instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Getting Creatively Lost: A Ramble Through France

Saint-Céré

Saint-Céré from above.

The center of town in St.-Céré confused me, for no apparent reason. I must not have been used to a metropolis that boasted not one but three pharmacies (where I stocked up on those hip, slick, and cool blister remedies to bring home), and a half-dozen or more hotels. I went into the tourist bureau to ask where mine was and found it no more than a hundred yards away, though slightly obscured by a park. At least, that was my excuse.

My hotel, the Victor-Hugo, was a pleasant place run by two people born to be in the hospitality business. My room overlooked a small stream, remnants of a river-turned-creek, where a heron fished. Behind that was a park where the kids from a nearby lycée hung out during breaks and after school.

Being a good-sized village, St.-Céré also had three pastry shops. I was looking for a mille feuille (a Napoléon), but they only sold those in family sizes. So I settled for a puit d’amour (well of love), pastry cream inside a soft shell whose makeup I couldn’t define, topped with caramel cream. And yes, it was love at first bite.


Like this blog? I invite you to visit my other one, Novelhistorian, in which I review historical fiction and history.  Read More 

Be the first to comment

Simple Pleasures

The road to Saint-Céré.

The next day, I took my last village-to-village walk, to Saint-Céré, and the shortest, only about an hour and a half. I spent almost the entire route along a highway, unpleasant and nerve-wracking, but the simplest, most direct way to town. At the chambres d’hôte in St.-Sozy, I’d heard a few Israeli visitors complaining that St.-Céré wasn’t worth the trip, but that depends on your point of view.

It won’t make anyone’s list of the most beautiful towns in France, but beauty isn’t everything. For starters, St.-Céré has a laundromat, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to have discovered this in the tourist brochures in Autoire. Since I hadn’t washed anything since St.-Sozy, and since that last night there, I could smell my wardrobe from my hotel bed, I made that laundromat my first stop in St.-Céré. Trouble was, I had no place to change out of what I was wearing; the supermarket around the corner had no bathroom.

So I persuaded the woman who ran the hairdressing salon next door to allow me to use hers for a quick change. It took some doing, since she was at first dead set against it, and she resented having to remove everything valuable from that tiny room before I went into it–as if I would load up on her spare shampoo and stuff it into my backpack–but she did it. I thanked her profusely and offered her money, but she refused.


Like this blog? I invite you to visit my other one, Novelhistorian, in which I review historical fiction and history.  Read More 

Be the first to comment