I could be a morning person in France.

Upon further thought, it may be possible that the morning hours present any place at the height of their own beauty.

Beynac-et-Cazenac. This medieval mountain-top village is where we stayed in a cottage with Uncle Barry and Aunt Brittany, settled not 20 feet from the outer wall of the Beynac Castle, for our provincial stay. In fact, our abode was once the home of the castle grounds keeper.

I woke up early in the morning. I went for a walk.


Clouds were settled on the fields below. The cobblestone path, lined with stone maisonettes, switched back and forth down the side of the mountain.

The path down the mountain smelled of lavender, reminding me of my beloved Africa. It occurred to me that many of our present memories are made more beautiful by pleasant memories from the past.

Down the cobblestone path, to the boulangerie for five pain au chocolat, with a loaf of rustique sourdough. Then to the butcher for a sausage. And finally, fromage from the petite marche.

Then back up the hill for an anticipated breakfast al fresco.

Only I could have gotten lost on the way to the top of a mountain. And when it was clear that my path was no longer going up up up, it became a game of charades with a older, French speaking gentleman, caring for his small garden along side the road.

I played well.

Back on track.

Eating pain au chocolat while walking straight up the side of a small mountain is very difficult. The flakey pastry would rain out of my mouth each time I huffed and puffed.

But up I went. And at the top I arrived for breakfast.

We later took two canoes down the Dordogne River.


We visited the Beynac Castle.


I took E up into the inner gate of the quiet castle. We found a spot overlooking miles of provincial France. My intent was to think and write – a journaling experience. E‘s intent was to have good talk with her mom, sing a song or two, voice her concerns about the weather, the snails, the consistency of the grass, etc. I can’t say which one of us ‘won’. It wasn’t a battle of wills. She chatted at bit, and I thought. She thought a bit, and I took pictures. We both journaled most of the time. I brought a sweater. She didn’t. So I sat atop the stone wall shivering while she cuddled under my sweater.


E penned:

The castle seemed to grow with pride, and the rocks lying down seemed to cry to the wind
The wind whipped my hair and brushed it on my face
Shimmering swords gleam and shine while showing off their lovely lines
More wind comes by with a melody flying high.
Coins glitter, bells chime, and busy people flash by.
If you ever go to France, try going to Beynac, and look at all the sites.

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  1. Amelia
    September 21, 2015

    I enjoy your writing! I have never realized how true it is that “many of our present memories are made more beautiful by pleasant memories from the past.” Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure and for giving me something new to think about!

  2. onecharmingirl
    September 23, 2015

    That all sounds so dreamy, especially the part about the pain au chocolat!! I wish I was there right now. Ahhhh, the French countryside… C’est magnifique.

  3. erica
    September 25, 2015

    ahh, Rach! you’re travels make me want to explore and have more adventures. and France sounds like a lovely place to do both. and i agree with Mills; i think you’re on to something with the present memories being more beautiful because of our past ones. i’ve never consciously thought that, but it is so true!

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