After saying au revoir to JP yesterday morning we drove out of Paris without a GPS. It wouldn’t pick up a signal in the city, but finally did as we entered the Periphique. We arrived at Atelier de la Rose in Montcabrier last evening after a long 8 hour drive. The roadways were blocked by traffic jams both directions in central France. No apparent reason, just an extreme number of cars. This was a bank holiday weekend in France. The holiday was Thursday so the French had four days to play.
Driving down the heart of France I was struck by geography that seemed strangely familiar. Okay, we drove here two years ago, but it was more than that. Leaving Paris one encounters flat farmland broken by occasional rows of trees, streams, and small towns. This gradually changes to rolling countryside with more forests. Approaching the Dordogne the hills become higher, the valleys deeper, and the forests thicker. The Lot valley is similar. Finally it occurred to me that this looked familiar because it looks like Wisconsin! Of course in France you must add medieval castles, ancient churches, and Roman ruins to name just a few differences. We passed a Roman aqueduct almost 2000 years old. Our village of Montcabrier dates from the 14th century. Near our house is the original gate to the village. You don’t see that in Wisconsin.
Sally Gaucheron met us with a cool glass of beer. We chatted and relaxed before she served us a scrumptious dinner. We finished our wine and then had fruit and tea on the terrace to watch the sun set. What a glorious end to the day and wonderful welcome to our home for the next four weeks.
Today we are taking photos of our bags to prove to the shipper how big they are because we’re still having a dispute about the charges. Then we will unpack our painting supplies and get to work.