Monday 22 October 2012

A Perfect Walk

A few weeks ago I wrote about my small and roguish nephew and his newfound love of custard.  But before we shared the bowl of creme anglaise we went for one of the nicest walks imaginable.  Well, two of us walked, one small and curly-headed nephew rode in a rucksack, equipped with rear-view mirror.

We started in the car park of the Relais de Saint Ser (the place what made the custard and many other delicious things) where Ro had the foresight to book a table for lunch.  The restaurant is at the foot of Mont Sainte Victoire, the mountain overlooking Aix-en-Provence, painted by Cezanne and Picasso, among others.

The proprietor of the restaurant recommended a path that would take us up to the chapel of Saint Ser  where mass is still said on Sundays.  It's about 30 minutes up - adjust depending on the size of your party's legs.

We passed through proper Provencal maquis: the scrub growth that gave its name (first) to the French resistance and (second) to my favourite Diptyque candle which smells, gloriously, of herbs and flowers and sunshine.

The path is quite steep but has wonderful views.

The small and blond nephew found a stick somewhere, the better with which to 'encourage' his steed.  All in an adorable way, of course.

Arrived at the chapel, I rang the bell and we passed inside for a few meditative moments: the interior is distinctly medieval, not to say spartan.  Someday I'd like to come back for a service (and meet the priest who has to make the hike, week in and week out.)

 Outside, the small and determined nephew lifted up his voice (I think he just likes the sound of it) - and perhaps he has some primeval powers because just at that moment the thunderstorm began ...

We jogged down the mountain and reached the restaurant just as the rain started to come in earnest.  

A perfect walk.

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