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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Conques - A Medieval Wonderland

Conques was one of my favorite stops on our recent trip, it's a medieval wonderland that makes you feel you've fallen back in time to this hidden village. The physical situation is glorious, built above the river in a secluded valley, the village is surrounded by green hills that tower over  it. 
 Everywhere in town you see quaint signs like this one for a gite, below.
 Walking around the town you get a sense for the medieval period with the close proximity of the half timbered buildings and the narrow cobbled pathways.
 Conques remains a major center for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago and there is  a strong spiritual presence in the town.
 I loved all the architectural details, the shutters, the terraces, balconies and the slate roofs.
 We stopped for a drink on the terrace below. The wisteria was at it's height, fragrant and magical it could not have been more beautiful.
 As you can see it was just as lovely from the street below. The entire town shone in the sunshine.
No wonder Conques is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. It's a gorgeous place, beautifully situated and highly recommended. I'll be talking about the cathedral in a seperate post.