What’s down there?

Hidden steps down to the basement

Hidden steps down to the basement

Bill’s a curious guy and I mean that nicely. You do have to be careful here in French with some descriptors because your “inquisitive” friend might just be “odd” depending on where you place the noun and adjective. The house we’ve rented has plentiful and almost instant hot water and no apparent place to hide a huge tank or even a compact on-demand gas heater. Bill had been wondering about it since our arrival and finally asked the landlord where it was and her response was to simply point downwards. Ah ha, we have a basement and some place new to explore!
On a previous trip to France when we rented a château with friends, there was a dry moat surrounding the castle with warning signs of not to enter the trenched area. The more curious in our party paid the signs no heed and had a fun afternoon exploring the moat and the caves within it that had been carved out centuries before. With that experience under his belt, Bill was now anxious to investigate the basement that we had been sitting unaware above all this time.
In the picture you can see that the resident puzzle-solver made quick work of some of the tiles in our tiny courtyard to reveal a descending staircase. Can you guess which of us said “I wonder what’s down there” vs. “I’m not going down there”?
It should be no surprise to learn that Bill was the first to enter this hidden sanctum and emerged with the news that it wasn’t as creepy as I might have imagined. Like any explorer, he returned with tales of electric lights, dry stone floors and walls, a bidet (this is France, after all) and a giant electric water heater taller than he is. Christopher Columbus had found his city of gold!

Former fireplace in the basement

Former fireplace in the basement

A few days later, armed with a broom for the cobwebs and a camera to show you the treasures below, I followed Bill back down with some boxes to put in storage. What I found was pretty much what you’d expect to see in your grandmother’s basement, minus the bidet, except for the bricked up fireplace you see here. We don’t know much yet about the history of this house but I bet Bill’s curiosity will lead us to some fascinating results.

Advertisements

About Bob

While living in North, Central and South America, in the middle of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, and now in Europe, my passion has remained the same: travel and meeting new friends.

Posted on June 12, 2016, in Life in France and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Oh, the joy of an intrepid partner!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wendy Harrington

    One wonders who, or what is bricked up in the fireplace? Ghost tours of Carcassonne?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The aha moment! I love it! I’m with Wendy, what’s behind the fireplace? Shall we look?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would have been right down there with Bill!
    You should grow mushrooms.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m glad there were no skeletons….yet. The former owner of our apartments in the Bastide told us the rumor is the entire center is a honeycomb of tunnels under the buildings. It wouldn’t surprise me. We also have a cave there, but it’s 100% terrifying. There’s a rotten wooden ladder, and barely any headroom. The floor is dirt, and it all looks like something out of a bad horror movie. We would like to have it filled in. Impossible to store anything down there. Maybe Bill should come and explore first.
    I saw someone at the market yesterday who looked like your picture, so I boldly went up and said, “Are you Bob?” Obviously not.
    BTW, there are all kinds of caves in the Black Mountains. I had the honor of going spelunking with a third grade class some years ago. It wasn’t until we were well inside the cave that I thought to be worried about spiders, but there were none, thank goodness. At one point, the guide had me stand in a dark spot and not move, to make sure the kids didn’t venture further because there was a 30-foot hole behind me. GULP. But overall, I enjoyed exploring the caves.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. When I saw the title to this blog, somehow I knew you were going to mention the dry moat exploration in 2004. We were talking last night with friends about us disregarding the “do not enter” sign & the fun we had exploring with a glass of wine. Go Bill!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Steve Durfee

    Perhaps a fine amontillado?

    Liked by 2 people

Renestance

French Retirement Dream

A year in Périgord

Tales of a Brit who stopped in Lille on his way to Périgord – and stayed

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

wcs

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

Just another WordPress.com weblog

An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures

%d bloggers like this: