Climbing a Stairway to Heaven


Cordes Sur Ciel 81170

Early last Friday we set off on our first overnight adventure to 3 towns I'd been looking forward to seeing.  With a grey sky and predictions of rain, I was intent on being positive and channeling good weather.  It worked! 

Our first stop was Cordes sur Ciel, and for you non-speakers of French, ciel means either ceiling, or sky, or heaven; in this case I think the latter applies.  Oh yes! What a perfect name for this gem of a town, officially designated one of the most beautiful in France.  The weather was perfect - warm and sunny.  As soon as Cordes sur Ciel appeared in view, we were captivated, and instantly transported into a dreamworld we could never have imagined. After parking about halfway up the hill, we began our climb. It being October, we were almost the only tourists in town, making it our dream alone and giving us the sense of the town as it really is 8 or 9 months of the year.  We walked about 100 yards up the road and stopped to eat our picnic lunch perched on an 800 year old stone fence.  Not wanting to leave that spot, we finally tore ourselves away and continued our slow climb up the incredibly steep cobblestone road, with numerous switchbacks.  Such beauty and tranquility at every turn!  We saw only two or three cars, belonging to residents and we supposed the only downside to living in Cordes might be the annual bill for car brakes.  After our hike up the town, we entered the plaza through an archway; this plaza, top and center of the town, has a centuries old market arcade (think stone pillars supporting a roof), church, and lovely shops, and hotels and restaurants, everything of course, build of stone with midieval architecture.  We continued to wander, astounded at the fact that this is a real town.  Mac remarked that he would go insane living in a town that small, and I remarked that would mean being crazy with happiness.  We stopped for a "Coka" (Mac) and a vin rouge (me) on a the terrace of a restaurant.  Just a touch of history - in the 13th century, at its beginning, the town was named Cordes; in 1993 the name of the town was officially changed to more accurately reflect its character. You can delve further into its history at .  You'll also find some pictures better than those I took, but feast your eyes on mine anyway, in the gallery.  Oh, did I say we loved Cordes?

Hi Signe,

Finally!!!! I think I figured out how to communicate with you.  Let me know if it worked.  Your trip sounds so wonderful! I am so jealous.  Jerry and I had a great trip there for 16 days before all the problems with the strikes etc.  It was so good to be there and I could relate so to your cooking adventures and experiences of the markets.  This is brief because I want to be sure I am doing this blog thing right.  If so, I'll write a longer e-mail next time.

Look forward to keeping in touch.


Mette, so good to hear from you.  To bad we didn't connect prior to your trip - it would have been fun to meet over here.  I think the only place you can read my replys are here, on our site.  Keep those comments coming.  Signe

Signe in Dreamland

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