Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – The Most Beautiful Villages in France
Friday 21st April 2017 and ‘Day 3′ of our travels.
A little bit of background on Puycelsi:
Puycelsi is in the north-west of Gaillac in the Tarn department of Midi-Pyrenees, France. It’s a medieval walled village surrounded by ramparts and the beautiful Tarn countryside.
Its narrow streets are edged with charming 14 and 15th century stone houses with terracotta tiled roofs and wooden shutters. Unfortunately, my photos don’t do it justice but take it from me, it really is worth visiting if you’re in the area.
O.K. back to the post…
So on the 21st April, I decided to be brave and have a go at driving in France. This was a fairly major thing for me to do but I really wanted to give it a go and I’m so glad I did.
Driving in France meant I’d be driving on the right-hand side of the road, in an area I’m not familiar with, in a car I’ve never driven before, with signs I can’t read, but I did it. Actually, I/we did it ALOT. We covered over 2,500 km in the 18 days we were away and had a fantastic time.
After crossing myself and saying a little prayer, I tentatively set off driving in the directions of Bruniquel, the first of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France on our list. Disappointingly, we didn’t end up walking through the village as the parking was further away from the village than my poor injured knee could cope with. I do regret that I didn’t just go for it, as the place looked lovely from the online photos I’d seen. Anyway, we took a couple of photos of the village from a distance and carried on to our next destination…’ Puycelsi’.
The drive was really pretty, made more so by the beautiful weather we were having. It was a delight to drive through the wonderful hilly scenery dotted with pretty towns and villages. old stone bridges and stand alone beautiful historic buildings.
We were lucky enough to see a few deer and red squirrels.
Above us was just as interesting. The sky seemed to be full of birds of prey, which particularly thrilled Amanda, who’d intermittently let out squeals of delight that made me jump out of my skin and slam my foot on the brake a number of times.
Puycelsi is set high on a plateau overlooking stunning scenery but it was the village itself that won both our hearts. It became the benchmark for all the other villages to live up to, so much so that Amanda coined the phrase ‘it’s no Puycelsi’ when visiting other villages that didn’t meet the Puycelsi standard.
Everywhere we looked was picture perfect. Golden stone buildings against blue skies and the lush green surrounding hills.
The cobbled streets were adorned with stone pots and borders filled with flowers and plants. It was early in the season but I bet within a couple of weeks the place would be ablaze with colour.
Thankfully for me, there was also plenty of seating dotted all over the place. This was a God send and meant I could rest my very painful, injured knee whenever it became too much. I know, suck it up, Adele!
In some of the videos I’ll be sharing from this trip, you’ll hear me huffing and puffing and generally being a feeble wench. I was in pain and struggling to walk, this wasn’t helped by the steep gradient of some of the tiny streets and that I’m so unfit. 😀
Puycelsi was a gem of a place and I really want to return with my family sometime in the future.
The photos are my own or Amanda’s unless otherwise stated.
Thanks for reading.