09.08.2015 Bardou, France

I ride up on unsafe thin track. It climbs the hill, and I clamber over it. Finally, small flat ground and a lot of parked vehicles (hmm, I thought it would be a bit of tourists). I got to the Bardou – hidden deep in the mountains tiny village with a very unusual story. I find a place for a motorcycle and go above the trail. Behind the corner came first stone houses, which have found their place in the gorge slopes. From the nearest house shed gentle and slightly cantankerous piano melody. Under that accompaniment I come to sign with the word “Tavern” decorated with a feather.

Inside it is really a grand piano, which was played by a girl having collected a full house of grateful listeners. To Interrupt it occurs would be too rude, so I sat down and listen from the outside. Music is delightful and time flies. At one of the moments from the nearest corner comes a peacock who decides to share the melody with its own singing. It turns out very funny. Pleased himslef peacock leaves. I continue to admire the surroundings in a beautiful musical accompaniment. The look falls on the mini-poster nearby. What a coincidence! Piano player is my compatriot, Natalia Morozova. Trully you never able to guess what has been prepared by another turn.

After a while the music fell silent and I heard lengthy applause and after comes quietly served buffet. People go out with glasses in hand, eagerly discussing the performance. Among them, I try to guess Jean Rauch.

Jean Rauch and Klaus Erhardt, the wife and the husband, who in 1968 bought up all areas of the village. More precisely, of what was left of it. The village was abandoned for a long time, and its population was 1 person who owned 40% of the village. Owners of the remaining 60 had to look surprisingly at two people’s strange idea to buy a plot in a remote abandoned place. After that, the couple more than 25 years restored village bit by bit. Not without the help visitors. You could stay here any longer with meals three times a day. One condition – 6 hours a day for the benefit of the village. Village was visited by a great number of wonderful people, and the houses named after their restorators. Amazing place.

I waited until the general excitement of the performance comes a bit cooler and walked to the aged woman, which I’m guessing Jean Rauch (Klaus passed away in 2009). I introduced myself and conveyed regards from Uwe. My little story made a good impression, I was introduced to the guests and the performer; fed, watered and got the key to the small house where I now write these lines by candlelight. Outside, the wind howled and in combination with twilight sets a comfortable sleep.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a lot of things to do for a long time I did not worked by my hands for a long time.


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