Château Aumelas

In the post from last week about the Pailhasses of Cournonterral, I talked about the rival village of Aumelas, represented by the “Blancs” in the festival.
We hiked out to the ruins of the castle and chapel of Aumelas today; it was originally built in the 11th century although it was added to and expanded and restored over the following centuries. It’s perched high over the modern day village of Aumelas; only a few hundred people still live there, nestled amid the vineyards. The soil below is deep red from iron deposits, and that same green oak covers the hillsides, with blooming thyme and wild asparagus nestled in the low scrub.
It’s one of my favorite hikes, since I always find something magic there; today in the chapel I found a Brighid’s cross on the little pile of stones that is the altar, left over from Imbolc, blackened ashes in a fire ring below.
Last year my eleven year old sister-in-law found an ancient heavy silver ring with a black sapphire and a fleur-de-lys (the symbol of the French royalty) buried in the stones of the chapel! There are lots of tunnels and overgrown ruins honeycombing the hillside and the last time we were there, I found a family of quietly murmuring bats asleep in one of the chambers.
Having blissful days of tenderness and love with my beautiful husband over the last week; today, hiking to the castle and then making soup with crunchy tofu and vermicelli after a sweet sleepy Sunday morning, fresh croissants brought to me in bed…we keep falling in love over and over again.
We fell asleep on the couch last night under our Mexican blankets, and slept til the early morning blue light slanted through the half-shuttered windows. I had dreams of marionettes and secret rooms full of strange antique boxes…snuggled tightly on the narrow couch, and the red light of our lamp made me think of being back in my crew cabin just above the waterline when we worked on the ship.
It’s incredible to love someone this much, to fall asleep with his hand in my belly feeling our baby kicking and dancing about, to keep getting my breath taken away by the way he smiles in his sleep. I’m feeling incredibly lucky and blessed today.

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3 thoughts on “Château Aumelas

  1. Some great pictures! We got to see a lot of ruins of churches in England and Scotland in our land travels. Kinda looks like you are using a sepia filter, or do they really look that color?

    • I use different filters, depending on the image…sometimes to boost the background, sometimes to make the image look more like a painting or more dreamlike. 🙂

  2. Lovely photos, but even more beautiful are the images from your writing. So very happy for you Laurie!

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