Monday, June 25, 2007


View from ramparts of a nearby village The gite from the front
Brian on the stepping stones in the river by the gite
To give you some idea of the frescos and painting in the churches - this is just one of many

Wine on the terrace
We got back from a week in France yesterday and had a lovely restful time. The gite was in the Vienne in the middle of France and the place was really quiet. The roads were great long straight two lane roads (these were the minor white ones on the map) and we were usually the only car on them! It is really beautiful there but you can also see that it is very poor. Highlights were the frescos in the churches which were unbelievable - a tiny village of a couple of hundred people with a 10th century church and the walls still covered with frescos. And there are so many of them!! It really makes you realise what britain lost between the reformation and the puritans - our churches used to look like that. We went to a plainsong mass at a Benedictine abbey which was wonderful. We went to Oradur sur Glane, a village where the Germans set fire to the church with the whole village inside as a reprisal for resistance activities, then they burnt the rest of the village. It has been left ruined as a memorial, and as you go round there are plaques saying who lived in which house, where the hairdresser was, etc. There are rusting bedsteads and cars, it is really very evocative.

We also saw kingfishers, heron, grebes and buzzards, but no red squirrels despite what the comments book in the gite said. We managed to find one (only ) tourist office open, and not many cafes - despite the opening hours saying that they were open a lot of the time. There is a little supermarket called 8 a huit - opening hours are 9-12.30, 3-7. Good eh? They haven't quite got the hang of tourism there which is a shame because i think they could use the money.

We mostly had nice weather, a few thunderstorms but mostly at night, so we were lucky there i think

I have no idea why I can't get the photos to go where I want them, or why the text is underlined!! Oh well


Nicky has gone off to the USA for the summer now and left me with a mess (called her bedroom) a bill to pay for her glasses, and a car to sell!! Some things never change it seems.


Boo and Trev said...

It looks really lovely. I think your weather was better than here.

katemcnabb said...

Mum it looks gorgeous there, I'm very jealous!!! Must've been almost harrowing walking around that empty post-war village...

So glad you guys had a good time.