We walk up part of Alaric mountain with family and friends every christmas day – it’s just behind our village. This time we went up to the ridge called Le Roc Gris where all around is a chaos of limestone rubble, dwarf box and juniper, rosemary and thyme.
At the top we walked the walls of le Champ de Roland, a late neolithic defensive enclosure.
There are nine villages in this photo, with another five in view – it’s an extraordinary lookout point.
And then visited the ruined dolmen tucked below the summit, in the mouth of a cave. From habit I pulled out the compass – the 120º setting was still there from the solstice reading at La Madeleine. So both dolmens of Alaric mountain, ours at the east end and the other at the west, are both ‘moment-of-sunrise’ tombs. Strictly old-school traditionalists.
So that’s midwinter solstice sorted for 2010 – it’s up the near vertical kitty-littered scree-slope for me next year, with hopes of clearer skies.
More info from my initial visit to the dolmen, and the defensive enclosure, are on the Alaric dolmen Page, and the Roc Gris oppidum Page.