Friday, April 17, 2009

Bonjour from the mighty, minty, magnolia blooming Alps

I am in the room with this view.

We hope that you all are well, having had a good celebration of the arrival of spring and the whimsicalities of eggs. We are here, in the most charming house of Francoise, a grower of herbs, and Bernard, an engineer who works in Geneva designing watches. It is very quiet and exceedingly pretty, with imperial views, hundreds of birds, massive amounts of fromage, or cheese, and of course the damp earth and many medicinal and cullinary herbs.

We had a rather intense journey here that turned one and a half weeks into what felt like three, but being in a place where I can see Mont Blanc when the day is clear, and a feast of other formidable peaks even when the clouds are out, makes it all worth it. Our travels were good, but hard, full of lessons learned and sore feet.
In the days leading up to Easter we took slept in a limestone cave, traversed a slice of Middle Earth [as Ed and Kira wandered over another part of it in New Zealand], read four books, ate canard (duck), and walked among people with olive branches, rather than palm leaves, in their hands on Palm Sunday. We also made friends with two tres gentil Hungarians who insisted upon our joining them to see the Pont du Gard, which is a fantastic Roman Aquaduct that is huge and hardly believable but somehow actual. On Holy Saturday we slept in an apiary and woke up to eat an Easter breakfast of bread with honey, butter and ham, and ate marzipan shaped like cherries. After a long wait we got a ride from a geologist and nurse that took us, most unexpectedly, up from the comparatively flat area of Crest to the suddenly Swiss Sassenage. We were still in France, still in the proximity of houses with Terra Cotta roofs, but suddenly in sight of snow, with popping ears and a very steep climb to our sleeping place, a lovely swath beside a river where men in shiny waders patiently and artfully hunted trout.
In the days following we took trains and walked through the mountains and valleys and cow pastures and horse paddocks to here. We are exhausted and satisfied and about to eat dinner, which by the smell of it promises to be perfect.

Following are pictures of the Limestone Plateau in the Cevennes National Park, where we had the priviledge sleep in one of the cliffs on a very rainy evening. The land is magic, completely and truly so.

More pictures and words to come soon. With love, Jenny

No comments:

Post a Comment