exhibitions in the middle of Paris because my brain was starved for it.

bamboos!

And I saw some pretty trees and plants with a friend that I like a lot, and caught up on her life, and this kind of thing does make you feel like a human being again, even when during the week it’s just work-at-the-computer-in-your-living-room all day until the work day is over and the curfew arrives, when it becomes sit-in-your-living-room-alone-with-cat with a book or a movie or a videocall with someone or a course (I am supposed to be studying in this time; I am not particularly assiduous, and have exams coming up), which is a very restricted version of life. [chateaubriand enlightened philosopher voice] “We have BECOME the shadows on the wall of the cave” etc.

a bit of a lake and some plants idk

The 19th May is a very exciting date to me.

Creepy abandoned castles

Apparently, a lot of people who have castles near Paris just leave them to the weeds. Maybe they got murdered and now haunt the premises, making life uncomfortable for potential buyers. Maybe they just couldn’t deal with the electricity bills, and absconded to live happily in reasonable 2-bedroom apartments in Corbeil-Essonnes. Who knows?

a creepy abandoned castle hiding in the trees

You should not visit these places. It is illegal and dangerous and very ill-advised. Obviously, I did not visit any abandoned castles today. What an idea! But if I had, maybe it would have looked like this.

If I had hypothetically explored an abandoned castle, I might have had to dig through the plants to get to it. For some reason, the fields around it aren’t too congested, but immediately around the castle is a leafy profusion of trees and bushes, meaning it kind of lurks in there secretly.

archways

The abandoned castle has an outside courtyard with a covered passageway around the edge of it, and a mosaic-y pool or possibly old fountain in the middle.

it also now has an extra bath

If you are idiotic enough to go into the basement of an abandoned castle, you will find an ancient kitchen which looks just about ready to explode.

do not turn on the gas

The abandoned castle also has abandoned outhouses, and its own private lake as well as a lot of sweeping fields. I do not understand why anyone would ever abandon this castle (aside from the obvious haunted/electricity bill reasons mentioned above). But I will admit that it has a very hushed, creepy vibe.

Anyway, all of this is obviously hypothetical, as I did not visit any abandoned castles, as that would be a very bad thing to do.

why would anyone give up a private lake? (actually it did smell quite bad)

Weird sculptures and an ice forest

Back in February, after I’d got through the bulk of moving in and some of the tiredness that comes with all of that, I went to visit a place I randomly found on Google Maps, the jardin de sculptures de la Dhuys.

It was a freezing, sunny weekend, and all week it had been either sunshine or snow with no in-between. The rivers had overflowed and frozen over, and I had to take a couple of detours driving because some of the little roads were flooded.

I met this horse on one of the detours, so it was an excellent detour in general

When I finally got to somewhere near the sculpture garden, I walked down a little flooded street to get there. All the flood puddles had turned to ice, and the little forest I was walking through was making a lot of noise. At first I thought there were people working there, building something or cutting down trees, and then I realised it was just the forest itself. The river had overflowed into it and the whole forest was frozen, and the ice was thawing and breaking and making a lot of noise while it was doing it. You remember in Titanic, where the ship is sinking? (That’s like half the film; you remember that.) It sounded pretty much like that.

The noisy ice forest

The sculpture garden itself is very small, and pretty wonderful. It’s a fairly modern creation – it was made in 1987 by a sculptor named Jacques Servières, who decided to make art from the stones from the old bridge that used to stand there, but that had been bombed during the second world war.

the little child statue here is very relatable
not sure what’s going on here but it looks fun

The sculptures are abstract but very human. The river had overflowed into the fields, and some of them looked like they’d been frozen into place.

statues!!

This isn’t a hike or anything – the garden is tiny. You can walk around it in about a minute, probably. It’s just such a weird place, and I don’t think it’s very frequented – I didn’t see anyone else at all while I was there, although it’s possible that nobody else was dumb enough to want to go and risk their bones walking on the ice.

relatable

I stayed hanging around in the sculpture garden for a while, but it was already the afternoon and curfew was happening at 6pm, and also it was freezing, so I went on my way rejoicing.

goodbye ice forest!

You see. I told you there were things to look at near Paris. I TOLD you.

A Parisian forest

My goodness, it’s been a long time since I wrote here. Before I get down to business, here are my excuses: moving is hard; I’ve been working so much you guys; we’re locked down so my brain has turned back to cottage cheese and all I do when I’m not working is look at Twitter and watch movies in a gape-mouthed kind of way; I am a lazy blogger as well as a lazy hiker.

So, sorry about that! But in the meantime, I moved back home and actually have managed to do a few Parisian hikes. We’re under lockdown again and have been curfewed since October, but are allowed to go out for exercise within a 10km radius. I measured my 10kms on the map and found a few places to go.

a forest pathway

Here is the Sénart forest, which is (pretty much) within my 10km (at least the beginning of the hike is; and nobody’s going to ask me for papers in the middle of a forest, or at least, I hope not). When I got there, it seemed busy. There was a fairly full car park and people walking all over the place. But walk a few hundred metres into the forest and you’re soon completely alone with just the sound of the birds.

birds: cheep cheep cheep

This was so lovely! You can hear woodpeckers, and a deer ran across the path in front of me at one point. There are all these little ponds and pools, and it seems very distant from all the noise and energy of Paris – not that I’ve seen much of that since I’ve been back, I’ve mostly been staying in my apartment, trying to avoid the whole pandemic thing. Hiking in an empty forest seems safe enough, though; there are patches where you run into people, but you can just switch out from the path and walk between the trees and never see anyone any more.

wild daffodils all over the place!

One day, I hope that life comes back to normal and Paris can come back to being the way it’s best at being, full of excitement and night-time and energy. But even with the lockdowns and the rules and the curfews, you can still find little patches of beauty and tranquillity.

a little pond in the trees!

I won’t lie – I miss it, a lot. It’s strange to be back in Paris without actually being back in Paris. But the springtime has arrived – because time goes on even in times of Covid – and the flowers are opening, and the sky is surprisingly frequently blue, and things are good.

flowers!!

This picture isn’t the hike – it’s just the cherry tree by my new apartment. Do you know there are little green parakeets here? They fly in little groups and make so much noise. But anyway, those are all things for a different time. I promise to be more assiduous about writing here; my camera roll is filling up with pictures of places and I never even share them, and that is a bad thing.

Ohmygordes

Jesus, it’s been a while. This has been CRAZY. I moved across the country with the cat, and four huge dudes lugged my piano up six flights of stairs (sorry, dudes), and the cat is having the absolute worst fortnight of her existence ever, despite having gone to stay with the loveliest catsitter in existence who spent the entirety of the time combing her, giving her treats, and sending me photos to show me how she was doing. Ungrateful wretch.

Anyway, I live in Paris again, and it snowed last weekend, and I am going to take this opportunity to… write about a small, adorable village in the south of France. You’ve probably heard of this one though: this is Gordes.

Gordes, perched on the side of a hill

Gordes is in the Vaucluse, surrounded by lavender fields, smelling peacefully of grandmothers and fresh air. This is basically the tourist hotspot of the region. It’s considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, and during the lavender season, this is where you’ll find everyone else in the world.

Lavender fields

The lavender is basically the image of Provence. It’s kind of what you imagine when you think about the whole region, and between June and July it’s in full bloom and the whole road network around here becomes a slow-moving tourist destination.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

The nearby abbey, the Abbate Notre-Dame de Sénanque, is both a working abbey and a boutique. They sell lavender-based products made by monks: lavender honey, and lavender hand cream, and lavender essential oils – and also pear eau-de-vie, because that’s another very symbolic local product.

The view from Gordes

Anyway, this is one of those bucket-list places – you’re supposed to go to Gordes, because it’s insanely beautiful and because the lavender fields are iconic, so you should go.

I promise to start doing some hikes near Paris soon so that I can write about those and also stay vaguely healthy instead of just staying in my apartment eating all the time (I have Uber Eats here!! I couldn’t get that before!!), but right now I am very busy unpacking and decorating and combing the cat to solace her. Maybe this weekend. Maybe.

The Abbaye St Félix de Monceau

Over here in France, we’re still in lockdown. I thought about writing a post about my immediate radius, as that is the place I see the most at the moment – although the radius has now been extended to a 20km circle, rather than the 1km we had at the beginning. But then I came across some photos of a place I’ve been to a few times, and decided to write about that instead.

The St-Félix-de-Monceau abbey

This is the St-Félix-de-Monceau abbey, sitting up on the Gardiole uplands near Gigean, in Hérault. Nobody really knows when this abbey was built – it was definitely standing in 1104, and old documents put its construction date somewhere around 1025. But it’s all pretty hazy.

View from the hike

These pictures are from the second time I did this particular hike – the first time was the day after I tried CrossFit the first time and my muscles were absolutely killing me, and I Googled what I should do to make them feel better. Most of the Google results said to take ibuprofen and a hot bath, but one search result suggested a light hike, and I was in an intensely active phase then, so I did the St-Félix hike and regretted it bitterly the day after. I couldn’t even get up from the chair without levering myself up, gingerly, with lots of complaining.

A path through the forest

That day was pretty grey. These pictures, though, are from the second time. This time was different – I was with some friends, and we were all depressed and unemployed, and none of us had really done much exercise or got any sunshine in a while. I kind of nagged everyone into coming too, and we did the hike, and felt virtuous, as though it was good for us.

A little pool

Every hike you go on carries with it a certain amount of circumstance-based nostalgia; in this case, it was supposed to be the First Hike of the Depressed Unemployed, with many more to follow, but in the end everyone’s paths diverged in different ways. You can do the same hike several times, and it can be different every time: you notice different things, the weather makes different effects, and whatever you’re going through at that particular moment plays into it as well.

View from the monastery garden

And then you have this abbey that’s been there for a thousand years, looking out towards the sea in what must be a pretty similar view to how it looked back then – it makes me think about how interesting it is to be alive, just objectively. Anyway. This is a nice hike, with beautiful views. You should probably not do it if you are suffering from DOMS.

A message left by someone

And Guillaume Reau is a pauvre type.

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