Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Annebecq, Normandy

Nigel Kelly and Marge Hurley, the brother in law and sister in law of our friend Haydi Hurley, have a home they are renovating in a small town in Normandy. When they heard we were going to be in France for a while, they offered us their place for a few days. I didn't think that we would have the time to actually take advantage of that offer, but, when Curt and Terry decided to visit for 12 days, I figured it would be good to give Paris a break and visit another part of France.

Nigel sent us a comprehensive document about the place including specific driving instructions. Unfortunately for us, we were coming into town from the opposite direction. We got stuck in an endless detour loop in the town of Vire before finally finding the minor road that would take us to Annebecq. Looking for the road out of town was the classic battle of winging it vs. asking for directions. Not sure who won, but we did make it here.

Had we followed Nigel's directions we would  have had no problem finding the house. But, we were just freewheeling it and used an iPhone for directions. Using his directions in reverse, we found the little road leading to Annebecq,  passed between the two houses, took a left at the stop sign and then a right by the church and, voila, we were there. What a beautiful drive.

This charming French house is next to an old church and surrounded by an equally old farmhouse and barn. The church is from the XV century. Many of us were not even born then. It has a cemetery next to it where townsfolk over the ages are buried. There is also a  monument to the members of the village who died in WWI and WWII.

You enter the house into a large living room. The front part of the room is currently used for storage, but the rear has interesting furniture pieces and 2 comfy chairs and couch in front of a huge, almost walk-in fireplace. We had fires both nights we were there and really enjoyed relaxing in this room.

From there you pass into the kitchen which has a fridge, freezer, stove, everything you'd need. Exiting the rear of the kitchen, you find a WC on the left. It is one of 3 WC's where interesting reading is available. You then enter a huge dinning room with beautiful hardwood flooring and bookshelves. The door to the outside leads to the gravel courtyard.

Upstairs there are 3 comfortable bedrooms.The bedroom we slept in has an old fireplace which we did not  use. There is a doorway from that bedroom that leads down an old stone staircase to the courtyard.

The only neighbor we saw is the ugly old sheep who roams the grassy area around the barn next door.

One whole wall on the outside is covered with a vine that is getting ready to blossom. It may be Wisteria, but whatever it is, it will look great soon. The front of the house shows a faint silhouette of a chimney and some of the stonework looks new (ish). So, we think that the facade was changed at some point and a new entrance built. We wonder how it was used before so we'll have to find out the history of the building.

We found their place really very charming and the region is full of interesting and historic sites. We are very thankful to Nigel and Marge for their generosity and we look forward to seeing Marge and Haydi in Paris at the end of April.

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