On Saturday (our 24th wedding anniversary) I walked to the car rental, stood in line for 30 minutes, was offered a 1995 Peugot, asked for a newer car and got a 2011 Renault Menage. The check in was brief with no orientation to the car, minimal info on how to leave the parking garage, and no idea how to return the car at the end of our trip. Then I sat in the parking garage for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to start the car (no keys) and how to shift it into reverse (a secret button). Finally I learned what I needed at was at JP and Elli’s in 10 minutes.
We successfully navigated out of Paris with the help of our GPS and hit the highway toward Rouen. At Vernon we faithfully followed our British voiced guide to turn toward Chambray, arriving about 1:00. We found a restaurant at the head of the street where our gite is located and stopped for a leisurely and quite good lunch lunch. We arrived at the gite at 3:45 and were met by Sophie after a few tense minutes when we couldn’t figure out how to open the gate (not locked, but a secret latch). Sophie speaks less English than we speak French, so we had a great deal of fun making each other understood as she gave us a tour of the house and its accoutrements.
After settling in we decided to take a walk around Chambray. First we visited the old restored church next door to our house. It is lovely, but locked. Sophie said she can arrange for us to access if we want, but we’re not sure we will. The grounds and buildings are very pleasant. Then we walked “uptown.” Sophie had warned us that there are only 3 businesses in the village: the restaurant we had already visited, a Tabac or Bar that has wifi, and a boulangerie that is closed for the month of August. The nearest grocery stores are two villages and about 12 kilometers away. It is a very small and quiet village. We walked along one of the main streets, taking pictures and smelling flowers to a street that goes to the bridge over the River Eure. This river forms the west border of the village. The bridge has a small park at each side for public use. It is very picturesque and may appear in some paintings. Then we walked up to the other main street and back toward home, passing the Tabac along the way. About half a dozen men lounged in and outside the establishment. One of them had a dog that seemed to take exception to Jean and growled at her most alarmingly while being coaxed away by his owner. (The large dog was not on a leash.)
Anyway, that’s our village home this week. Here are a few of my photos from around town.