The Beauty Of
Exhale Here …

Before entering France, I had a broad, boring, generalized/Americanized idea about it. But I was fortunate enough to be brought into France across the Belgian border by colleagues who understood the country and the culture; who felt the value of experiencing it far exceeded any talk.

Experiencing any facet, any aspect of a particular region of France occurs by virtue of showing up.

There are thousands of places, sacred, historical, architectural or geographical, that hold treasures of France; lives experienced, power passed, religious loyalties aligned or extinguished … beauty to behold … it is all here in the wealth of the culture itself.

There are those on the Da Vinci Code trail … those on the spiritual historical track … those seeking the Holy Grail … the Knights Templar … there those on the historical and political track that brought France to and through its revolution, to where it is today.

It all comes together in a voluminous package called France:)

Our tour in the south of France crosses many divides.

We immerse ourselves not in historical facts, unless you are after that … they are all there and available … not in the historically spiritual significances, unless they matter … they are there too … but rather in a complete experience of the all of that, to whatever degree you are inquiring … the tour opens for you to experience what is there for you.

Your guide? It is the land itself that holds it all.
And it is you who are listening.

If you could get the experiences France offers sitting at home reading about them?
We wouldn’t be here now.

We immerse ourselves in the wealth of a cultural tapestry rich in history, inextricably woven by all the threads that now constitute what was and what is; the fabric of a day in the life, of centuries of days in the lives of an ancient land and people.

One of the initial things that struck me when I first entered France was the extraordinary beauty; the attention paid to bringing into full shine the smallest, oldest morsels of times gone by … parts of a stone entrance … filigree brought forward that could more easily have been cast aside … archways and cobbles … gates and doors … all of it, polished, as if holding court for those who have eyes to see.

The locations selected for our tour of the south, sit in spiritually and historically significant areas. All of them! It’s unavoidable!

For the first part of our tour, we walk and dine and sleep in the modern comforts of our selected region, in the rolling hills south of Toulouse, an area that centuries ago, was once home and stronghold of the Cathars.

Who were the Cathars? Many do not hear of them until they are in France.

There is a great blog post that well covers their place in history — you can click HERE to read it.

… Extraordinary.

We move east across the south, standing in Avignon at the Palace of Popes where power transferred in then out by virtue of the Church’s positions any given century.

We head further east where, come to find, Mary Magdalene spent the last 30 years of her life living in a grotto high up in the Great Massif.

… Unbelievable.

And yet, it’s all here.

The local, regional French tip their heads, raise their shoulders and say,
Ah, oui!
C’est la vie ici!

This is life here.
It is ordinary reality.

The people, the culture, hold the history.

And such things combined into one tour?