Imagine a place of soft, rolling hills. A patchwork of fields planted in glowing golden rape seed, some emerald green with spring wheat, others bark brown waiting for the new seeded sunflowers to sprout. And then there are the grapes. Acre upon acre of neat vineyards interspersed between the flatter fields, planted with perfectly manicured grapevines, pale spring green leaves reaching for the sun.
Imagine little towns with ancient church spires, bells that peal for 5 minutes at noon each day, to remind everyone that noon is here, that the market and shops will close and everyone will scurry home for lunch with their families, or meet friends in the local bistro or restaurant for a leisurely mid day visit and meal.
Life moves so slowly here, and the culture is so carefully guarded, there is no trash along the roadsides, and the roofs are covered with tiles that have survived for centuries. When old tiles break, they are replaced by new ones that are identical in style, and the only way one can tell the difference between old and new is the color and lack of lichen growth.
Towns host the centers of commerce, and are surrounded by villages and hamlets. Some villages have small shops and services, but hamlets are just little groups of houses. Our friends live near the village of Semoussac in the hamlet of La Roudrie, which sits right on top of a hill, surrounded by the most lovely hills and fields imaginable.