25 June 2011

All that we did...

Our friends left this morning to continue their travels elsewhere. We had been hoping for eight years that they would be able to come visit, and now they have. Looking back over these last few days, it's like we went through a whirlwind. And we enjoyed every minute of it.

A street in Loches seen from the castle keep

We tried to do a little of everything in just three days' time. We had lunch in a crêperie in Montrichard. We went to see one of the major châteaux, Chenonceau, and a less major one, Montpoupon. We spent an afternoon walking around in a picturesque French town, Loches, with its medieval quarter. We went to the Saint-Aignan zoo, which is a major attraction in the area.

Olives at the market in Selles-sur-Cher

We went to Selles-sur-Cher to walk through and buy food in one of the area's biggest open-air markets. We bought and ate delicous cherries, apricots, and strawberries at good prices and nice Toulouse sausage made the traditional way — meat chopped with a knife rather than run through a grinder. We ate bread delivered to our house by the bread lady.

We enjoyed one very warm evening sitting out
on the terrace until midnight.


We had dinner at the ferme-auberge — a local farm-inn, where you can pet goats, buy cheese, have dinner, or even rent a room and stay for a few days. We dined on goat — kid or, in French, chevreau — in a mustard sauce, and roasted guinea fowl, not to mention goat-cheese quiche and an apricot clafoutis. We drank the local wines, including an organic red from Catherine Roussel's Clos Roche-Blanche winery and a Pinot Noir made by Jean-Christophe Mandard.

Down in the crypt of the Saint-Aignan church

We walked around old Saint-Aignan, taking in the views of the rooftops and the river valley from the terrace of the château, as well as going down into the crypt of the church to see the 12th-century frescoes that adorn its walls. We took a little tour of the SuperU supermarket, just to see what it was like.

The old streets and buildings of Saint-Aignan,
with the château looming above


We went to the Domaine de la Renaudie for a wine tasting hosted by one of the owners, Patricia — a neighbor of ours. The wines were delicious, as always — including a citrus-scented Sauvignon Blanc and a peppery, bone-dry rosé made from local Pineau d'Aunis grapes — and the conversation was lively and informative. The wine visit turned into a highlight of the trip, thanks to Patricia's knowledge, enthusiasm, and warm welcome.

The house feels a little empty now. Bertie the black cat and Callie the collie will both miss their new friends once they realize they really aren't coming back later today. We'll miss them too, and maybe more so because they are old friends for us.

9 comments:

  1. It seems that living in France is comparable to living in, say, Las Vegas. Everyone eventually wants to visit, whereas if one lives in Calgary.....no one wants to visit.

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  2. It sounds like a wonderful visit!I'm so glad they could travel to see you again.

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  3. Loches looks lovely from above.

    And that olive stand is just my cup of tea - I am crazy about olives. Green ones, black ones and everything between.

    Glad your friends enjoyed their visit.

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  4. Well summarized. What a fabulous time it was! Miss you all already. Thanks for the memories.

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  5. Hi Chris, hope you're having a good time in Paris. It's hot today and it's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow. Drink lots of water.

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful whirlwind! It's a trip that Ginny and family will always remember. What fun you must have had.

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  7. What a tour you gave your friends!
    I have never taken a tour, but after reading your itinerary, I would definitely sign up!
    I especially thought you really provided a variety of activities to highlight your area, including the tour at the Super U. I found among all the historical sites, the food and wine that France has to offer, shopping at Auchan or other hypermarchés like it has always been a little "inside look" at how I would be living if I was a local.

    After this, I'm guessing it won't be another 8 years before they return!

    Thanks for letting us in on the tour, Ken.

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