Sunday, 29 August 2010


Is a small fortified village perched on a rocky outcrop 400 meters above sea level, about 40 minutes drive north west. It is an arty-farty kind of a place which hosts classical music concerts, and most especially, art exhibitions in its many little art galleries. I think that my choir master lives there. I was going to a pool party/ barbecue event at a village nearby, so I took the opportunity to pay CB a visit before heading onwards to my ultimate destination.
Carla-Bayle is surrounded by fields of corn and sunflowers. In the distance the Pyrenees form a shadowy barrier across the landscape.

 The village itself is very small. It looks as though the fortified walls (circa 13 century) have been recently been refurbished or rebuilt, as it all looks new.

Parking in the one remaining space opposite the war memorial, I meandered round the outer wall. Down below me I could see various sculptures on a man made plateau.

Note the 15 hectare lake in the background

There were still lavender bushes and other plants growing on the surrounding soil slopes and the scent of the flowers was very strong. The bees obviously agreed. I have not seen so many of them in one place since bee-boy left the lid of a jar of honey in his room last summer and all the neighbouring bees come along for a feast.

I continued my walk in the sun. It was about 2pm, so only mad me was afoot. There was a church complete with adjacent nude female sculpture (The church was built from the stone from the crumbling ramparts in 1687 on the site of the original chateau), so I went in for a look around.

It was a bit of a shock inside. Shocking pink to be exact, but it was very jolly.

Back in the sunshine I continued my clockwise perambulation. Looking out over the fortified walls towards a small lake in the distance. As I entered the central road, which had small lanes running off on each side at right angles, I discovered the main square. The buildings were brightly painted and the square was clean.

There were lots of small art galleries, many with some of their contents on view to the casual passer bye. I continued wandering about taking photos. I didn’t go in to any of the galleries, I will leave that for another day. I did notice that three scoops of ice cream was on offer for 4.50 euros.

I discovered colombage building, interesting stonework, a hidden fountain and largish basin. The war memorial, like so many in France had many names listed, but also many portrait photos of the fallen.
CB is a little gem of a place, hidden away in the middle of nowhere and could so easily be dismissed all together if you didn’t know that it was well worth a visit. As always these are just a few of the photos that I took on the day.
Oh, and their most famous son was Pierre Bayle , French philosopher and writer 1647 -1906.

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