Winter in France, especially rural France, can be a very dreary and lonely experience. A person can go for weeks without interaction! Everyone is shuttered up in their homes, making it appear as though no one lives anywhere. There isn’t much to do, I’m afraid, so one makes do.
Now that Spring has sprung, and with the warmer, sunnier weather, the old gray shutters are opening again and life is once more peering out of those gray, wintry hermit caves. Speaking of caves, this weekend, my husband and I drove just over an hour to visit the very picturesque town of Brantôme in the Dordogne region of France. It was a completely spontaneous excursion, and though Stuart has been there before, we didn’t know what we’d find…if anything…as it was Sunday when most things in France are closed.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover that shops were open…on a Sunday! And the little village was teeming with people. It was wonderful. We walked along the river and in the park, enjoying the perfectly cool, but sunny weather.
I think we both felt like patients let out of the ward! The first thing we did was have a couple of ice cream cones. Then we perused the handful of shops that were open.
I mentioned caves before because Brantôme is an area rich with grottes. We didn’t partake of any tours, but I did enjoy feeling the delicious change in temperature walking just in front of some of the caves against which the town is built. I absolutely love that cool, earthy air!
Since we had missed the lunch hour and the restaurants were only serving drinks (French Lesson: If you don’t eat at culturally appointed “mealtimes”, you are generally out of luck), we ended up eating at a little tea house. Our sandwiches were delicious, but neither of us could resist following up with an additional ice cream cone. (Hey! It was a day to celebrate!)
It did us both a world of good…the ice cream and the jaunt!
(Photos by Stuart Davies or Dielle Ciesco 2016)