Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lautrec, Part I: How I Came to Live in A Chateau

Welcome to Chateau Brametourte. For my second HelpX job as a helper, I ended up in Lautrec, a beautiful small village in the south of France, about an hour from Toulouse. If the weather was right, you could see the Pyrenees from their property (though if you could see them it meant it would rain in a couple days!), but we'll get to that later. It was a pretty laid back week and a half as the two owners left for England and Singapore the day after I got there, and the nearest hint of civilization was an hours walk away, but life doesn't always have to be 24/7 go-go-go, does it? My tasks were mostly cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, putting things in their rightful places, some weeding, sifting dirt, raking leaves and more tidying of the property. Most of the time it was just me and the volunteer coordinator, Liz, who was from Brighton, but for the first week there were two other helpers from South Africa named Tom and Danel and they were awesome!:

Danel and Tom!

A closer look at the Chateau where I lived while I worked there, it apparently dates back to the 12oos, whoa.

The view from their yard, this picture doesn't really do it justice.

A short walk from their property and you get here, where they grow most of their vegetables. You can even see it in the picture above! On a couple occasions we got to pull leeks right out of the ground for dinner and it was pretty neat. I should mention the weather was absolutely fabulous, most of the time all I needed to wear outside was a sweatshirt! Good bye, winter! And good riddance.

So the chateau dates to the 1200s, but this fountain, which, you guessed it, is a giant stone vagina, apparently dates back to the times before Christ to pagan times. That's BC, folks. It sort of astounded me to be standing in front of something so old in it's natural habitat, that is, not in a museum.

The really old pagan vagina rock was enclosed in here, below that little dark square where the water/well was. Apparently people used to go on pilgrimages here in the past, crazy.

The courtyard of the Chateau, where lots of tidying was done.

Another part of the property where some tomatoes and peppers were grown. My job here was to pull out the old, dead plants and turn over the soil.

The Renaissance Room, which we also spent lots of time tidying. They were doing some work, so a lot of my tasks were just cleaning up everything and making it presentable again. They want to rent this room out for meetings and such.

I think this room was called the Salle de Sejour. It was very pretty and bright, but there were a LOT of really expensive antiques, so mostly I didn't trust myself in there lest I broke something.

And what is a castle without a set of spiral stone stairs?

That's all I have of the property, but tune in next time for pictures of the surrounding area and Lautrec itself!

1 comment:

  1. GODDDDDDDDD. THAT LOOKS AMAZING. and that's all i've got to say about that.