A few years ago we were in France’s Loire valley which boasts the country’s highest concentration of chateaux (castles) per square kilometer. On some days we would visit one in the morning, stop for lunch, visit a second in the afternoon and then return to our own rented castle for the evening. Even after a week of that schedule we only saw a few of the 300 or so that exist there. One especially memorable chateau was Chambord, not only because it’s the valley’s largest but because of how cold it was inside; colder than it was outside; stone cold.
The expression “it’s so cold you could hang meat in there” came instantly to mind. Flash forward several years to yesterday and that same thought was in my head when we walked into this house. Despite the very warm welcome we got from our landlords, the stone walls of this place were holding on to their chill for as long as possible. The owners had come by to turn on the heat to a comfortable 22 degrees C (about 72 F) and 24 hours later the downstairs unit is still pumping out warm air trying to get up to that setting.
My hope is that this summer these same stone walls will do their job by continuing to keep the interior of the house cool while the outside bakes in the Mediterranean sun. In the meantime I’m wearing 4 layers of clothing (yes, really) and drinking hot coffee and tea as fast as Bill will make the cups. That at least gives me another excuse for having a fresh pastry or some other treat from the local bakery.