After an incredible time in Spain, it was time to head for the south of France to stay with Sue and Dave in Limousin. Three great little train trips took us there. A train to the Spanish border, where we changed trains, followed by a picturesque journey to Bordeaux. There we spent an enjoyable time before overnighting at the Hotel Regina opposite the railway station. The next morning we caught the train to Angouleme where Dave and Sue met us at the station.
This signalled the start of a fabulous week in rural France. It was great to be chaperoned by a couple with local knowledge. Sue and Dave are enjoying their second summer in France after buying their dream house the year before. And it’s great! They are working on their garden and adding all sorts of personal touches as the weeks go by.
Being with Sue and Dave allowed us to see aspects of France we would never have seen on the regular tourist route. Driving through the lush green countryside through endless quaint villages and towns, was enough in itself. But we visited vide greniers (attic sales), met the neighbours, bought our breads and bakery goods direct from the local boulangerie and enjoyed local wines and other produce.
We visited local places of interest including amazing chateaux and churches straight out of the history books. We walked where Richard the Lion Heart had passed centuries earlier.
One of the highlights for me was a visit to the town of Oradour-sur-Glane. This town was the scene of a massacre at the hands of the Nazis in 1944. 642 people were murdered in the village and it has been left as it was as a memorial to the victims. Although confronting, it was an amazing experience to wander the streets of the village and imagine the horror of one day in 1944. It was also an opportunity to imagine life in a French village over 60 years ago. In many ways little has changed.
Another highlight was to visit a local dance, held in the streets of a nearby town. We sat at trestle tables with hundreds of other locals and enjoyed French wine and produce to the sounds of a local band. On a balmy evening it wasn’t dark until after 10pm, so we chatted and danced and soaked it all up. A fantastic night! On another night we enjoyed a brilliant fireworks display put on by the lake in a nearby town.
Thank you Sue and Dave for a fantastic week.