Friday, November 12, 2010

The Curiosity of Lauriole (aka "A Day in the Hérault")

So, this past weekend, my cousin took our friend Nolwenn (who's visiting from Corsica) and me on a "mysterious adventure" and refused to tell us where we were going aside from the fact that it was going to require a 2.5 hour road trip over into the Hérault department.

On the way there, we ended up on some tiny backroads (Thanks, TomTom!) that seemed pretty treacherous for Michel's car (which is enormous by French standards), but provided some fun photo-taking opportunities:

I LOVE FALL! While I miss seeing all the beautiful changes at home, it is pretty interesting to see the changes here in France too (exhibit A: vineyards)

Nolwenn :)

Another view from the car.

I guess this is where we're going? Almost there?

Me by the hill.

See, it's a hill. At least a little one, right?Eyes don't lie.

Yep. That's right. He took us to a hill. In the middle of nowhere. We were very confused... until he explained that this "Curiosity" was that things roll UP the hill all on their own. He demonstrated this phenomenon with both the car (we didn't believe him) and then a bottle of water. Why I didn't get this on video, I do not know, but apparently it's an actual phenomenon called "Magnetic Hill" where the an optical illusion makes it look like it's an uphill slope (see the above photo... that looks uphill, right?) but really it's not. Interesting, no?

Instead, we picnicked. This seemed like a good idea until we realized it was cold and windy:

That's Michel on the left. He loathes being in photos, but I'm sneaky sneaky and managed to snap this one before he blocked himself out. tee hee.

On the way home, we took a detour to visit Minèrve, a town with Cathar ancestry that is officially among "The Most Beautiful Cities of France." From the photo below, I'm sure you can see why. It kind of reminds me of the town of Gordes over here in Provence what with it also being built entirely on a hill.

Can you find me?

After stopping in a quaint café for a cuppa to warm up our insides (and our hands), we called it a day and road tripped it all the way home. All in all, quite a successful day trip, if I do say so myself. Oh France, how diverse you are!

Next up on France updates, I finally caved and threw in the towel with "my" beloved iPhone. Sadly, my petit assistant's salary isn't high enough to pay the bills on that sucker, so no more fun Facebooking at the bus stop for me! Instead, Matthieu at The Phone House set me up with a little text/call only phone from Orange. Much more affordable. AND I got out of my second accidental renter's insurance. That said, almost all of my administrative woes are clearing up! All that really remains is to see why they won't give me a checkbook and if all my paperwork for the CAF (housing aid) goes through! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YEAH-I love the hill story. The photo journalism is going well for you.
Thank you for keeping us up to date.
France is so beautiful- I so enjoy the old stone work.
Talk to you soon Love you Mom