Monthly Archives: April 2019

Caunes-Minervois day trip

The gorge from the quarry

Earlier this month we wrote about an order for a marble column that King Louis XIV had placed in 1670 that was finally being filled. It was/is destined for the Palace of Versailles where the majority of the red marble already in place there came from a quarry about 30 minutes northeast of Carcassonne. Inspired by that story, our friends Sally and Larry, who had already been to that area suggested that they take us there to see just how beautiful the mountaintop views are. Sally said, “In half an hour you will be amazed at how different the landscape becomes.” and she was right. Read the rest of this entry

Wine tasting impressions

Two eager wine tasters

Given that we live in the world’s largest wine producing region, it’s no surprise that Bill and I have ample opportunities to taste that favorite beverage of Roman god Bacchus. It might be at a neighbor’s house, in the corner mom-and-pop shop, at the cooperative of 50 brands represented in the newly-restored early 1900s Le Comptoir de la Cité, or at one of the many city-sponsored festivals given throughout the year. We were at one of these fêtes last weekend, organized by CitéVins, which is a group of young vintners, mentored by award-winning sommelier Baptiste Ross-Bonneau, who promote the smaller producers in our part of the country. The show opened at 9:00 AM but even for we seasoned tasters, closer to mid-day was better and the timing was perfect. Read the rest of this entry

Scenic route to Clermont-Ferrand

Lecoq Park entrance in Clermont-Ferrand

Our motto might be, “If there’s a train station there, we’ll go. If it’s via a scenic route, we’ll go there twice just to take in all of the views from both sides of the train.” In the case of Clermont-Ferrand, a city in central France that’s been inhabited since prehistoric times, we didn’t even have to backtrack because we went up one set of tracks (la ligne des Causses/de l’Aubrac) and came home on another (la ligne des Cévennes), both of them colored green on the map to indicate journeys not to be missed. In store for us were tracks clinging to the cliff sides, wide gorges with rivers below, tunnels, castles, a viaduct built by Gustave Eiffel in 1885 and a dinner reservation that first evening at the most popular restaurant in town. Read the rest of this entry

King Louis XIV, your order is ready

Sidewalks paved with marble

The walls of our bathroom are lined with marble slabs that we believe were part of the original house construction about 100 years ago. Of course the marble has been around a lot longer than that since it came from a quarry 20 kilometers (12 miles) from here where 2000 years ago the Romans were mining this beautiful rock formed perhaps 500 million years before then. What we recently discovered is that this same quarry supplied 80 percent of the red marble used to decorate the Palace of Versailles beginning in the middle 1600s and they’re not finished yet. Read the rest of this entry

A new life in Lille

Tales of a Brit who moved to northern France

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

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An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures