31 January 2011

Driving to Preuilly, and maybe a local McDo

We had a good drive down Susan and Simon's house in Preuilly-sur-Claise yesterday. We left home at 9:30 in the morning. It was cold, just below freezing, but the roads were clear and dry. The drive is about 75 km (45 miles) and we didn't pass more than 10 cars all along the way. It took almost exactly an hour to get there.

We drove straight south from Saint-Aignan through Nouans-les-Fontaines, Villedômain, and Châtillon-sur-Indre (châtillon is another word for château or castle and there's a very big old stone tower there, which is what's left of a medieval castle built by Henri II Plantagenêt). South of Châtillon, you come to Azay-le-Ferron and that's where you turn right to get to Preuilly.

An old door and window in one of the villages we drove through

As we drove through woods between Azay and Preuilly, we noticed that there was still snow on the ground along the sides of the road. We haven't had any snow in Saint-Aignan for a while now, but they must have gotten some snowfall more recently down near Preuilly.

Another shuttered window

There were 20 or more people at Susan and Simon's house for the belated New Year's party. Most were English expats. There were two American women, both of whom live near Preuilly but in different directions, and there was an Australian woman who lives with her Indonesian husband down south of Preuilly in the Poitou region. There were two Frenchmen at the party that I talked to. Some of the English people in attendance are also bloggers.

Cold, gray, and foggy in the vineyard this morning

Susan gave me and Simon gave Walt, at different times, a tour of the house so that we could see the state of their renovations and improvements. They are making a lot of progress but, as they'll tell you, they still have a lot of work to do. We stayed at the party — featuring sparkling Touraine wine with a nice buffet of finger foods — for a couple of hours but then we needed to get back to Saint-Aignan. We were sorry to have to leave early.

A restaurant in Châtillon-sur-Indre that is not a McDonald's

I forgot to mention one piece of news from the Saturday afternoon gathering chez one of our neighbors. There is a proposal to build a McDonald's hamburger restaurant across the river from our village in the town of Noyers-sur-Cher. It would be near the Intermarché supermarket.

The proposal has not been approved yet, and may not be approved, for zoning reasons. I hope it won't be built. But you can't stop progress. Many French children and young people love McDonald's. One of our neighbors, a teacher, says the children in her school are very excited by the idea of having a « McDo « (pronounced [mac-doh]) nearby. Right now, the closest ones to Saint-Aignan are in Amboise, Romorantin, and Blois, all about 25 miles distant.


  1. The first time we had a McDo in France we were pleasantly surprised and found the quality much better than in the UK, where we avoid them like the plague.
    The fries are always delicious, but then fries usually are in France.

  2. They keep "threatening" to build one in our town which is situated right on the National 7, a busy road running north/south. It would probably get good business.

  3. There's one in Loches as well. On the ring road near the SuperU. We have been known to go there for an occasional burger. Love the French approach. It may be fast food but at lunch they still seem to order the 'plat, dessert et cafe' rather than just the burger and fries.

  4. Hi Niall and Antoinette,

    I forgot about the one in Loches. We seldom go to the west side of town, because Leclerc on on the southeast side (Perrusson).

  5. Jean, the last time I ate at McDo in France was probably in Paris in the 1970s. The McDo fries are famously good, though.

    Meredith, traffic is what I'm worried about. The place where they are talking about putting a McDo could end up being a traffic mess.

  6. the burgers r supposed to be better than the ones here.....but i hate to see em coming to the small towns & villages....booo McDo

  7. Great shots in this post :))

    The two or three times that I've had McDo in France (despite my usual hard and fast rule of "No chain restaurants when traveling! Nothing that I could go to in St. Louis!"), I found the food to be better than U.S. MickyDee's, probably because it was freshly prepared, rather than mass-prepared in advance and MICROWAVED! One of my students who used to work for a nearby McDonald's told me to NEVER eat there :)))

    I think that a good, fresh McDo treat now and then is yummy, though, I must admit. I can understand the worry about traffic, though!

    We're expecting a scary ice-then-snow storm here, starting this afternoon. Around our neck of the woods, we're slotted for 6-10", but 10-16" an hour west. We should have up to a half inch of ice accumulating, too, starting before the snow, and then during and/or after the snow. Uh-oh. I know that the East Coast and the South have had numerous scary amounts of snow recently, too... this is just going to be a bad one here. Then, also, temps below zero (F). I predict no school the rest of the week.


  8. Well I hope you are able to avoid MacDo's (pronounced Mic-Do in Quebec Province). The last thing the Loire Valley needs is golden arches in the landscape.

  9. In the early 1980's I was stationed in Misawa Japan. The closest "MacuDoonaldo's" was a 4 hour drive. The base would organize a bus trip called the "Big Mac Attack" twice a year. Two buses would fill up to make the journey to re-experience a bit of home. I did it once, I'm not much interested in them now though.

    10 to 15 inches of snow predicted to arrive here tonight.


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