We are a family of five, from Brookline, Massachusetts, and we came to St. Cirq Lapopie for my wife's ---th birthday, knowing only about the town from a few lines in a tourist book and an online website. It is in southwestern France, so we knew it would be wonderful. But what we came upon surprised us all, and took our breath away: a real medieval village, a step back in time, intimate and self-contained, full of life, full of restaurants and shops, friendly denizens, and amazing views. And as if that weren't enough, the village is situated in the heart of an extraordinarily beautiful river valley, full of markets, and castles, and vineyards, and caves, and more going on than we could take in during our two week stay. Coincidentally, this wonderful property, much in need of restoration, went up for sale the last days of our visit.... and, on a whim, but a thoughtful, purposeful whim, we bought it. And with the guidance of friends and the help of some extraordinary local workmen, under the leadership of the very talented builder, Ivan de Jong ((website: hidden)), we began a surprisingly smooth and successful renovation: a building centuries old, now with the trappings of contemporary living.