Night Location: Le Puy, France
Song of the Day: Minor Swing - Chocolat Soundtrack
Mumisode of the Day: Mum has made herself laugh a lot today as she realised that on leaving the rental house, she left a dessert spoon that she has been using to dose herself with Olive Leaf Extract on the floor of the toilet, or so she thinks. She can't imagine what the cleaner is going to think we were doing with the spoon!
The summary for today is that we drove a lot! The group was up early. We cleaned the house, packed the car in the quick burst of rain for the day, and were on the road about an hour before sunrise. Sounds more impressive than it is as the sun comes up around 8 am.
The aim for the day was to get to Le Puy as soon as possible so that we could explore the town and climb up to the chapel that sits on a volcanic plug (hence the 'puy' meaning 'volcano').
On arriving in Le Puy, we checked into our hotel and set off quickly in search of some lunch. We all anticipated that this would be a fairly quick venture, but we were so wrong. In fact, in took the better part of an hour, with a lot of wandering up and down cobbled lane ways, staring into numerous patisseries full of sweets and walking into many boulangeries (bakeries) only to discover that there were pretty much nil vegetarian options anywhere. When at last we made the discovery of a vegetarian 'pizzette', there was nothing else available for the remaining group. The group split up: the girls had the tomato and cheese pizzettes and the boys walked back to another boulangerie and had chicken baguettes.
The saddest part of the day came with the discovery that the Puy Chapel St Michel had closed yesterday. This is probably what makes the trek to Le Puy worthwhile. To add insult to injury, the large Madonna with child statue that you can climb up inside, had also closed yesterday. Apparently the stairs are too slippery when icy, something that we had not considered given the mild weather conditions we had been having.
As an alternative, we set off up the hill to the cathedral. It is quite the climb, with lots of mini-stairs. Amber and Gareth showed off their excellent map-reading skills navigating the tiny pedestrian streets. Stumbling out of the church, we gave the cloisters a miss and discovered an incredible park overlooking the Puy church complete with enormous black dog and grotto. Lots of pictures were taken. The afternoon light coming though the leaves was just incredible.
Walking back down the hill, the children found Mum and Dad in a second-hand book shop where Mum was having a conversation using English and charades with the shop-owner. After leaving Mum and Dad, we found a patisserie and drank hot chocolates with a variety of sweets.
After dinner, Gemma and Gareth set off once again to see what the town looked like at night and hopefully to get some pictures of the chapel and statue lit up. Gareth mastered the slow shutter on the camera. Gemma was very jealous of the night photos; hers are a little sad in comparison.
Tomorrow we drive through the mountains to Sarlat.