St Fleur and the festival of the culture of the mountains
Stan picked up a hire car in Agen and after mastering the left hand drive, staying on the right hand side of the road and activating "Serena" the fabulous GPS system we drove for almost 5.5 hours through spectacular mountain scenery, big valleys and rivers, hydroelectric systems with massive dams, on big tollways as well as small winding roads, through fog and drizzle to reach the town built on an old volcano: St Fleur. That sentence almost as long as the drive.
It was 8 degrees when we arrived...... Amazing how much more we liked the town when the sun came out a day later. It's a very authentic town, we did not spot any other foreign tourists, few locals spoke English and we were so lucky to be there the weekend of an annual music festival, bit like the Celtic festival in Portarlington, but smaller. It had a nice vibe about it.
Once again we shopped at a local market. We bought meat from local butcher thought it was " little cow " for Stan's birthday dinner we discovered probably pork, with a pork mince inside wrapped into little parcels. Oh well good to try local produce. We shopped, went on a hike down the hundreds of stairs to the lower village then up to a plateau on the hill opposite to view the village from higher up - amazing huge walls, great defence for the town. At least half a dozen churches, small narrow lane ways and we had a house 5 storeys tall - a room to each level- sucks when you go to bathroom on ground level and realise you need something on 5th floor! It was so cute.
We went to a mineral spa complex at Chaudes-Aigues ( which I believe means hot springs ). We celebrated Stan's birthday with the McCubbins who joined us on the day and tension there for a few more days. Our stay cut short as Stan returns to Melbourne for the week for his brother's funeral. Pretty tough for him.
So today we drove to Lyon. Lovely city, very civilised. Stan headed off to airport, we leave for Tuscany tomorrow. I hope our next car has a good GPS. It's time for Liacos girls Tuscan adventure. We miss Stan already.
- spa complex so much fun it had a strong whirlpool, lots of fountains, spa and a hot pool on the roof outside, which if you stuck you head in the water you could hear relaxing music very clearly
- St Fleur was great example of hilltop medieval town, big stone walls, huge buttresses, about 5 churches, narrow alleyways and narrow houses going up a few floors.
- unfortunately Cassie left her camera under the table at lunchtime on Stan's birthday. We went back to see if it was found or handed in but no luck. She is very sad she lost all the creative and interesting photos from this trip. Was looking for it to back it up to iPad when discovered she didn't have it. Poor Cassie, happens to all of us.
- the birthday dinner I cooked was not so tasty , always tricky to cook in someone else's kitchen and when you are not sure of what you are buying. We thought we bought theses little veal parcels but turned out to be pork, and I don't think i cooked it the right way so very dry. Don't know why I just didn't stick to the old Liacos favourite of snitzels??? What was I thinking......