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Destinations, Europe, France, Provence, Travel

Goult, France: The Perfect Provence Getaway

A long long time ago, I went on a trip to Europe. September 2013 to be exact. Now that it’s 2015, it’s time to start sharing some of my experiences! Today, I talk about Goult, the small town that I stayed in the Provence region of France.

Goult is the reason Richard and I went to Europe a while back. Well, my work was the reason and Goult was the primary destination. My previous company decided to host a working retreat in Provence, France for anyone at the company who wished to join. They picked Goult as the location where we would set up shop for a week.

We could bring our significant others and the hotel, some food, and a couple of team excursions were included. Richard and I paid for airfare and covered the cost of our stays in Paris and Barcelona before and after we went to Goult. Always looking for ways to cut down on travel expenses, Richard and I thought this was the perfect way to go to Europe on a budget.

Goult is as picturesque as they come

I knew that Goult would be wonderful. It’s the tiniest little town you can imagine. It sits atop a hill and overlooks the beautiful Provence region of France.

Grocery store in Goult France

We were in Goult for 6 days. During that time, we were able to walk around the small town and gaze in awe at the age and beauty of the town. It was pretty sleepy overall, but there were a few restaurants, a bakery and a little grocery store.

Alley in Goult France

One of my favorite things about southern France was all of the colors. Greens, lavenders, reds, and blues. All of them juxtaposed with the old stone buildings.

Restaurant in Goult France

While we were in Goult, we mostly ate at the Chateau de Goult, where we were staying and had access to a kitchen. There were a few small restaurants such as this one.

Windmill in Goult, France

Goult is home to a pretty big windmill. This was just a short 5 minute walk from where we were staying.

In Goult, there are alleys galore!

Alley in Goult France

For being such a small town, Goult had plenty of winding roads to explore. We spent hours walking around and getting lost in the unique details.

Quintessential alley with moped in Goult, France

It was so “Europe” in Goult. When I saw this moped just chilling in the alleyway, I couldn’t help but snap a pic.

Steep hill in Goult, France

As I mentioned, Goult sits on top of a hill. We rented a car to get from the train station (about 45 minutes from Goult) and this was one of the first hills we encountered. We nearly didn’t make it up, it was so steep! I’m glad Richard was the one driving while we were there.

Alley cat in Goult, France

Of course, no alley is complete without an alley cat. This little guy is just one of the few random cats and dogs that roamed freely in town.

We stayed in (potentially haunted) Chateau de Goult

The highlight of Provence was getting to stay in the Chateau de Goult. Dating back to the 12th century, the castle is OLD.

Exterior of Goult Castle from another angle

Throughout the years, the castle has had many purposes. From fortress to residence to school and now to vacation property.

Courtyard of castle in Goult France

The main outdoor area in the castle comprises of a courtyard, complete with small pool. Unfortunately, the week we were there wasn’t too warm, so we didn’t end up taking advantage of the pool.

Statue in the entryway of the castle in Goult, France.

The Chateau de Goult is full of interesting antiques. This statue greeted us at the door when we walked into the main building.

Stairwell in Goult Castle

The main staircase was built in the 17th century. It’s magnificent. And large. And beautiful.

Formal dining room in Goult Castle

On the last night, we had team dinner in the Guard’s Room, which dates back to the 14th century and was part of the original fortress.

Knight's armor as decor in Goult Castle

No fortress would be complete without a suit of armor hiding out in the corner.

Library/study in Goult castle

While Richard and I didn’t have any weird sightings, a couple of people from our party independently reported ghost-like sightings or experiences. I guess if anything is going to be haunted, it would be a nearly 1000 year old castle!

Exterior of Goult castle in France

The Chateau de Goult was a fabulous place to relax and spend the week. If you ever have a need for a large place to host up to 14 people in southern France, this is your place!

Cemeteries in France are Weird

A surprising thing that we stumbled upon in Goult was the cemetery. It wasn’t surprising to find a cemetery, but it was surprising to see how the cemetery was designed.

Cemetary in Goult France

All of the graves were above ground in rectangular boxes. It’s probably not as uncommon as I think, but it had never occurred to me before that a cemetery might be designed this way.

Cemetery in Goult France

One of my impressions of the cemetery was that there was just a lot of STUFF. Each grave had a lot of different plaques and trinkets on top of and around it.

Cemetary in Goult, France

The most delightful part of the cemetery (if cemeteries can be delightful) was the landscaping. All of the trees were trimmed like topiaries. It made me feel like I was walking around the set of Edward Scissorhands.

The Verdict

View of Provence region from Goult Castle

Stars

5 stars of 5

I didn’t pay to stay in Chateau de Goult, so I will keep things simple and just give the town and the chateau a simple star rating of 5 of 5. We were there for around 6 days and during that time, we were able to fully explore everything that was available in the town. It was a bit far from the nearest train station (45 minutes), which meant that renting a car was necessary if we wanted to be able to explore the surrounding towns.

While I may not go back, because I like to explore new places, if you are ever in the area, Goult is definitely worth the trip.

What do you think of Goult? Would you go to check it out for a day or a longer stay?

Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Destinations, Europe, Spain, Travel

Park Güell: A walk in the park in Barcelona

A long long time ago, I went on a trip to Europe. September 2013 to be exact. Now that it’s 2015, it’s time to start sharing some of my experiences! Today, I talk about Park Güell, the second work of Antoni Gaudí that we visited in Barcelona.

One thing that we were not blessed with while visiting Barcelona was great weather. Our second (and final) day in town was a Sunday and it was pretty gray and overcast. It was also a bit rainy, as you can see from the number of umbrellas. Despite the weather, we decided to explore Park Güell.

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Sagrada Familia Exterior with Street Sign
Barcelona, Destinations, Europe, Spain, Travel

Sagrada Familia: The Church That is Too Big For Pictures

A long long time ago, I went on a trip to Europe. September 2013 to be exact. Now that it’s 2015, it’s time to start sharing some of my experiences! Today, I’m starting out with one of the last stops on my trip – Barcelona, Spain where I toured the Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia a Church Too Big for Pictures

If you ever go to Barcelona, Spain and you only get to pick one thing to do, visiting the Sagrada Familia should be that thing. Full stop.

I’m not even sure where to begin when talking about Sagrada Familia, because its history is just as fascinating as its architecture. Since I can’t even begin to figure out how to weave the facts together, here’s a bulleted list:

  • Construction began in 1882
  • Designed by Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect
  • Gaudí focused on the church from 1883 through 1926, at the time of his death, when the church was only 25% of its way to completion
  • Sagrada Familia, along with Gaudí’s other works of architecture, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Construction of the building won’t be completed until 2026

Let me let that last fact soak in. Sagrada Familia is not yet finished. It won’t be finished UNTIL 2026!

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Brussels, Belgium
Belgium, Europe, Travel

Photo Friday: Brussels, Belgium

Welcome to a new feature on Living in Flux: Photo Friday! 

I’ve been lamenting at the fact that I haven’t been able to adequately satisfy my wanderlust as of late. For various reasons, I haven’t been able to get much travel in. To help quell my yearning to travel, I’ve been working on being a backyard tourist and I’ve been sorting through my travel photo archive. Each week, I plan to share a sweet snap from my travels pre-Living in Flux.

This photo is from my trip to Europe in June 2009. While exploring the streets of Brussels, Belgium, I found that there were many streets that has strings of flags strung across them. The colors and the tattered, weathered quality of the flags spoke to me, so I snapped this picture.