I took my sister on a long loop around the mountain this week. And you get a few features in between plodding along forest paths.
The first one is the lovely eco house in the hamlet of Boucharnoux: a sedum roof is what you see. And inside there are all the toys of build your own bliss: passive house solar system, underfloor heating, ground heat source pumps. All the bits.
We then swing by the cherry trees (you must be glutted with pictures of cherries by now) and then up a pilgrim path to the north side of the mountain.
There is one very lonely stone house hidden in the mountain. I have never seen anyone living here; and it’s a shame as it has been really carefully renovated.
Best of all, close to the imposing stone walls are the most lovely crop of pale blue iris which are standing sentinel at the edge of the garden.
I was emboldened for the first time in eight years to actually walk up behind the house and take the shot looking down on the iris. All rather thrilling.
From there you spend a bit of time deep in the chestnut forest, walking along a fire trail (and horse trail) until you reach the back of the ecomuseum and that achingly gorgeous shot of the hay ricks and the stone path the top.
The walk to the top is a lung buster. Super steep and the only thought is of the reward that awaits you.
The top of our mountain is relatively flat (for a mountainous region) and were it cleared of trees – there is a pine and chestnut and oak forest up there – you could see for miles.
The land has been cleared of stones. Possibly for the purposes of allowing animals to graze easily. But when I say stones, I mean a whole village worth of rocks and boulders and immense piles. They are pushed into spooky mounds you have to really scale to reach.
Neolithic village? Hill fort? Burial chambers? Bored shepherds with nothing to do for fifty years laboriously shifting rocks? Who knows. But some of the mounds have been exposed by falling trees. And others rebuilt according to guesswork about their purpose.
If you are an archeology student or an entire department, time on your hands, curious to learn. Then come up with the answers. We are all curious.