Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Week's Adventures - August 30, 2008

The last 2 weeks, we’ve done a lot of kid-friendly day trips, hoping to see as much as we can before school starts on Sept. 2. I’ll post the zoo, seaquarium, and dinosaur park pix later (they are on Josey’s camera).

This week, the highlights were La Cirque de Moureze, La Gorge d’Heric, and the Cassan Abbey.

La Cirque de Moureze

Moureze is a tiny village, and it is also the starting point for beautiful hikes through amazing rock formations. We went for the 1-hour “yellow” hike. Considering the heat, an hour was perfect. The pictures don’t convey how awesome this area is (2-dimensional pix vs. 2-dimensional views in real life), but you can get an idea.

We had lunch at Chez Maxime before the hike – perfect name!

The church in Moureze is magnificent.

And the view of Moureze from the trail is a perfect example of a quaint, ancient French village.

On the way home we did some exploring and saw some ruins on hills in the middle of nowhere. It’s fascinating to think: Why did they build that here? What did it used to be? Who lived there?

La Gorges d’Heric

As the name suggests, this is a gigantic gorge through the French mountains about 1.5 hours away from Bouzigues. We hiked around a bit – all to find L’Orb river. We found a gorgeous small swimming hole in what will become a raging waterfall this winter. The water was perfect: cold yet swimmable. The kids had fun searching for mica (very, very shiny rocks that look like gold) and evading the snake that we found in the water. When we leave France, we are going to have an extensive rock & fossil collection.

Sorry - no pix. I didn't want to carry the camera down the hiking trail.

Chateau Abbaye de Cassan

On the way home from La Gorges d’Heric, we happened upon an amazing castle/abbey. It was built in 1080, and throughout history it has served many purposes. Most interesting, it was a hospice/hospital. We had fun wandering through the visitor’s areas, especially since they had a scavenger hunt for kids. That made it more interesting for them.

Check out the website for lots more great pictures. Mine don't do it justice.

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