My friend Jules and I set off to explore a castle, Château de Quéribus, about an hour from home. The website said it was open, but when we got there, a man in a black leather jacket with an unleashed dog stood reading the sign, obviously disappointed. “C’est fermé,” he said. It’s closed.
|The view from below, outside the closed gates|
We watched other people pull up and leave, equally crestfallen. We walked to an overlook and spent a few minutes. Then I heard a sound of women talking, echoing off the rock of the mountain and spotted two young women trodding along the path high above us. “Look, Jules. They’re in.”
We walked down to the closed gate again. A path led under some wooden barriers around the gate. We climbed under and found ourselves climbing up the steep path.
|We considered ourselves fortunate to get this far|
I expected to come up against a barrier at each bend, but we reached the overlook and sighed, enjoying the view.
|The view from the castle|
Then I climbed the wooden stairs, expecting the doors of the castle to be closed. Nope. Open.
We explored all of it from the cathedral
|The soaring ceilings in the cathedral|
to the dungeon, where I cracked my head as we were climbing the stairs, but no blood.
|The dungeon at least had windows, but my phone added light to the stairs as I took this picture|
What a glorious day to look over the countryside.
|Can you spot me in the window?|
And if the day had ended there with some surreptitious castle viewing and beautiful weather, it might have been enough
|Out the castle window|
but we headed to the Mediterranean, of course. In the past week, I've taken more trips to the coast than I did all of last year. I've yet to regret it.
We went to Canet-en-Roussillon beach. A wander along the sidewalk led us to a pizza shop that was open. We ordered a pizza and crossed the street to set up our beach towels next to a wall that would block the wind (of course there was wind).
We ate pizza with ham and black olives and then just soaked up the delightful sun for a bit, until antsy-ness got the best of us and we packed up our belongings.
The expanse of sand before the sea was huge. It took forever just to walk out to the water, which is still cold, by the way.
|The frothy waves|
In these times of a pandemic, we never know when we might be locked down again. But here in France, we know because the President gave a speech this evening and said starting Saturday will be a four-week confinement. We especially don't regret an outing knowing that we'll be unable to travel more than 10 kilometers from home in the coming month.
And the day ended perfectly when Earl texted me and alerted me that our doctor had a vaccine for him today, and she might be able to eek out enough for me as well.
Jules and I met him at the doctor's office on the way home and she was able to give both Earl and me our vaccines. What a relief to be partially protected, about 85% she said after a few weeks. Jules gets hers next week.
So we're ready for the next lock down after some lovely explorations and adventures.