Late fall in the Languedoc Region, Southern France presented me with some of the most beautful scenes and vistas of a countryside getting ready for winter – leaves turning, crops harvested, acres of grape vines sleeping, canals dotted with empty houseboats, Pyrenees Mountains with snow capped peaks – absolutely gorgeous.
I arrived in Narbonne via the train and walked to “Will’s Hotel” – like the name, no frills. Explored Narbonne which is close to the Mediterranean and has a relaxed atmosphere about it — maybe because it is close to the sea, or so many stately mansions, or canal running through the town with houseboats on it, cobblestone streets or the innumerable cafes.. but something is in the air here that just makes you want to sit and watch the world go by.
Traveled on to Chateau Ventenac, a 20 minute drive from Narbonne, where I attended a 5 day writing workshop given by a British writer, Patrick Gale. The Chateau belonged to a Jewish family who escaped France just prior to German occupation and gave the Chateau to the village. It was subsequently divided into 3 “homes” and another major portion of it became a winery. A British woman, bought the middle section of the Chateau in 2007, which had been uninhabited for 50 years, renovated it, and it is currently used as venue for various workshops and holiday rental.
The workshop participants were 5 Brits, a couple from New Zealand and me! We read, wrote, visited a nearby castle, walked the canal path, and ate & ate & ate. The view from my window was the Pyrenees Mountains far far away, fields harvested and dormant, villagers taking their daily walks, ducks and a resident black swan swimming below, and misty mornings.
……………………………………………………………….Resident black swan
Gorgeous country… pictures definitely wrap this week up… I’m outta here and on my way to the Avignon area …. take good care, me