An Afternoon in Saint-Guilhem Le Désert

After months of laying low during the cold winter months, it seems that we are now running at full speed.  I think that it has something to do with the warming temperatures and the imminent departure of our San Francisco friends, the Doziers.  We are trying to get everything in before they leave.  (I think they’ll be happy to leave Montpellier so that they can finally get a bit of rest…) 😉

One of our first weeks here, our banker recommended that we visit a small village called Saint-Guilhem Le Désert.  Well, it took 6 months (by the way, May 1st was our 6 month anniversary here – time flies!!!), but we made it.  We initially were planning on making it a small affair, but different ones in our congregation came up to us and they all wanted to take us there!  So it turned into a big afternoon with many in our congregation going.  The more the merrier, right?

Just a little info on Saint-Guilhem Le Désert:  In the early 800’s C.E., a Duke by the name of Guilhem established this village.  The village’s beautiful location, as well as its well-preserved state, has it listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.  In fact, the abbey (built in the 11th century) is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  We were super excited to explore this beautiful town.  Before exploring, however, our friends recommended doing a little hike behind the town up into the hills.  So our village walk turned into a bit of a hike.  No problem, right?  However, the trail sort of disappeared, and we soon found ourselves bouldering up some large rocks and castle ruins.  Not the walk we were expecting, but the beautiful views and fun times with friends make up for it!

Happy hiking selfie before we realized how far we would have to hike...

Happy hiking selfie before we realized how far we would have to hike… (Photo courtesy of Sono, photobomb courtesy of Ben)

Castle ruins along the hiking trail

Castle ruins along the hiking trail

Les filles

Les filles

Looking at the town of Saint-Guilhem Le Désert from above

Looking at the town of Saint-Guilhem Le Désert from above

Valley Views

Valley Views

Finally, we made it to the top!  However, very strong winds made being up there quite interesting…

Windblown attempt at a selfie...

Windblown attempt at a selfie…

View from the very top!

View from the very top!

Resting among the ruins

Resting among the ruins

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Sono the Conqueror!

Sono the Conqueror!

We actually still got cell phone reception up here...

We actually still got cell phone reception up here…

Sono and Estelle

Sono and Estelle

Ben's reaction when he found out that we'd have to go back down the long way...

Ben’s reaction when he found out that we’d have to go back down the long way…

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

After our hiking/rock climbing adventure, we were able to do a little stroll through the town of Saint-Guilhem Le Désert…

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Roses were blooming everywhere.  Gotta love spring!

Roses were blooming everywhere. Gotta love spring!

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Part of the old abbey on the left (built in the 11th century)

Part of the old abbey on the left (built in the 11th century)

Friendly cat along the way...

Friendly cat along the way…

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An inviting shop full of stuffed animals and teddy  bears...

An inviting shop full of stuffed animals and teddy bears…

Translation (I think):  "Bench Strictly Reserved *For Those Who Wish to Sit Down"

Translation (I think): “Bench Strictly Reserved *For Those Who Wish to Sit Down”

Town Hall

Town Hall

Sono & Astrid

Sono & Astrid

Crossing a tiny in-town river...

Crossing a tiny in-town river…

What a lovely afternoon with our congregation!

P.S.  I can’t help showing off my latest macaron creation, made for a gathering that we had today celebrating the one year anniversary of the Montpellier East English Congregation…

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons (Filling with Kiri [the French version of cream cheese], Speculoos spread [aka Cookie Butter], and strawberry jam)

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons (Filling with Kiri [the French version of cream cheese], Speculoos spread [aka Cookie Butter], and strawberry jam)

 Until next time…

3 responses to “An Afternoon in Saint-Guilhem Le Désert

  1. Pingback: Gerberoy – One of the Most Beautiful Villages of France | Je Parle Franglais·

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