Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Back in France - Again

We are finally back in France again and time to start some new blog entries. It seems like we have been planning this trip forever. I'm pretty sure we reserved the apartment last spring and made our plane reservations in September of 2016. This year we flew on IcelandAir for the first time. We bought our tickets with credit card points so it was pretty cheap. Pam gave us a ride to the airport and we waited around for 3 hours for our flight. (It was not late, we were early.)
The flight from Boston to Reykjavic was only about 4 hours which is probably the limit of flight time before the airline has to feed you. There was nothing to eat not even  a snack of a few pretzels. They advertised a $10 baguette with ham and cheese but no one ever asked us if we wanted to buy one.
We changed planes in Reykjavic and landed on time at Charles DeGaulle and waited 45 minutes for our luggage. Jacques picked us up and brought us to his home for a delicious meal that Claire had prepared. Endives wrapped in ham with bechamel sauce. Judy's favorite dish. Thank you Claire.

After a very early start the next day we stopped for lunch in a town called Magnac Bourg. The only restaurant we found open was one called Le Compostelle.
It is a very small but welcoming stop on the pilgrimage to Compostello, Spain. Notice the shell on the sign. (click on any photo to enlarge it.) That marks the pilgrim's trail to Spain. We arrived a bit early for lunch but we were hungry. We were the first ones there but the three tables were soon filled. Two separate couples sat at a table for 4.

The woman at the bar may be the owner or at least a well known customer as she gave up her seat at a table when a second couple came in to eat. (did I say it was small?).

After getting off the highway and travelling some small roads, we found the Inn at Saint Cirq Lapopie. We have a very nice room with a small vineyard just outside our door.
The town of St Cirq Lapopie is quite charming. It is situated on one side of the valley along the  Lot River. Very quaint.

The Twin City of St Cirq Lapopie is Cahor. They are "Twin Cities" but only 30 kms apart. One thing I learned at the "Musee du Vin" in St. Cirq Lapopie is that Malbec wine which we normally think is from Argentina is from Cahor originally. The vines were brought to Argentina years ago but Malbec is still used in the wine from this region.

Cahors is also on the pilgrimage route and the route is marked with shells on the sidewalk. This is the Shell that marks the Pilgrimage Trail through town and over the bridge on its way south toward Spain. 

Here is Pont Valentre, an ancient bridge from the 12-13th century that was fortified for protection of the city. It was redone in 1850's and is in great shape now. It is a UNESCO Heritage World Site.

The Cathedral of St. Etienne is from the same era and it too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of special interest.

We had dinner Monday night at Le Gourmet Quercynois in St. Cirq Lapopie. . It being the low season, they were out of a few things on the menu that we wanted to order but all in all we were pleased with the dinner.

After a long day we were ready for bed and anticipating The Life of the Truffles on Tuesday.

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