I’ll keep it short and sweet (or I’ll try) as we’re all quite tired!
Last night was lovely… all of the guest met at the lookout spot up the road for some wine and snacks. The group was quite convivial, and Liam was content to explore, throw rocks, and worm his way in to being the center of attention. By the time we headed back to the house to make dinner and get ready for bed, it was 10pm, and a fair amount of wine had been consumed! (not by Liam, he was strictly on juice!) He didn’t get to bed until well past 11, but he was happy to be eating his dinner on the terrace under the light of the full moon.
This morning we decided to have a ‘car day’, and get it over with, so to speak. It was good, although far too long in the car for Liam, who was pretty grumpy about it by dinnertime. Even watching a movie on the iPad only worked for a short time. He’s a bit homesick, and wants to go to OUR home. With his toys, his bedroom, and his books. And his sandbox.
Today we drove along the ‘Corniche de Cevennes’, which stretches from St Jean du Gard (near us) to Florac, and runs along the 52 km long crest of high wooded hills and has some wonderful views.
We took a ‘stretch your legs break’ in Florac, hoping that Liam would be tired enough afterwards to take a nice, long nap in the car. While meandering the little town we came across another local producer shop, which also had a gastronomie restaurant which served only artisan specialties from the region. Excellent!!! Just what we were looking for.
We ate lunch with much gusto, and it was absolutely fantastic, and such a great little find! Then we hopped back in the car and took the 2nd part of our days’ journey: The gorge du Tarn.
SPECTACULAR. A sharp contrast to the rolling mountains in the region of the Cevennes we’re staying in, the gorge du Tarn takes a much more dramatic turn! Steep rock faces all the way down to the water, the road carved into the cliffsides, beautifully restored medieval villages dotting the riverside, majestic chateaux in almost every village, and sharp bends and narrow passage ways all the way through. The area is a haven for canoeists and kayakers, and we were so taken with the whole area, that we’ll be back as soon as Liam is old enough to don a life jacket and hit the water with us!
Liam slept through much of it, and I doubt he would have really appreciated it anyway. Sorry we have so few photos from the area, but the roads are treacherously thin, and stopping to try to get a photo opp didn’t seem the best idea! You’ll just have to trust us when we say it was truly spectacular.
Once we left the gorge behind, we headed a bit further southwest to Millau, to see the famous Millau Viaduct: a cable bridge that spans to mountains, crossing the Tarn River. The bridge has the highest bridge tower pylons in the world (245 meters), and it’s the worlds highest cable-stayed bridge (for now, I believe Mexico has one to beat it, opening this year or next!)
Anyway, it’s an engineering marvel, and it’s stunning to look at. Unfortunately it was a clear day, as I would have loved to have seen it when the clouds nestled in the valley, under the span of the bridge, so it looks as though the bridge is floating!
By that time it was already late, and Liam had just woken up (just in time for the big bridge), so we did our best to find the most direct route home… which was still about another two and a half hours away.
So I think the next two days will have only very short car trips, and lots of fun in forests and rivers. And it will make a very special little dude very happy (before we take him home and make him really, really happy!!)
The Gites l'Elzet.... the view of our apartment, plus the little cottage in front, and the tower in behind.
This is our apartment: The balcony to the right is off the kitchen, the tall roofed area is the salon, and the lower roofed area to the left with the ivy covered walls is both bedroom. Great size!
View of the other side of the house, and the shared outdoor dining area that leads to the pool.
Our host, Jeaves, prepares a lovely apero evening at the lookout point up the road.
Father and son throwing rocks.
Liam finally bonds with one of the dogs, Fidele, a very gentle soul.
Liam charms the crowd.
A selection of locally made wonders at the Paysans market in Florac.
So many honeys! We bought a chestnut honey, and some honeycomb honey for toast!
The town of Florac.
A riverside village on the Gorge du Tarn
The gorge du Tarn
The Millau Viaduct
Liam was more impressed with the little Austen Healy in the parking lot under the bridge. So was daddy.
The Millau Viaduct
How I would have liked to have seen the Millau Viaduct!