Today we had a slow wander around Le Puy-en-Velay. Our first stop being the Lace Museum, which despite the advertisements, no longer had the automatic machine for making lace. Such a swizz. There was a passing reference to UK lace making, which made R cross because of slight inaccuracies over bobbins & spangles. (Apparently, not every county has spangles on their bobbins like Buckinghamshire, but few counties were even mentioned.)
R surprised by the street decorations, not exactly the normal flags.
We ate a very good sandwich lunch in a cafe, where I had stood and watched the previous night’s entertainment.
More walking to where I thought I had watched more of the night’s entertainment.
The Hotel de Ville had a garden outside, complete with a vegetable section with tomatoes, aubergines, chillies etc. An old, stooped lady was gathering her meal for the night and eating straight from the plants.
The city boasted a somewhat huge Hotel Du Departement. Hotels de Ville we’ve seen before but never a Hotel Du Departement.
This was our sightseeing day. We headed out and both of us walked up the Rocher Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe. This chapel was built in 969 on a volcanic plug, 85 metres high. There are steps all the way to the top. Some good carved angels. Swallows were soaring in the breeze around the rock.
Back down, then up again to the cathedral, and down Rue des Tables to have lunch in a cafe, of course we ate Puy Lentils. We had not realized that this town was The Puy Lentil town and had in fact imported some.
We walked back up Rue des Tables to the cathedral. The entrance to the cathedral is up yet more steps. When inside, looking back, the entrance looks like a hole in the floor, descending to the street and back on down the street. The cathedral is a national monument and is a centre of pilgrimage. It forms part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. I then went up the Notre-Dame de France. This is a statue cast out of 213 Russian cannons captured during the Crimean War and given to the town of Le Puy-en-Velay by the Emperor Napoleon III. You can climb up inside the statue and peer out of the top, or through numerous portals on her side. The statue is bolted together from many sections.
Back down on earth, we visited a small supermarket, and then back to the campsite for supper.
After sunset I went out to see some of the son-et-lumiere being displayed in the city. Various stories were being told by projecting images onto the buildings or volcanic plugs. I did not manage to see them all, there were 9 in total scattered around the city.
Le Rocher Saint-Michel D’Aiguilhe – A story of the creation of the volcano, then the church.
After the night parked in Jen and Bev’s, we played again with Lottie the dog before departing with J&B to Brantôme en Périgord, where we had a coffee in a cafe run by a couple of South Africans. A quick look around, and then we headed our diverse ways, J&B back home and us onto Le Puy-en-Velay.
Why Puy-en-Velay? We had never heard of it. I drew a line on the map from Cussac to the Verdon Gorge, our selected destination. Then I selected a campsite halfway along the line, preference given to campsites in a town. Puy-en-Valey came up, it looked interesting with its volcanic history. There was an ACSI campsite in town, as we prefer to be within a short walk of shops, restaurants and bars
The drive to Puy-en-Velay was fairly tedious, again a slow route across country on minor and departmental roads. Some areas were ski resorts, and there were road markers for the inevitable winter snow. The highland moors were being patrolled by numerous kites and buzzards. Never seen quite so many. We eventually arrived after 5 and half hours at 17:16 and took the very last pitch available in the campsite. There were at least two other vans waiting behind us. We set up under a tree and had supper.
The drama of the day occurred after the sun set. I took a last swig of his beer without looking and offended a wasp who was having a drink. The wasp stung me on my lip. Rosemary removed the quite large barb from my lip and administered internal and external antihistamine treatment. We both reread the instructions on the EpiPen in case it was needed. Other than a swollen lip, which partly subsided during the night, the services of the hospital next door were not required. R issued a new standing instruction to check glass & bottle before taking a swig – crunch & stinging sensations should not occur.
A shorter trip today and drove to Jen and Bev’s new (to us) home. In 2020 they had moved some 4 miles from their previous home which we had visited a few times before. On the way, I filled up the van. Morrison had achieved over 600 miles on the tank with plenty more to go. Found fuel at 179 euro a litre, significantly cheaper than the UK. Later we found if you filled at Total, the price was down to less than 160 euro a litre.
Rosemary has known Jen since school days (ie a long time). Amazingly they still have much to talk about.
Lottie their dog entertained us all by chasing one of her balls as we admired the many small birds on the feeders. Mad creature wants you to throw her ball. Unfortunately, she never quite brings the ball back to you to throw. It was exercising the humans, who had to get up and retrieve the ball to be thrown again. A Labrador puppy should be arriving late September, so Lottie will have a young dog to teach. Jen also feeds a couple of stray cats, but at night, so they rarely see them.
We went out for a quick snack lunch in a local village. Coming back, we set up the van for the night in their driveway.
Later in the evening we went for dinner at Auberge de la Vallée de la Gorre in Saint-Auvent.
Both the restaurants we visited were British owned and run. As you can see, the Auberge had a stock of English beers for the Brits.
A complete day in Arçais. I went for a morning walk and an afternoon walk through the woods and along the canals. Typically walking into many dead ends and having to retrace steps. The chain ferry was closed, so I was unable to walk on the northside of the canal. Google maps is not particularly good for walkers. I did use the Outdoors app, which actually showed the paths, and where they ended. I wish I had started using it earlier.
Rosemary went out with Linda once to meet someone Linda knew who was staying in the town and again to the local farm to buy mogette beans and other bits. This year Linda bought only 5 kg. They watched as one customer bought 70 kg. Even allowing for the weight of the pods, that seemed a lot. Perhaps they were buying for their entire village?? Not sure if Linda will bottle or freeze the beans.
Vegetarian lasagne for supper in the garden. Entertained by Furbie. He was actually called “Forban” (aka pirate) when they first got him, but they thought “Furbie” easier to say. He is a very lovely Griffon Korthal.