La Drôme, France
July 2012

By Ross Belfer

The first time stepped foot in southern's France's La Drôme region I knew it would not be my last: galaxies of sunflowers echo thru the rolling green valleys at the foothills of the Alps. Weeding thru streams of crisp river water, I inhaled a breath of renewal and a lapse in judgement of time. Never-minding the exact day of the week as if it were already tomorrow, a trip to the medieval village of Crêst, topped by a 12th-century keep (one of the highest in all of Europe), marked an experience that one can not forget.


A 10km hike leading to a panoramic view of the foothills of the Alps, with a figurine-like church centered atop (because why not), was a perfect predecessor to a blissful wheat ale in a local beer-garden nearby. Or was it the other way around. 

Cyclists and spelunkers whizzed and ambled by as time, for some, was without passing. Lazy strolls in fields empty sans wooden cottages, wild goats, lush horticulture and permeating scents of lavender. Blindingly colorful produce and artisanal goods line the stalls and streets of the local market, by day and night.

An unspoiled air permeates about as if nature has no expiration date. This is La Drôme.