FRANCE 2010: 3 Italians, July 21st

So we are driving through the Burgundy region and these 3 Italian super cars go by. The guy in the front has long shaggy hair, second one is a short guy, third guy tall curly haired . “Stop turn around that was Jeremy Clarkson!” Continue reading

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FRANCE 2010: And what a party it was, July 15th

Yesterday was Bastille day and the French love to throw a large party and we were able to join in. The day started with a wonderful market in the town square, I had read much about this market so was up early heading down to see my lady at the Patisserie for my morning coffee. I now have it figured out and no longer enjoy one with my imaginary friend. The market was all food, the freshest strawberries, cheese like we never see, and sooooooooo inexpensive, salmon from Norway, shrimp from La Rochelle off the Atlantic and olives from Portugal. It all looked so good, but when the crowds started to arrive you could tell it was going to be busy as they were all running to their favorite sellers. So home I went to enjoy a table full of the most beautiful assortment. Once everyone was up we feasted.

The evening saw bands on every corner and dancing in the street to all kinds of music including Queen, Pink Floyd and  traditional French music. Hannah and Sean stayed for the fireworks but Philippa and I headed back, as she had 15km paddle down the Dordogne in a canoe in the morning.

What a beautiful way to see the castles on the hills and the lovely homes along the rivers edge then to take the water.

We soon head to the  Burgundy region, were our home will be on the river. We should be able to once again do some canoeing.

 Philippa’s knees and hands have healed well and there is no need for daily dressing changes. She is quite impressed with how fast they healed. the weather cooled off a bit today but there is a promise of more heat for the next week. Thank goodness for A/C in our car! We are starting to look at our bags with a sense of panic as the purchases have added up not so much in Euros but in space, I guess the last home will have lots for the second hand shop.

FRANCE 2010: Enjoying the Foie Gras, July 14th

We are enjoying the most beautiful medieval city of Sarlat the warm honey coloured stone of the buildings is a photographers dream. Our 3 floor apartment is in the heart of the town, so every morning I head down for my coffee and croissants at a gorgeous patisserie. The first morning my French was not very clear and I ended up with 2 espressos, one for me and one for my imaginary friend, I was going for a double. We headed out to the prehistoric caves of Font de Gaume that makes this area so famous. Philippa managed to fall down the prehistoric hill, so we now own a very large first aid kit so that we can attend to the damage.

Before arriving we spent some time at Oradour-sur-Glane, it was much like when Sean and I visited Dachau concentration camp in Germany in the 80s. The girls walked quietly through the town taking it all in. It leaves you with a very sick feeling.

 We no longer have internet or English tv at our new home and it has been 40°C every day. But it turns out that there is free wifi at Macdonald’s, so we now have a little visit there each morning to catch up on computer stuff.
We are heading out to the Dorgongne river to go canoeing tomorrow as today is Bastille day and we will be celebrating with the town of Sarlat.

FRANCE 2010: Having a lovely time, July 8th,

We are taking a day out to sit back and smell the roses. Had a amazing day at a theme park Puy du Fou. The whole place is based on the history of France, it was the so amazing . The first play we saw was the 3 musketeers. A huge stage performance with horses, beautiful costumes, people coming on to the stage through the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling . This was the only one inside the rest of the attractions are  outside. It was very warm about 40°C, so a lot of H2O was consumed. There was the Gladiators in a Gallo-Roman Stadium, complete with chariot races, Vikings with their Viking ship, the list goes on. I am coming back to this place one day and doing it all over again. ( with my mouth closed) I was very impressed

We head into the Dordogne on Saturday, there is a village along the way called Oradour- sur- Glane  that I want to visit. The entire town is a museum, The Nazis came into the town rounded up all the women and children and put them in to the church, the men went in to selected garages. Everyone in the town was killed and the town is left as it stood that day. The Nazis thought that the town was a hot bed for the resistance.

Our next Gite is in  Sarlat. It is located right in the heart of the old town. So we will have to park on the out skirts of the town and walk in as there is no parking or regular traffic allowed.  There is the  promise of the  best market ever so I am looking forward to that. For now we will continue to smell the warm lavender air, eat bread and drink wine.

FRANCE 2010: Arrived safe and sound, July 3

Arrived in Paris to a very warm day, 36°C . The motorway was bumper to bumper and it took us 2.5 hours to go 17 kilometers, but we managed and got to the Loire with plenty of time. Our hotel for the night is right next door to a amazing castle. Tonight is Luminaire night were they lit up the ground of the castle with thousands of candles.

Spent the day visiting a few castles along the Loire, Usse and Azay-le-Ridueau. Usse is were the fairytale Sleeping Beauty came from, so Philippa enjoyed climbing the turrets to discover the treasures the massive castle had to offer. Azay-le-Rideau is also a beautiful castle with turrets and a moat. We were lucky to find a market there. Hannah stocked up on Portuguese olives and Sean could not fit any more wine in to the car. As we strolled though the streets Philippa commented “I can see why you want to move to France everything is so wonderful.” We are currently at our first Gite, it is in the countryside so quite. It is  near La Rochelle I am really looking forward to going to Ile de Re.

This spot was mentioned by one of my favourite writers Karen Wheeler in Tout Sweet. I am currently reading Martin Walkers book Bruno Chief of Police. It is such a good book I am having trouble putting it down. It takes place in the area were are headed to next The Perigord.

The English couple that own this gite live next door and are a wealth of information they have recommended going to a historical theme park called Puy du fou  www.puydufou.com  so we have plans to check that out.

We have a week here and then it was off to Sarlat.