Monday, July 20, 2009

Les Grandes Causses !

In south central France lies a region of high plains, known as "Causses", cut by deep canyons or gorges, which are perhaps some of the most sparsely populated areas in the entire country. The area is a large park, "Le Parc Naturel des Grandes Causses". In my (very humble) opinion, this area is one of the most beautiful in all of France, which is saying alot, as there are numerous lovely areas in France. A relatively recent highway now makes access easier, there is even an airport for small planes to fly into, which is also a glider launching site. The airport sign was a little rusty, but that gives a little idea of the mood of the region. . . If you'd like to get another vision of the fabulous landscapes there, please take a look at the photos from the Causses that Arnaud at Random Shots posted yesterday, when he noticed that the abandoned Peugeot panel truck a couple of posts down here is also from the Causses. His shots in color are some of the loveliest I've seen, and while you're there, do take a look around at his photography from India. . . it is well worth a visit !
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The high plains of the Causses are dotted with stone ruins like this one, where man may have been present long ago, trying to eke out a living off the sparse and rocky land there, but no longer is . . .
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I'm dreaming of going back down there and hiking across these vast spaces, I suspect my dream house may be hiding in a hollow there somewhere. . . Anyone want to come along ?
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20 comments:

Alberto Oliver said...

Trying to eke out a live all we are. . . Go on Owen, your dream house, or your dream of any kind may be somewhere there around. We all will be glad of being witness of such a magnificent discovery!!!

@eloh said...

Hey, that looks a lot like my house...see me peeking out the window? Come on in next time Owen, I'll make tea.

clo said...

hello Owen..
comme j'aime ces belles vieilles pierres...
petit cabanon pour le weekend..
petit quand meme..:)
bises Owen...
have a good time..:)

jeff said...

Ahlala Owen ! Tu as rien trouvé de mieux pour passer quelques jours sur les causses avec "ton camion à planches" ambulant ? T'as vu l'état de la piaule ? Et tu payes combien de location pour un taudis pareil ?... Tu y vas peut-être pour garder les moutons alors !...

J'en ai fais des kilomètres sur les causses et en particulier sur celui du Larzac avec mon VTT ! J'ai jamais vu un machin en pierres dans cet état là ! Sûr que tu peux y faire des grillades à l'intérieur ! La fumée sort direct par le toit entre la caillasse ! ! !
Mais j'avais pas vu en plus ! Non, sans déconner, t'es trop quand même ! Tu vas là-bas pour continuer à bosser ! ! ! J'y crois pas ! T'es un mazo ! Aérodrome de Florac ! Ils ont toujours un aérodrome... dans ce patelin ? C'est pas un plaisantin qui t'as rajouté le panneau pour que tu y tombes justement... dans le panneau ! En plus, on fait des heures sup' Owen ! Du zèle ! Loin de la capitale pour montrer aux ploucs du coin qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un vrai boss de l'aérien !

Bref, tes photos me donne une vague nostalgie mais un pur plaisir de voir ces paysages si caractéristiques et si chers des causses... chez moi on dit des plateaux mais bon !... On dit "causse" !

Bon, c'est pas tout, faut que j'aille à la recherche du bout de papier d'hier que le vent à emporté !

Byebye Owen ! Tu pars pas encore ?... Alors, à bientôt ! Ciao amigo !...8:}

joo said...

Hello Owen, your photos made me feel like going somewhere! To the south of France for instance - it looks like the perfect place for hiking:) Well, I've never been there - I visited Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy but never the south. Seems it's high time I went.
Thnks for showing.
Have a nice week!
joo

The Sagittarian said...

That looks like a wonderful place for a wander about! Are we going in that clapped out ol' bus in your last post?

louciao said...

Ah, a lovely romantic little get-away. Super!

louciao said...

If we're all going in the "clapped out ol' bus" then Saj can mix the drinks!

Janie said...

That old dwelling makes me wonder who lived there, when, and how.
I'd love to go exploring across that vast territory.

robert said...

G.Flaubert knew that ruins provide poetry to a landscape and make one dream. Owen took the photography to make it seen.

Margaret Pangert said...

Do you think there was a Celtic civilization there that eventually moved to Brittany? That type of stone edifice is seen all over Ireland, but the keystone is usually slanted at a 45 degree angle to take the weight off dead center. Strange they didn't pick the higher hill to build on... Interesting find, Owen.

Owen said...

Alberto Oliver... thank you for these words of encouragement... I will keep looking, and sharing bits and pieces of the travel diary as it unfolds... cheers !

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@eloh, a cuppa tea sounds grand ! I'll bring in an armful of wood to keep the fire going...

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Salut Clo, c'est petit certes, mais très cozy... pour un weekend en tout cas... pas plus... Mais bon, peut-être on pourrait l'agrandir un peu ? Ce n'est pas les pierres qui manquent dans le coin ! :-D

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Hi Jeff ! Oh là, du VTT sur les Causses, causons sérieusement des Causses donc... bonne idée, une balade en velo là-dedans. Avec des petites cabanes en pierre pour faire haltes... quel magnifique pays quand même... j'ai d'autres photos qui vont venir, il y avait une multitude de vieilles ruines de maisons là dedans... tout ce que j'adore... non, je ne pars pas encore, bientôt... a+ pxpte

PS content si tu as aimé cet enseigne du metier aérien... et oui, je ne pouvais pas loupé celui là...
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Joo, definitely high time to visit the south then ! There are too many wonderful places in France, I can't even begin to name them all... where did you go in Brittany ??? That's where I'm going in August... :-D

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Saj, definitely, the bus is needed, as there is way too much goat poo in the stone shack... :-)

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Lynne, this little place has five stars in the famous but little known Michelin Guide of Weekend Getaway Dream Houses in France ! Just click on Dream Houses in the index in sidebar to see some of the others! There are some real beauties in the Guide... :-D

PS And for sure, Saj can mix the drinks, Steve can read some poems for us, I'll whip up some omelets, Rain can get the bonfire going outside, the Watercats can play guitars, Loulou and Arnaud can do the photos of it all, Lille can pass the drinks around, Jeff can tell us all stories, and my goodness, a whole crowd of people can turn up to clap hands, stomp their feet and we'll have a rip-roaring good time !

Owen said...

Hey Janie, well after Utah, this may seem a little tame, but beautiful nevertheless. No mountain lions though... good horse riding country !

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Bonjour Robert... some places are just begging to be seen by the whole world... a fine week to you and the little one...

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Hi Margaret, you ask some darn good questions... I don't know if Celtic people were down this way, but I wouldn't rule it out. Would love to go to Ireland one of these days...

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Jo said...

I am just now playing "catch up" on my blogging, and once again you have the most fabulous photographs on your blog. How do you do it!?

That little stone house looks very sturdy, and it seems to have withstood centuries of weather. Have you been inside it? Those little houses are fascinating!

Steve said...

Wow. All that space...! Even if the dream house proves not to be there I'd still like to wander... the air looks very free.

J said...

This post reminded me of the setting for Pierre Magnon's novels, which I adore, although I do feel his description of delicious French food stuffs is always slightly mean to those of us not domiciled in France.

Tom Bejgrowicz said...

One of my favorite places on earth is the desert, and Joshua Tree in particular, and I just know I'd be in love with the Causses. I think I'm going to add it to my next European itinerary… which is sadly far too far off to even start thinking about!

Until then, I will live vicariously through your trips.

Lyn said...

There is definitely a sense of primitive mystery about the place..I don't know how you could resist hiking there..I'll dream on!

Owen said...

Hi Lyn, thanks for dropping in here... that feeling of ancient mystery is exactly what I loved about this place... hope to go back soon...

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Tom, an excellent item to add to an itinerary for Europe, this region doesn't exactly get huge amounts of publicity, but for me it is one of France's under-rated treasures...

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Hi J, I'm afraid I haven't read any of Pierre Magnon's work, will have to track some down... but yes, many writers about France seem to take great sadistic pleasure in describing the food here for people who are far away...
:-D
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Steve, this is a great area to get in shape in, we'll give you a backpack full of heavy rocks, and then trot you around all day for a few weeks...

And yes, free air, that's what's nice about these places, the air, the scenery, the rocks, all can be enjoyed for free, you just have to get there...

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Hi Jo, always a pleasure ! Thanks so much ! I did take a look inside, but not much to see, just a bare dirt floor with goat droppings... but the mood around such places is unreal. Am hoping you may have seen my responses in below posts to your mobile home piece...

Rosie said...

Wait for me. This landscape is magic, full of duendes.