Destination: Rochetaillée, France (Hiking series, Part 1)

Greetings, bloggers (and hiking enthusiasts)!

Now growing up in the city of Los Angeles for most of my life, I never had really been into nature or hiking. While it’s true that some parts of LA offer some pretty good places to hike (including the famous one to the Hollywood sign), I’d never had much interest in doing so, until I came to France.

Since arriving in France over two years ago, I got really into traveling, and in the process got into hiking. Thanks to a friend I made during my first year working abroad, I started getting into long walks through the countryside, away from the busy city life and noise. It was certainly peaceful taking a day to explore what the region had to offer (which in my case was Normandy), all the while breathing fresh air and enjoying stunning landscapes. Since then, I’ve done my fair share of hiking all over Europe, from France to Italy to Poland– and I’ve really enjoyed it.

That said, I’ve decided to start a blog series which will focus on several hikes I’ve done, to show you a different side of travel that I’m come to embrace. Prepare for some gorgeous photos, while you’re at it! Without further ado, let’s begin.

Upon arriving in France in late August and passing one night in Paris, I took the train to the Lyon region the following morning, where my colleague picked me up from the train station and took me to her house where I would be staying in until I found housing in town. It was really nice of her, and I stayed at her place for a bit over a week, meeting her family and enjoying their company.

Views of the hills.

My colleague and I decided to go on a hike the second day after I’d arrived– considering that she lived close to the foothills of a natural regional park, we thought it would be a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery. Plus, I was keen on exploring a bit of the region, since I’d never been.

That said, we set out after lunch for about an hour’s hike to the nearby medieval village, known as Rochetaillée. It was a rather uphill hike in the beginning, but eventually it leveled off and I got to enjoy the green, rolling hills and the city from the distance, which was absolutely gorgeous, to say the least. Along the way, we made pleasant chitchat about work and family, and soon enough, we made it to Rochetaillée.

The village of Rochetaillée.

We wandered through the cobblestone streets of the village, with austere, fortified walls and the ruins of an old castle upon which we climbed for some stunning views of the village and the surrounding hills. The late-afternoon breeze kicked in, a bit overcast, but nonetheless added a dramatic atmosphere to the village itself.

On the streets of Rochetaillée.
Panorama of the village from the castle.

After descending the castle, we decided to head back to my colleague’s home, as it was starting to get dark. We took a different path back, this time through some woods. We ended up getting a bit lost and eventually going too far from the expected route, so we had to backtrack a bit, taking a longer way back to her house. In the end, we arrived back slightly past 19:00, tired but accomplished.

Walk in the woods.

Overall, it had been a pleasant time exploring a new place in France. It certainly made me excited to check out more places to hike, and I hope to do more of them soon. Until later!

— The Finicky Cynic

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6 thoughts on “Destination: Rochetaillée, France (Hiking series, Part 1)

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