One of the strongest motivations to travel is the deep yearning we have to connect with the past. Some may explain this by an awareness of past lives, others may simply enjoy the thrill of entering an ancient building or standing in a timeless landscape where their imaginations ignite and conjure the past. If this is the experience you are seeking, join fellow Women of Dartmouth to spend a week than in the mysterious and spellbinding Ariège. Set in the south-west of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Gavin Miller has found the perfect setting for a week of time travel, Château de Camon. Charlemagne, on his return from harassing the Moors in Spain, put the village of Camon under the authority of Notre-Dame. By the middle of the 10th century a Benedictine Abbey was in place. Troubadors, crusaders, itinerant knights, Spanish princesses and persecuted Cathars passed through the region. The Abbey of Camon was an important sanctuary along the way and by the 16th century a fortified manor (château) had been built to secure the Abbey. The château has now been offering comfort and tranquility to travelers for five hundred years! Vaulted ceilings, four-poster beds, beautiful fabrics and all the amenities of 21st-century living make the château both spine-tinglingly authentic and sumptuously cosy. With Château de Camon as our base for four nights, each day we will set off to explore the antiquities of the Aude and Ariège regions. From the ruins of Cathar castles to the medieval grandeur of Carcassonne, it will be impossible to head home without feeling touched by the shadows of the past!
Day 1: Depart for Toulouse
Day 2: Arrive at Chateau De Camon
Day 3: Explore Carcassonne and Chateau Comtal
Day 4: Festival of Roses and vineyard visit
Day 5: Journey to Mirepoix market and Motsegur castle ruins
Day 6: Depart from Toulouse
Lynn A. Higgins is the Edward Tuck Professor of French Studies. She also teaches in Comparative Literature and Film Studies, and she recently completed a 5-year term as Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs. She graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in French Literature and went on to earn her Ph.D. in French from the University of Minnesota. She came to Dartmouth College in 1976. Professor Higgins is the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships and prizes, and is the author of many books, articles and edited volumes. Her research is focused on cinema and literature, particularly since the Second World War. Her book New Novel, New Wave, New Politics: Fiction and the Representation of History in Postwar France won a Choice Outstanding Book Award and was selected by the Modern Language Association for its Scaglione Prize in French and Francophone Studies. Her most recent publications include a book on filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier and a co-edited collection of interviews with Tavernier. She is currently at work on co-editing a collection of interviews with filmmaker Alain Resnais and a collection of essays on novelist Patrick Modiano. She is also writing a book on adaptation of literature to the screen.