Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Walk in the Park

Lucie and I are suffering from cabin fever! It's been a very rainy, grey winter. So last Monday when I awoke to clear blue skies, I decided we needed to get out and explore a bit. I drove down to Loc Dieu keeping my fingers crossed that the Park would be open at the Abbey. The website says it's open year 'round, but the last time I tried to walk there, the gates were locked. Luck was with us this time! I paid the €2 entry fee, and the young woman who lives there showed me the map...
The Park that surrounds the Abbey consists of 50 hectares of the 100 hectare property. It was created by Jean Darcel, a roads and bridges engineer from Paris. He created such Parisian parks as Parc Montsouris, the Trocadero Gardens and the gardens of Buttes-Chaumont. Working with the existing forest, springs, ponds resurgences and mini-caves, he established various walkways that wind around the area and up the hill at the edge of the oak and pine forest. There's a tower on top that overlooks the surrounding countryside. Dogs are welcome on a leash and it's a perfect place to walk even in the winter.
The Tower
It took a bit of coaxing, but I managed to talk Lucie into climbing the skinny, winding stone staircase to the top of the tower. It offered a magnificent 360° view...
Looking north at the tiny village of Elbes
This was my favorite discovery of the day, though. It sits right outside the entrance to the house. I want one!


  1. One of my favourite places too. I like to walk up to the walled kitchen garden, which is very sheltered and a good place for a picnic. On one occasion the owner's dog and the cows decided to accompany Bounty and I on our walk, we must have looked a strange procession!

  2. I visited the Abbey a couple of summers ago with my parents. I didn't get a chance to walk around the grounds though and missed the tower. I will have to go back!

  3. What a beautiful bench! Even if the back does look a little uncomfortable. But no matter; it's easy to replace it with a wider board.