Thursday, September 11, 2014

Picnic among the Ruins

Today's hike was not for the faint at heart. We are all very grateful we have not had rain the last couple of days, I am not sure how we would have navigated some sections.
The path took us down very steep narrow trails on the side of a mountain but up in the mountains we came across an ancient 11th century Roman church that had fallen to ruins after being abandoned 200 years ago. The very devoted Christians from Beaumes de Venice climb up the mountain each day and are restoring the church by hand. They have been restoring it for three years so far. When they found the church it was overgrown with trees and shrubs so it took many days just to bring it out in the open. Since there is no road to the church all the fallen stones have been kept and categorized for reusing.
After descending further down the mountain we broke out our lunch since we didn't want a repeat of the day before ( we were being prepared!) 
After reaching the town of Beaumes de Venice it was time again for a very light lunch. All of the towns we are encountering are very old but since it is grape harvesting time, they are very busy with tractors driving through with wagons full of grapes. Tonight we are at Hotel Les Geraniums in Le Barroux which is up in the hills with beautiful views. 
We have collectively observed some very different things about French people like many bring their dogs in the restuarant, there are no to go bags after eating, no cell phones while eating, no take out, you are never rushed to pay the bill, restaurants close from 2-7 pm, smoking is allowed, bread is always brought to the table and croissants are a staple for breakfast. 

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