Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age



Maria and I were returning from the romeria in Vilalfor the other weekend, most of the pictures of which I have yet to edit (what DO I do with my time? I wonder that myself!), and as we trundled our way slowly round the bends we spotted an old house, perched alongside a vineyard, overlooking the road, and decided to stop to take a look, since our plans for the day were turning out to be quite fluid.

It had obviously been abandoned many, many years ago.  The roof tiles were gone, save for  one or two broken ones, and vines which were writhing their way along the exposed roof timbers had thick and sturdy branches.  They clearly had time to grow like that.

We guessed this had probably been a goatherd’s shelter.  It was no more than two rooms, one of which we couldn’t get at because of the growth around it.  The air was sweet with the scent of wild aniseed around the doorway, and a peek inside revealed that although no-one lived there any longer it clearly was the scene of local lovers’ trysts.

These old dwellings were dark places, small windows on the sides with least sun and thick walls protected from the heat in days long before air conditioning, and kept in the warmth from escaping on cool winter nights. Now there were just gaping holes, where windows and door had been, and the light poured in from above.

Most of the roof struts were withering and parched from long exposure to the sun, and just one had clearly been unseasoned wood. Magical, amber drops of resin, and who knows how many years they had taken to slowly drip their way along the timber,  glowed in the sunlight.

Shadows of beams and slivers of light through the window space were beautiful, offering those glimpses of beauty you want to capture because you know how short-lived they will be.  Of all the photos I took that day, these are my favorites.


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

8 thoughts on “Abandoned

  1. Some eerie atmosphere in these shots but they’re really something ha.

  2. isn’t it amazing where you can find some really good photo opportunities? I love all of these and you’ve made me want to get my own camera out again!
    just answered you e mail and there is some news about Arnold school merging with KES.

    • Yep. When you least expect them. The shots of the romeria weren’t that good (not the event’s fault, mine!) and then we go find something like this! I’ll write soon!

  3. There’s a similar spooky abandoned house on the road between Nimes and Montpellier, sitting in the middle of a vineyard.. It’s quite big, two stories, and lies at the end of what was once an avenue of trees, overgrown since. In summer, it’s covered with virginia creeper and you can barely see it, but in winter, with the creeper gone and the trees bare, it exudes an air of mystery. I find myself staring at it and even craning my neck around to gaze after it when we’ve passed it in the car. I wonder why it was abandoned and who were the inhabitants. Strange.

  4. I wonder what the romance and fascination is with old buildings? I suppose it’s the possibilities, even if they are passed. Want to see that house when I visit!

    • I’ve been told there there is often a banal explanation for these abandoned houses, such as the stupid French inheritance laws. Yup, it’s programmed into your visit! xx

      • I think this one just outlived its usefulness. Although there are still scores of goats around the island, no doubt not as many as there once were, but I’m sure that the ones I see in villages and towns have probably suffered a similar fate to the ones in France. Here I believe it’s usually sloppy paperwork, questions about the title etc

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