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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
What happened on Sunday? 
19th-Oct-2005 09:13 pm
cruising log
In transit and courtesy of wi-fi and Etappe hotels.



Today marks the beginning of a week's festivities in Pont de Vaux. There is a Grande Foire Braderie de la St Francois de l'Aube au Crepuscule all over the town. It took MWNN and I ages to work out that this was not St Francis from Aube of the Creatures of the Night but that there would be a huge market in full swing from dawn to dusk.



It bore a stiking resemblance to that in Louhans - complete with Llamas, donkeys and horses. Some colourful characters were present, as always,



(the leather goods stall that is always there on Wednesdays is manned by this very large African gentleman who always dresses in traditional garb.)

and there was a great proliference of clothing and leather goods stalls, whereas those offering regional specialities, andouilette (tripe sausage), saucison sec, cheese were thin on the ground. We weren't tempted to buy anything but wandered through the streets taking photos of typical French people doing typically French things.



It was a sensory experience of a very special kind. As we walked over the footbridge from the moorings, the 'promenade a pony' was in full swing with the constant whinnying to their comrades in action of the beasts left behind in the care of the attendant.



The smell of roasting nuts on the hot chestnut stall



was overpowered by the sweeter aroma of caramilised sugar from the barbe de papa (candy floss as it is known in the UK)and gaufres.



Further along the street, the fragrant scents of spices and herbs took over from the succulent mouth watering smell of chicken and lamb on the spit. We were not tempted by the andouiette seller,



knowing as we do the main ingredient that makes up the deceptively delicious-looking fat sausages he was heaping into pitta parcels.

Nevertheless, we decided to 'go native' and yesterday (Saturday)I booked lunch at one of the small restaurants (Le Petit Boufe) in the back streets away from the bustle of a market. Lunch was well worth the 15 euros; the salad rustique came with two different smoked hams and asparagus; the chicken a la creme (MWNN was served half a chicken) was reeking with garlic and the dauphinoise were crispy on top and yet soft and cooked through; a selection of regional cheeses (everywhere seems to count Brie as their own) followed; finally, the meringue ice cream was accompanied by red currants and raspberries. Not included in the price was the cremant Bourgignon apperatif, a carafe of good cotes de Rhone, and two coffees. Even so, the total bill was less than half that paid at Chez Margot in chalon and both the quality and quantity of food was far superior; note to would-be tourists - avoid the restaurants on the tourist street in Chalon sur Saone unless you book a table at Chez Jules or Le Bourgignon, both of which come highly recommended by the locals. A three generation family sat at the table next to us at Le Petit Boufe and the two little girls were served their dinner while waiting for Maman, Mami and Papi to appear. By the time the adults were ready for their main course, the girls had finished and were becoming restless. MWNN asked me to work out how to suppress the flash on the camera and do a test shot. After taking one of him, the littlest girl stuck her head into frame. She was delighted when I showed her the result on the screen. The older girl hung back a little so I took one of her and showed the result. The camera image is so small and fleeting that they were not aware that they had been too close and the pictures were out of focus. On the way out, I snapped a quick shot of Monsieur behind the bar, but unfortunately he moved. Nonetheless, it was better than MWNN's attempt at a shot of the interior which showed the tile pattern of the floor in great detail. He blamed it on the camera, I think the cremant and carafe of wine may have had more than a little to do with it.

Back in the UK by the weekend, where there is more work awaiting us according to our concierge neighbour. The builders are finished but there is dust dust and more dust to be cleared before we can start reintegrating the contents of the garage that are strewn all over the house and setting to getting flooring and shelving organised for the new study/library.
Comments 
19th-Oct-2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
The fair attracted quite a throng!
19th-Oct-2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
Lovely pictures. The smell of roasting chestnuts just can't be beaten.

Best of luck with the dust when you get home!
19th-Oct-2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
Lovely evocative pics, enjoy your last few days.
19th-Oct-2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
Lovely pics! Looking forward to having you back. :)
19th-Oct-2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
These are gorgeous!
20th-Oct-2005 12:22 am (UTC)
GORGEOUS photos
20th-Oct-2005 03:28 am (UTC)
Beautiful pics, but I've gained another 10 lbs from reading your description of the food and I'm still hungry.

It will be nice having you back, but I'm sorry your holiday is ending. They never last long enough.
23rd-Oct-2005 09:34 am (UTC)
This trip certainly wasn't long enough. It seemed no sooner had we de-winterised the boat and seen to the maintenance that had suffered from neglect over the hot summer, than we we winterising it again and heading home. It's our home in France and we missed a lot of our friends who had already packed up and gone by the time we arrived.

The problems generated by the building project are made worse by MWNN's ear infection and eye problems. He really should be getting plenty of rest but he's feeling guilty about the state of the house.

On a brighter note, I had a breakthrough with the next chapter of Soul Searching - but it's now finding the time to get down and write it.
23rd-Oct-2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
Ooh, tell MWNN to take it easy. Infections like that can hang around forever if you don't take care of yourself. It sounds like you might have to sit on him, and make him settle 8D

I've been so bad about keeping up with my reading. I think I've got a touch of SAD, after hosting the cold that wouldn't go away and I've found it hard to focus. Strangely, I seem to be able to read non-fiction so it is probably guilt about not writing or something.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter of Soul Searching though. I find it so satisfying - right up my alley.

Don't work yourself too hard -- you've just gotten over being ill yourself. At least, I hope you have.
20th-Oct-2005 07:12 am (UTC)
Glad to know that you had such a lovely time.
Thanks for sharing th pretty pictures!

21st-Oct-2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Lovely ending to the holiday. Safe journey home!

I've really enjoyed reading about your time in France.

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