A Room With a View…….

Sometimes we visit a new place and feel as if we have known it all our lives….That’s what happened to me when I first visited Crickhowell, Wales in 1993, (aka The Magical Town of Crickadoon), and once again this experience occurred when I visited Saorge, a commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes Department of south eastern France.

A sketch from the view to the right of my bedroom window……watercolour/gouache sketch20-11-15-1-558

20-11-15-1-656As I mentioned in my last post – ‘Following Life’s Clues’  – good friends from Wales have been renting a house in Saorge for the past year and suggested that I visit.    They felt that Saorge encompassed many elements of Marmite Heaven..……my place in the sun:)

The view from my window looking to the left…… Oh the glorious light….. 

20-11-15-1-667After being met at Nice airport by my friend Gareth, we drove up into the mountains along the Italian/French border into what is the magnificent landscape of the Roya Valley.   Being mindful that this was a very short trip, I had to gulp in the dramatic scenery.

As we approached Saorge – one of the ‘Perched Villages’ – it was clear to see how this place has survived the centuries.    Perfectly place to fend off enemies and also part of the ancient Salt Route – which fuelled one of the great economies of Europe.

The view looking down the Roya Valley from my room.   ( Note the train coming through the Valley.)     The roar of the Roya River beneath  is constantly present.     This is a place where all the senses are nourished.

20-11-15-1-580We arrived around  4 p.m. and immediately took a walk through the Village where no cars are allowed.   Parking is available at both ends of the Village.

One of the fascinating elements of Saorge is that on the one side of the Village the views are vast and majestic and then on the other side of the houses – you enter the medieval cobbled lanes which lend a sense of intimacy and protection.

The lane outside of the house where I was staying. 

20-11-15-1-542In the Marmite Heaven of my dreams, I will be removed from the madness of our 21st century world.    I will write every day and  paint a series of portraits recording the people living within the community.    Saorge certainly has a lot of wonderful characters to draw upon.

After a delicious Italian meal at Restaurant Lou Pountin just a minutes stroll away, Gareth and I were joined by his friend Simon.    As we sat on our high perch on the second floor of the house, listening to the Roya River way beneath us and looking out onto a seemingly vast open expanse, I observed how ‘detached’ I felt from everything,  and I was.       Wonderful

One of the views of the approach to Saorge.saorge

I will be writing more about my first visit to Saorge in the next couple of weeks, along with impressions of  the very lovely and interesting people I met, plus cats and dogs……       Also I will be making mention of Monastere de Soarge  which looks over the Village and Roya Valley.    Along with its fascinating history and intrinsic beauty, it is here writers and other creatives gather.

One of the many ancient arches, nooks and crannies in Saorge….watercolour/gouache


Meanwhile, let it suffice to say that the magical hummingbirds were definitely with me….and just how much they were with me will be revealed in my next blog focusing on our visit to Notre Dame des Fontaines where we met beautiful Miriam, a direct connection to the world of hummingbirds, or in French – Colibris.…..

Soaring above all the madness like the magical hummingbird…..

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A bientôt




42 thoughts on “A Room With a View…….

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes, visiting Saorge has given me a boost….An artist/writer could spend a lifetime there and never run out of inspiration….Thank you, Margaret so much for your comment..much appreciated. I will be checking your blogs and paintings on Sunday – something I look forward to. Janet:)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Teagan….One of those very special places. As a writer, I think you would love it…. On Sunday I will be catching up with your blog..have been thinking about you a lot, and do hope that the hummers are hovering….Janet:)xx

  1. Mary

    You gave us a magical tour of a very special place and I loved being transported. Such wonderful photographs highlighting the beautiful light-filled scenes showcasing this unique village, to your gorgeous vibrant paintings – this is a treat for us Janet. There is nothing like seeing raw beauty through your eyes and brushes.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much, Mary. Your so right in saying ‘raw beauty’ – because that’s what it is….and so wonderful to be part of. This place and the people have definitely inspired me. I know you have just had a wonderful moment of inspiration in New England….it’s what we artists need every now and then:) Janet:)

  2. Pingback: A wonderful post from Janet Weoght Reed | How my heart speaks

  3. olganm

    It looked like a wonderful place already when you posted the pictures and your paintings are even more amazing. What an incredible place! Sending the post to my French friend, see if we can organise a visit! Looking forward to more. Thanks, Janet, and have a magical weekend!

  4. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, thank you so much for taking me to your enchanted place. What a lovely experience you must have had. I love the photographs and I love the paintings. Looking forward eagerly to hearing more about your adventures.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David….thank you so much for your comment….yes indeed this is a special place – so perfect for creatives. The ancient monastery which looks over the village receives writers/creatives. If you fulfil the requirements, simple housing is available for extended periods of time at a very low cost. I am considering submitting a proposal to stay there myself. This would have to be after my Mother passes on, because I would want to go for an extended period…meanwhile, I will go for short visits when I can. With an extended visit, I would travel by train to Nice, then Saorge. The flight from London is only 1 hour 40 mins, but with all the security at airports, you spend five hours just getting to and from the plane! I am now going to visit your blog….hope you are continuing to enjoy a lovely and of course creative autumn….it has been very mild here, but about to get much colder. Janet:)

  5. Timi Townsend

    Good morning, Janet! 🙂 At least, it is morning here in Ohio. I’m not sure how I missed this post when you first published it, but I’m so glad that I found it now. Saorge and the Roya Valley are incredible! And your paintings and photos do it justice, I’m sure. I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing more of the paintings that you did while there. I’m quite pleased that you got this Marmite Heaven break from your busy London life. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good Wednesday evening from London….thank you so much for dropping by – I am only just beginning to catch up with other people’s blogs…and so will be reading your blog about your trip to Italy, which by the way is one of my favourite countries. What’s glorious about Saorge and region is the Italian and French influence…as the area borders both countries. My hope is to return there again and again:) Hope you are enjoying a good week filled with much creativity. Janet:)


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