We drove up to St Cirq Lapoppie today which is a good two hours away - Paul has been dying for a swim in the river ever since we got here! The scenery is beautiful up there. The swimming spot is a really still section of the river and always quite warm but still cool enough to be refreshing on these hot days.
In the summer, the kids dive off the bridge into the river but I don't think it's deep enough at the moment, Paul could stand up right in the middle.
The main village at the top of the (very steep) hill is one of my favourite places in France. It's like a Hansel and Gretel gingerbread town with its lovely little turreted buildings and crumbly plaster, all decorated with rosy coloured geraniums and grape vines.
The streets are lined with quaint little craft shops and teeny little bars. Each building is slightly different and has it's own distinguishing quality.
The view back on the road is stunning, especially during the golden hour where the glint of the sun on the buildings makes it look like you could just break off a little corner and have a nibble.
We had a quiet one yesterday, after a big lunch at "Petit Robinson" we went back to the house for a long walk into Moissac with the dog. We walked along the canal and you could practically see the autumnal leaves changing colours in front of your eyes. Rich oranges, yellows and some almost pink. I've never seen autumn here before but it is lovely.
When we got into town, we were stopped by a parade of hundreds of soldiers walking through the streets fully armed and singing the French national anthem.
I think it must have been something to do with the second world war. Today marks the first day of the war so perhaps their procession yesterday commemorates the last day of peace before the war. I'm not sure.
A lot of people were very brutally killed in this area by the invasion of German armies. One village we drove through yesterday had all the men hung from the balcony of their mayors house. Another town still bears the bullet holes on the outside of one of its buildings where all of its men were lined up and shot dead. There are memorials on most of the country roads in this region.
Once we got past the troops, we enjoyed having a nosy at all the boats, especially the Moet Chandon boat! Very posh!
We had a little walk around town and up to the cathedral but the long trek had almost killed the dog so we didn't stay long!
Can we go home now???