Friday, August 24, 2018

Stepping Into History

Sometimes living in this southwestern corner of France makes me believe I'm in a Tamora Pierce young adult fantasy novel, the ones I used to read to the kids, where the characters fought as knights and used magic to battle evil. The landscape here just invites that kind of imagining.
Last month we visited one of the castle remains that stand on mountains within an hour's drive of our  new home.  Chateau de Peyrepertuse is called a Cathar castle and was built in the 11th century, yeah, that's a thousand years ago. The Cathar people were Catholics who rejected the authority of the Roman leadership. They were "put down" by the Catholic church in a series of awful slaughters.
But the Chateau de Peyrepertuse was never attacked by the soldiers of the Catholic church, and you can probably see why.

The castle was built on a sheer drop.

From the top of the castle, the next Cathar castle is visible, and from the next one, another one, all the way down to the Mediterranean. That was so the castles could signal each other if invaders were coming. 
But on the day we went to visit, we were simply blown away by the remains and the bold blueness of the sky. 

It was a bit of a climb up to the castle, but, as always when walking on such amazing historic places, the hike was worth it. 
So much of the castle remains, although you couldn't move in right away and just paint.

One part of the castle looked down on the other. What a view, huh?
I tried to take some artsy shots, but mostly just admired the beauty and  felt amazement at how lucky I am to be living this life. 
A window seat, circa 1050 AD or so
 We also got to see a raptor show at the castle.
I don't think I've ever seen a bald eagle this close. I wonder if they would use them in bird shows in the U.S.
This was phenomenal as the handlers told stories and sent the birds through their paces.

Earl and I still don't have a car, so we were fortunate to tag along with our friends Theresa and Jim to see this castle. I guess it's time for us to buy a car so we can travel farther afield. 


Mystica said...

It is beautiful to be able to live the life you like to have. Very few do.

sillygirl said...

I'm so glad you blog and do it so well - love going along on your journey. Just imagine living back in the time when those places were inhabited!

Paulita said...

Mystica, Yes, I think we are very lucky, but some effort was required too. Many people dream of living the life they want, but it takes a lot of gumption to jump off that cliff and see if you can fly.
Sillygirl, Ah, thanks for the compliment. I know I'm bad about blogging these days and there are so many things I could write about. Things for coming along for the journey.

Noreen said...

What an experience to stand in a place (a castle!) that was built so long ago! But you have that experience every day in France, don't you?

Just Me said...

Unbelievably beautiful .

Paulita said...

Noreen, Well, not every day, but I suppose I could if I searched it out.
Just Me, Yes, a really striking place and the day was gorgeous.

Sightings in the Wild

One of my friends from Ohio delights me with her messages. When she sees my boys out on the street or at a soccer game, she'll take a p...