The weather has been pretty stunning here this summer. It reminds me of 2012, the year I fell in love with the place, when yet another cool, grey, windy summer in Devon made my first visit here such a life-changer. As I’ve passed day after day here enjoying the sun and warmth, I know that I made the right decision to make a home here, one that I can share with others, and from where we can enjoy the many beauties of the area.
One of the beauties is, of course, the Vercors plateau, which begins barely a mile from the house. It’s been a good summer to explore there, with many days of clear skies over the plateau. It’s an amazing place, for its beauty, its flora and fauna, and its history.
Of course, its recent history is dominated by the Second World War and the terrible events of 21 July 1944. I’ve mentioned it before, especially in reference to Paddy Ashdown’s book The Cruel Victory: that is a superb book. Equally superb is the small Musée de la Résistance at Vassieux-en-Vercors, site of some of the worst atrocities. The incredibly powerful story is told in gripping detail, simply, and is all the more powerful for that.
I’d been to the museum before, but a rare wet day prompted a return visit today with my guests. The mixture of artefacts and narrative leaves an indelible impression. In no way can a visit there be said to be ‘enjoyable’. But I think that without the knowledge of what happened here in so relatively recent times, one’s appreciation of Vercors is decidedly partial.