Home > Garnier Pascal, Literary Escapades > Literary Escapade : on the location of Low Heights by Pascal Garnier.

Literary Escapade : on the location of Low Heights by Pascal Garnier.

I loved Low Heights by Pascal Garnier and we already had planned a weekend in the Drôme Provençale, where part of the novel is set. It’s in the Baronnies area a place where the Provence meets the Alps. Mountains and lavender fields make the landscape.

In the beginning of Low Heights, Edouard Lavenant and his nurse Thérèse go to the farmers market in Nyons, have a drink in a café in Rémuzat, and more importantly go on top of the Rocher du Caire near Rémuzat. We were in the area mid-March and took the opportunity to go on a Garnier tour.

This is the village of Rémuzat:

Rémuzat - the village

We visited Rémuzat, hiked to the top of the Montrond rock and went to the Rocher du Caire, where a key scene of the novel takes place.

Here’s the village’s plaza and its café.

I could imagine Edouard drinking alcohol on the sly, and trying to hide it from Thérèse.

Since it was early in the season, the trees were still bare and my pictures reflect that spring hasn’t come yet. The Montrond rock, alt 1011 m, faces the Rocher du Caire mentioned in the book.

We hiked to the top of Montrond as there was an easy enough hiking trail. Once on top, we had a beautiful 360° view of the landscape. It’s breathtaking

In the summer, the sun must be scorching. There’s no shade at all on top, only small Mediterranean flora. I understood why Edouard and Thérèse were so hot during their walk. We saw a few vultures, as mentioned by Pascal Garnier. They have been reintroduced in the area. We even found one of their feathers.

After that, we went to the Rocher du Caire, where an important scene of the book takes place. There’s a hiking trail to go to the top but it’s long, tricky, narrow and near the edge of the rock. It’s forbidden to turn around and go down the same way you came up, that’s how narrow and dangerous it is. Since I’m a bit afraid of heights, especially when on edge of a cliff and without a railing, we drove to the parking lot on top of the Rocher du Caire and finished on foot. The place and the view are incredible, I totally get why Pascal Garnir chose to include it in his book. It’s isolated, stunning and it has character.

Coming to the edge of the Rocher, I understood how a character in the book fell and died on the spot. See the cliff and the village below. *shudder*

The place is perfect for a crime fiction book à la Garnier: it’s beautiful, a lot like the clichéd Provence that foreigners love to much and yet, the mountain lanscape, the isolated places give the whole setting an edge that goes well with the atmosphere of the book. There’s something raw about the place, hidden behind the Provence loveliness.

We had a great day but were quite tired after all the hiking and time outside. The hike to Montrond took 5 hours and the only living creatures we saw were a lizard and a couple of vultures in the sky. Needless to say, we weren’t bothered by crowds. Blissful. I imagine that it’s busier during the summer season, though.

I was really happy to see the actual décor of Low Heights and I hope you enjoyed travelling there with me.

  1. April 12, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Ah, how lovely to embark upon that literary journey with you! March was probably a good time to do this, as I can imagine how relentlessly hot it must be in summer.


    • April 13, 2023 at 9:17 pm

      It must be terribly hot. It’s a lovely area.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 12, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Loved this, thank you!


    • April 13, 2023 at 9:17 pm

      You’re welcome!


  3. April 12, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Good for you. The photos certainly brought memories of the book flooding back. Over here, murder tours are popular.
    Actually, you have given me an idea. ….


    • April 13, 2023 at 9:18 pm

      Garnier has several novels in that kind of setting, I think. He used to live around here too.
      Murder tours? Based on books, films or read crimes?


  4. April 12, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    What a lovely outing, Emma, and thanks for sharing your trip and photos with us!


    • April 13, 2023 at 9:19 pm

      You’re welcome! Books and travelling are my favorite and this is around 2 hours from home. So…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. April 14, 2023 at 7:37 am

    I don’t think I’m up to 5 hour hikes any more, especially uphill, but it all looks wonderful. I’m glad too the author got the landscape right, they don’t always.


    • April 15, 2023 at 7:15 am

      Hiking wasn’t my thing but I enjoy it more and more.
      Pascal Garnier used to live in this area and you can feel it in his writing.


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