Monday, 8 July 2013

France, June 2013

Our base for the week - Moulin de Garreau
 Hello all!  We got back from a lovely week in France in the middle of the night, the Sunday before last.  Our car came back the following Friday!!! But I don't want to start on a negative note, because we did enjoy ourselves, so I'll leave that until later.

The lake we walked around or fished in.
 There was so much to do at the house we could have amused ourselves there for the entire week, but we did take time out on a few days.
The Green Room (ours!)
 The weather picked up nicely after the drizzly drive down from St Malo and we didn't have another bad day until the day we left, which meant it was more comfortable to drive in.

 This is the first of four evening meals we ate at the house.  I think I enjoyed these meals more than when we ate out. It was quite a rural area where the locals didn't speak much English, so choosing from a French menu without much help was a bit hit and miss.  Who knew that 'gesiers' were gizzards!! Apparently they were quite nice.
 This is our communal sitting/dining area with the table set for dinner.  That shoe dumping area became quite messy by the end of the week!
 We dined alfresco a couple of times, making good use of the brick BBQ in the garden.

A couple of glasses of Pimms went down well while the BBQ was cooking.

A day on the beach at Isle de Re was just the thing on the hottest day of the week.

The 15 minute walk to the pizzeria was through the beautiful French countryside (You can't see the brick and tile factory on the other side of the road from this angle :-) We met an ex-pat at the pizzeria who works at the factory. He helped translate a little for us and arranged for us to go with the owner of the pizzeria to one of his wine suppliers, after we'd asked if there were any vineyards we could visit.  We met them one evening at 4pm and they led the way.  We would never have found one without their help because they don't seem to advertise for tourists.

There seemed to be a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, in general, towards tourists in the area, and sites of interest were tucked away down side streets with no signage until you were right there.  We followed a town map of Fontenay le Compte, that was in the house, in order to find a couple of gardens and a castle to look around.

This was the fate of our car after filling it up, following the day on the beach.  To cut a long story short, the steering 'went' when we were 45 minutes from the house. The following days involved 3 taxi journeys, 3 different hire cars (one with a crack nearly all the way across the windscreen) and many phone calls.  In total, we probably lost about 8 hours to-ing and fro-ing but, luckily, we had taken out extra European cover with the AA. The car couldn't be fixed in France so we still have that cost (and we haven't had the phone bill yet either), but it could have been so much worse.

Incidentally, in attempting to converse with the first taxi driver we told him we were from Wales (Pays de Galles).  OH told him, more specifically, 'Raglan' which he repeated like he knew it, which I thought was odd.  He must have been trying to think of the right words for the rest of the journey, because, when we got to the house, he turned to us and said, "My - girl (daughter we presume)  - work - Raglan - Arms"!!! We managed to communicate to him that our son worked there too and he said, "Small - world!"  
Small world, indeed!


I haven't heard anything, yet,  from Penny who won my giveaway before I went away. I've joined Google+ but have yet to find a way to get in touch.  If I don't have any luck soon there's a chance I'll be re-drawing the winner.

Bye for now
Teresa x


Marivel said...

Hello Teresa,
Its nice that you've visited France. In the pictures, I could see its very beautiful over there. I hope you truly enjoyed your one week vacation.
Have a wonderful day !

hausfrau said...

We're taking the girls and hope Eldest's A-level French will sort out the menu situation... none of us could manage gizzards!

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, I'm sorry about your car. At least you were closer to home. What a lovely vacation! I love the meal pictures...they look perfect....and I really like the tile on the floor of the place you stayed. It is similar to my old houses tile and I miss it so much! Hope you are having more fun adventures!

Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

What a wonderful journey! It seems you have had much fun. I'm sorry, however, for the car...
Silvia x