Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grotte de Clamouse and Abbaye Saint Gulihem Le Desert

Today was the second trip included in the Writers Retreat organised and run by Margaret Jennings. We had an amazing drive into the mountains to visit some local caves and the beautiful village of St Guilhem Le Desert.

Grotte de Clamouse

Beautiful caves, magnificent views. The caves are very well maintained and organized for sightseeing. They are accessible only with a guided tour. The tour provided a lot of interesting facts about formation of the caves, life above the ground and underground, and stories of how grottoes were discovered and explored. It is quite dynamic, starts with a movie (in French with English subtitles), and included magnificent light-and-music show in one of the grottos and finishes with a legend about the name of the caves. 
There is a big open-air terrace overlooking the river to pass the time waiting. There is a cafe stocked with snacks, coffee, ice-creams and sweets to help time go faster.

There are quite a number of stairs to climb during the tour - if you are coming with small kids it might be a concern, surely not suitable for strollers, bring along your carrier.

Don't forget to tip the guide at the end of the tour - for me it was a new thing, but apparently it is common thing in France. 

Abbaye Saint Gulihem Le Desert

A truly beautiful medieval village which is very attractive, and full of character.
We walked though small alleys with charming houses and shops to a village square where we ate crepes in one of the quintessential french eateries. The rain gave the stone a soft golden hue, and made everything so nice a green. 

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