les trois tours
July 1, 2012
The recognised walk ‘Les Trois Tours’ covers 13 kms of vineyards, woodland, hill contours, hedged lanes and plateau to the west and north west of Faugères. There is the odd glimpse of the tours over tops of holm oaks and through the occasional gap in the vegetation but, it isn’t until one gets within a couple of kilometres, that the ‘goal’ is seen clearly. This is tantalisation in the French manner!!! There is a quick 10 mins walk directly from the heart of the village and there is car access for those less energetic! Perfume from the Bruyères wafts in the air well before the yellow flowering shrubs are seen – more tantalisation!
Originally, in 16C there were 3 buildings or towers – the mills used for grinding wheat,when this land was covered with céréales long before vines were planted. Now well restored as a functioning mill with middle building used as living quarters for mill worker and the half tower as a lookout.
From the half tower, on a clear day it’s possible to see the sea 40 kms away to the south, and the Pyrénees to the southwest, the Caroux to the west, the Cevennes to the north and Agde and Narbonne to the east . . . .
. . . . from the brochure: “The noise is tremendous! It’s almost scary, as we’ve just been told that the roof weighs 7 tonnes , and that to be able to turn the sails in function of the wind direction, the pointed roof is not fixed to the walls!!! The noise comes from all directions… the sails themselves, but also the octagonal axle that taps against a wood carved horses’ head, which shakes free the grain, down between the 700 kilo round stone block, which rotates onto the 1000 kilo “fixed”stone. What a racket… impossible to hear yourself talk! It’s almost a relief when the guide puts the break back on!”
The dry stone walls and their restoration is impressive . . .
. . . All impressive but this one’s not impressed!
I’m amazed the earth hereabouts
Lets me breathe its atmosphere,
That the voices I hear
Permit me to listen.
When a word soars: such a flight
Through the distances,
You’d need the voice of a nightingale
To take its measure Jo Shapcott Born Off