Notes from Abroad: Provence pt. 1 { Hiking Sainte-Baume }

By far one of the most exciting experiences we've had abroad this year was our trip through southern France. As a family we decided to take a vacation together to Provence, a region of the country that is known for its natural beauty, exquisite light and peaceful way of life. Typically a dry and sunny area of the country, our arrival into the region was met with relentless rain, which is unusual for Provence even in winter.

When we awoke in the morning the rain had cleared, so we decided it would be a good idea to go for a hike and enjoy the landscape while we had the chance. Aix-en-Provence was our nearest point of reference, however we were staying outside of the city in a much more rural area. The trail we wanted to explore was a short drive away, however our journey almost immediately became delayed when our car was swallowed up by an unexpected herd of sheep. As we navigated our way through the herd and to the foot of our trail we quickly got out of the car and began hoofing it up the mountain. About halfway up Sainte-Baume's mountainside we stopped for quick respite to hydrate ourselves at a natural spring. The water was clean and crisp and replenished our energy for the last leg of the hike. Our final destination was a monastery located near the summit of the cliff. We passed several signs that asked for silence as we entered the monastic grounds, which only added to the tranquil atmosphere you felt as soon as you walked in the front doors. We couldn't believe our eyes as we scoured the hidden monastery that sat so peacefully on the side of a cliff. We kept quiet and enjoyed the serenity and beauty of such a place, while occasionally exchanging glances affirming the grandeur of our simple hike.

A Bientôt,
Erik & Kelsey

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