Once again.. long time no see my lovelies. How have you all been?
Recently life has been quite fabulous. I passed all of my A level exams, got into a college to do an Art foundation course and I got a new job! It’s all been happening in the life of Holly!
I was also lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in france visiting my Aunt in the extremely beautiful Loire Valley.
I met some wonderful people, practised my terrible french, and learnt a lot about enjoying the simple things in life while I was there, and I thought I would share a few photos of my adventures with you.
My Aunt lives in a gorgeous village called Montreuil-Bellay. The architecture around is just unbelievable, and there is even a hogwarts-esque chateau right in the centre of the village!
On the third day I was there, the village was holding an art competition. I wandered around the village with my camera and tried to make friends with as many of the artists as possible haha! There was some beautiful work happening (and most of it made me feel quite unworthy to be honest), and I met some very interesting people, who then proceeded to nag me to enter the art competition (oops).
The man in the photograph below had one of the best ideas ever in my opinion. Instead of using paint, he painted only using Red Wine! I just thought this was such a fantastic idea- so original (and so very french, ha) I just wish I could remember his name.
The sunday market in the village was probably the busiest it ever gets in Montreuil-Bellay. It made a nice change to see all of the locals out and about, as they were usually tucked away inside their houses, or out doing other things in the week.
I have a slight obsession with french chateaus, so of course I had to take a visit to the famous Saumur Chateau, as the last time I went was almost 10 years ago. Lets just say, it totally lived up to my memories.
I also got to visit one of the exciting troglodyte cave villages they have scattered around the region! I have never visited one of these before, and I was completely amazed at the idea of people still living in caves until very recently. There was even an underground church located directly underneath the ‘real’ above-ground church of the non cave village. When the village church got burnt down during the protestant vs catholic disagreements in the past, this cave church became a secret place that only a select number of people knew about- and could secretly go and worship in. I found it fascinating and amazing, and if you ever get the chance to visit a cave village, definitely do it- you wont be disappointed.
Finally, on my last day I went to visit the beautiful walled village of the famous Cardinal Richelieu. As it was a monday, (and the french have to have their mondays off! haha) there wasn’t much happening, so after a quick look at Saint Bernard in the church (Bernard being my second name, I couldn’t pass up the chance!) we decided to take a picnic to the Parc de Richelieu just a walk across from the gates of the town. It is such a beautiful park, and I had a lot of fun butterfly spotting!
I had forgotten how beautiful the Loire Valley is- the fields of sunflowers and roses at the sides of the roads, how remote you feel driving through the country roads- yet you are never far from a village with everything you could need (and you are never far from a Super U ;) ) and just the pure beauty of the architecture and nature of the place- there is literally no place nicer to be during the summer time. Who needs beaches when you have all the beautiful picnic areas and rivers you could ever need?
I hope your summers have all been as perfect as mine has!