Monday, August 30, 2010

A Slow Day in Durfort

Today was supposed to be a bit of a quiet day for us but it turned out to be anything but restful. Thank goodness I had my camera with me all day as already I can barely remember what happened when now that the day is almost over!

Initially, it was a day without any plans. We breakfasted on warm chocolate croissants that simply melted in one's mouth and then 4 of us decided it would be nice to take a walk up the mountain road that leads out of Durfort. I had done this walk two years ago and remembered it as being very interesting, an easy uphill climb and lots to see - pretty villas, photogenic gates leading into interesting gardens, lots of flora and fauna. I was glad to find that my memory was correct and it was all of those things. The road follows the flow of the river with lots of pretty waterfalls glimpsed through the trees.

Two hours later, we returned to La Cascade and made lunch. We ate the last of the roasted chicken we'd bought at the market on Saturday, and leftovers from last night's dinner (we ended up saving the leftover cassolet for tonight's meal). Afterwards, Gwen suggested we go to nearby Soreze to take photos of the buildings there. Kate and Doriot stayed behind and Dawn, Meryl and I went along with Gwen.

When we arrived in Soreze, Gwen first took us to her friend Glenda's house, who joined us on our walk after showing us inside her lovely home (see photos of her street and the front of her house, both of which are so picturesque) and then we went around the corner to Ann's house, who also came along after giving us the grand tour of her incredible home as well.

We strolled up and down various streets for about 2.5 hours, with Glenda filling us in on various bits of the town's history and all of us snapping our cameras here, there and everywhere. Doors, windows, flowers, doorknockers, stone walls - you name it, we photographed it. Suddenly there are 455 photos on my disk that need to be downloaded, how did that happen??

We stopped outside the shop of a local artist to take pictures of her doorway and she invited us inside. This woman, Madame Fontane, was incredible - she will be turning 98 years old in 3 weeks time and she still has 20/20 eyesight, paints beautiful portraits, makes dolls and puppets and has written 10 books about her life story. The latest one is being published in a few weeks' time. She was delightful to listen to and luckily, I understood much of what she was saying.

We rushed back to the house in time for a 6 p.m. visit Veronique and Bernard, who run the bed and breakfast in a converted mill just outside the village where I had stayed my first night last time I was here, when I arrived the day before the rest of the group. It was great to see Vero again, she is a fascinating woman, an artist with a very unique style. They have installed a museum of kitzchy items in the ground floor of the mill that was quite entertaining.

It's now going on 9 o'clock and we still haven't had our dinner yet. I am quite tired but at the same time energized by all the wonderful things we have seen today.


Bizzy B said...

What a wonderful vacation. I'm enjoying it thru you. I've been to Paris many times, but never to the rest of France. now I see what I've missed. Thanks for the pictures and the text. I love reading about all of it - meals, sights, people - all of it.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia, thank you for blogging your way through France. I'm enjoying it so much! Lots of pictures means lots of future blogs! I can't wait to read them. Enjoy yourself! You deserve it. Sharon