A day without train

A square in RiansIn the morning Honeybuns and I were slow to awake, but eventually got up and had breakfast and then went for a stroll, guided by Johan. I often am surprised by places that turn out to look exactly like they do on TV. This little French village looked like exactly like a little French village. I half expected a cheerful crowd to come around the corner, waving bottles of Pommac.

Église de St LaurentThe church had seemingly a large number of secondary shrines along the walls in proportion to the length of the walls. There seemed to be a large number of slogans about the importance of religion—I wondered whether they always used to be there or if the Catholic church felt the need to rally under the onslaught of modern times and embarrassments.

We did a bit of shopping and I had spun up my French enough (it always takes me a couple of days) to use it on the shopkeepers and noted we really were far in the countryside, usually the French quickly change to English when they hear me mangling their language, but here they apparently Don’t Do English.

Saint-Martin-de-PallièresAfter lunch we decided to go further afield and visit some other villages even further up in the mountains and first went to Saint-Martin-de-Pallières which had an even smaller population, even more slanting streets, quainter houses and a big fortress on top. And a church of course. Tourist information signs told us that after the Revolution, authorities had attempted to rename the town to something less Christian, but this had not stuck. What still was left, was the public belltower, erected to provide a secular counterpoint to the church bell.

Poppies in Bois de Mont MajorWe drove away through the Bois de Mont Major, a landscape which reminded me much of Kinnekulle. In the middle of the forest we found a field of poppies and had to stop to listen to the silence.

GinasservisThen we continued until we got to Ginasservis, a somewhat larger village with an even more typical French square. We stopped for something to drink and relaxed in the shadow of the planes.

An open-air laundromatEventually we returned home, where we decided we needed some additional ingredients for dinner and went to the local supermarket. I was quite fascinated by the outdoor laundromat by the supermarket.

Then, time to prepare food. We would make ratatouille as we by chance had found a recipe in last Sunday’s Dagens Nyheter that I’d brought along for reading when we left, this for a grill-prepared ratatouille that actually looked just like the one in the film.

IngredientsFinished course

We had our dinner on the terrace behind the house and watched the sun set over the lavender fields.

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