France - my small slice of heaven!
School holidays for me is always a chance to recharge my batteries. I work full out during term time, in school, at home, my photography and sometimes I just need to stop.
The minute term finishes the car is loaded and we begin the journey down to the Vendee. My preferred route is Portsmouth to St-Malo but it is not always possible because of the timings of the crossings. I like to travel overnight. The crossing is long and we break the 3 - 4 hours of travelling with a long crossing. The beds are comfy and the cabins are perfectly adequate #brittanyferries. Our lurcher, Badger comes with us. He's always happy in the car but for the St Malo he has to suffer the kennel. I say suffer, there is nothing particularly bad about it but he hates it. He howls and whines as we walk away.
The next morning we are up and off to the chalet. Our little bit of French heaven. It's small, two bedrooms with a lounge and kitchenette in the middle. It is cold in winter with electric heaters to keep us warm but we love it.
There are a number of places we always visit whilst we are in Mache. Apremont is a firm favourite
It has a beautiful chateau and enchanting streets and sometimes, if we time it just right the wisteria is hanging in beautiful waves along the Main Street.
Another place we like to visit is Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. It is a quaint little seaside town and usually has a carousel by the Vie.
Then we were on the search for pastures new. This involved a road trip to Vouvant, Mervent (couldn't find what we were looking for) and Fontenay-Le-Comte. Vouvant was truly stunning - by far the prettiest French village I have ever been to. It had a large monastery that was as large as it was modern and beautiful gardens overlooking the river.
The children were correct - I almost peed in excitement.
Following on from Vouvant we went to Mervent. Now, in Mervent I was looking for the enormous bridge that spanned the valley. I couldn't find it - how I couldn't find it I do not know!!! This was the best I could do!
And whilst this was the view - I also spotted this lovely lady who seemed to be part of a #landscapepainting party doing her best to copy the view.
Having absolutely adored Vouvant and being disappointed in not finding the bridge in Mervent we decided to head to Fontenay-le-comte. If I'm brutally honest it was not at all what I expected it to be. With Vouvant a photographic image was on every corner but with Fontenay it had to be searched for.
Whilst I found some images I was pleased with, I think, without a drone I wouldn't rush back. I would love to photograph Vouvant in all its seasons though!
My favourite image of the day
So what remains for the rest of the holiday? Well, my good friend Kathy recommended another village, it is Italian in its nature but in the Vendee.
Other than that I intend to read some books, catch up with family (my fantastic Inlaws have arrived and I'm fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with them), take the dog for a run around at the beach and maybe even a meal out.
How are you spending your Easter?