My life right now can be summed up by the title of this post. This NEVER gets old for me. With the arrival of spring sunshine (if not spring temperatures, why so cold?!), I’ve been out exploring this beautiful country’s top tourist spots.
Joshua and I went for a day trip with the Périgueux cousins to explore a bit of the region…the most incredible region in France in my humble opinion! We went to the Lascaux Caves, prehistoric cave drawings dating back 20,000 years.
Thot, an animal park housing the kinds of animals seen in prehistoric painting, including really cute goats!
Montignac which is a little French village so beautiful it almost made me cry. Here I ate some cassoulet: I am convinced French women never eat this as it is basically just a casserole of fat and fibre. How are they so skinny?!
And Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. A medieval castle perched on a mountain and restored to incredible detail. Here I got really nerdy and could almost believe we were back in the time of my heroine, Eleanor of Aquitaine (she’s the main reason I chose to work in this region of France!). The castle changed hands seven times in the 100 year war with England. Complete with trebuchets and dunjon.
Paris and surrounds
I visited Paris to catch up with Erin and Jamie on their travels and force fed them cannelés for Easter. They were impressed, as required! Paris is a city of such contrasts: one second you are meandering along a gorgeous cobblestone street, in love with everything you see…the next you are in the middle of a racial argument on the Metro and sidestepping the ghetto youths. Light and shade, like all big cities I guess, it definitely made me appreciate being sent to the south of France this year. We visited the antiques market on the périphérique of Paris (cool antiques, scary suburb!). I also took the opportunity to go for a few day trips outside the city.
Chartres and its Cathedral; the most impressive example of French Gothic architecture. Not much else to see but I was definitely impressed.
Chantilly: home of lace, cream, horses and a beautiful Chateau. It was stunning, complete with Beauty and the Beast-esque library and apparently there is a maze and kangaroos in the gardens…though it was far too cold to see for myself.
And Provins, an incredible little medieval town and formerly one of the most important champagne fairs in Europe. Here I did more dorky, medieval things like a tour of a recreated champagne fair and ate rose waffles. Mmm.
And this week, we were lucky enough to have Sarah take us on an afternoon trip to visit a few gorgeous beaux villages in the next region to ours, Corrèze in Limousin. Collonges-la-Rouge; a gorgeous, red-stone village where we munched on goose and cheese.
And Turenne a quiet little village perched on a mountain with incredible views.
Oh and I went to see a few Kiwis play rugby for Périgueux (the mascot is a duck, I almost died of happiness) and did a bit of teaching in between…nothing too strenuous!