Bizarre, yes bizarre indeed but also curious, unlikely, astonishing, excentric, surprising, crazy. That’s unexpected Drôme for you.
The Drôme as the navel of the world. like all stories worthy of the name this one starts … once upon a time around 290 million years ago, the earth was made up of just one continent, Pangea, with a central fault running through it. A geological discovery places the village of la Baume Cornillane at the centre of the fault line. The Drôme was hence at the centre of the world at its beginnings. An upstanding rock symbolises the spot and a very pleasant path leads to it. This geological story was the inspiration for a cake, representing the Drôme, rich in the flavour of the land: apricot, honey and almonds. Its round shape represents Pangea, the central apricot symbolises the Drôme and, surprise surprise, when one opens the box, one part is missing, representing the original fault. Just as surprising, at Saint-Barthélémy de Vals, the rocks dance. These natural geological curiosities ( which some see as the site of druidical dances) are blocks of sandstone carved with strange symbols, a magical and mysterious place. These rock are arranged in a quasi-geometrical manner. The site has often been studied by experts but still remains an enigma. According to legend, on Christmas eve on the 12 stroke of midnight, the rocks begin to dance.
The Drôme inspires the craziest dreams. Certainly the postman called Cheval needed a good dose of imagination to build his ideal palace. In April 1979, during his postal round, he spotted a stone so strange as to inspire a dream. Over the following 33 years he built, on his own in his garden, a palace inspired by nature, postcards and illustrated magazines, a triumph of raw art quite unique in the world. The palace was listed as a Historic Monument by André Malraux, the then Minister of Culture, in 1969 , as a work of naive art. And what can we say about the existence in the Drôme of a crocodile farm ( unique in Europe), the creation of a whisky distillery at the heart of the Vercors, the production of a wine in ‘dolias’ (amphorae) at the Domaine Viret, inventor of cosmoculture®, the replica of the Petit Trianon at the heart of Saoû forest, an open-air flying trapeze school. In each case, imagination and daring are the driving force.