Saorge, one of the most beautiful villages in France, suspended on the heights of the Roya mountain range, is one that only the fit and the adventurous can enjoy. Why? because one has to climb up very steep steps, a maze of alleys and arched passageways in order to discover more jaw-dropping sights! It’s like walking in an open air museum where you can trace how mountain people learned how to innovate in order to survive harsh conditions, and where facilities are not easily accessible.
I just kept getting blown away by what I saw and thought I should share them with you so that this hidden gem can be enjoyed by those who cannot have the chance to come here.
That house seems to be built on top of a fortified wall
This one is for sale. There’s a space to park a vespa truck so it’s not bad.
In case you want to know what is a vespa truck, that’s the one on the left
They use stone tiles for the roof. These red slates come from the rocky mountains of the Roya
Aside from the red slates, there are also the green ones which are also indigenous in the region.
The houses are put together like pieces of lego
Cars cannot get through the village so imagine lifting a newly-bought washing machine to the top
New houses keep getting added over the centuries
And new terraces, too. I just hope they are strong enough not to collapse
This fountain water comes from the mountains and it’s drinkable. There are a lot of fountains in the village as well as “lavaries” or washing areas where villagers in earlier days congregate to do the washing by hand.
Despite the steepness of the steps, a lot of old people live here. They look fit, by the way.
Living here is just a continuous going up and down the steps
If you have fear of heights, then you cannot live here
The village as seen from the carpark
The village of Saorge
A postcard beauty!
Two American tourists hesitating to enter the arched passageway leading to the center of the village.
Tourist #1: “Oh no, I’m not going up there!”
Tourist #2: Yeah, let’s just stay here..”
Mariadams overhearing them: “It’s beautiful out there! It’s the kind of scenery that you will not forget for the rest of your life!”
Tourist #1: How high is the climb?
H: “Just like this (pointing to the footpath’s incline)”
I wonder if they did go, but since they have come this far (the village is 1hour 20minutes to Nice), it would be silly not to see the place inside and out.