My love, he had recently shared with me an uncanny memory that he’d experienced as a child. Around the age of twelve, he participated in a school field trip, a walking expedition with his classmates to a nearby local forest. Strangely, the incident had left him feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and mysticism. As if somehow, he’d fallen out-of-place and time, with the distinct sensation that he was not alone, spiritually. This awakening had left a profound mark on his psyche. In time, he’d found the need to revisit. Even as an adult, he recently visited with me, a little morning hiking trip that we took together in this mysterious locale, which called to him. He still claims the forest is a magical place, an enchanted memory from his childhood mind, a distinct feeling which he still holds to this day.
That mystic place in question is called the Pélicier Forest, the park is located just outside the town of Manosque along the old fabled route famously known as col de la Mort d’Imbert. The forest, covering a range of 1045 hectares, or about 4 square miles is laid out with dense vegetation and foliage, a few hiking trails that encompass the forest and eventually connect en route. Along the way there are rest stops, picnic tables and signs that lead to other way points or places of interest. One of those places in particular is the Château de Pélicier, an old abandoned dwelling that had been used to house forest workers around the World War II era.
At this way point, the gates open up to a long dirt-packed drive that leads to the dilapidated Chateau, which remains boarded up, and seemingly lonely in despair. Steph was right, it is an enchanted place. If one could imagine, the Legend of Snow White, or even better … King Arthur and his Round Table, this would be my best visual description of such an enchanting place. Imagine if you will, a secluded Chateau in the middle of a forest with stone steps, that lead to a circular, round-top levee lawn, which looks more like a reigning throne than a garden entry way, and along with it, a stone-carved table with matching stumps. Tranquil would be the word I’d use to describe the setting. Just he – my love and I, and not another soul. The perfect place to get away and enjoy the silent sounds of a forgotten forest, the gentle rustling of leaves, the soft lull of a dying breeze, and the ghostly sounds of what once might have been at Château de Pélicier.