Thursday, July 27, 2017


I was so lucky to be invited to France for a few days by my good friend Françoise, who had the use of a house in a tiny village called Bellegarde-du-Razès, in the Aude department, about 40 minutes from Carcassone, and 20 minutes from the town of Mirepoix in the Ariège towards the Pyrenees.

The weather was glorious - 3 days of pure sunshine (and a few thunder clouds in the evening - they always form over the Pyrenees), intense blue skies and 30 degrees. Perfect!

My main memory of the views is the gentle hills and valleys that stretch as far as the eye can see, with a mix of vineyards, wheat fields, forests, and sunflowers. Apparently, it was peak sunflower season, and it was so intense! A very different feel from the Corbières, which is more rugged and dry.

Not much to do in the village itself, but it's very pretty and I could spend a week sketching there and still not capture all the views. On my last day, we discoverd a hiking trail that goes through the whole Razès area. We only walked a very small section of it, but it was so peaceful. You can get the map at the post office, which is open every morning.

And if you want more to do, there are lots of beautiful towns and villages nearby, like the town of Mirepoix, with its market and cathedral (well worth a visit), and the castle of Montségur, which we didn't get to as I needed some pool time!

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