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Getting Creatively Lost: A Ramble Through France

Friendliness

A curious onlooker.

On the way back from the grotto, walking a back road, a guy pulled up in a small car. He looked familiar from my jaunt to the grotto, and turned out, he was. He said he’d seen me walk that same road in the other direction, asked where I’d gone, and expressed admiration for my spirit of adventure. Encounters like that made me feel less lonely.

That back lane also confirmed what I’d noticed before, a lovely perfume in the breeze. It wasn’t honeysuckle, though I saw it from time to time, but another plant, with white flowers. The scent was subtle, understated, but noticeable–very French. I also heard a woodpecker, for the first time in France.



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Village Fare

Carennac.

Nothing like a splendid dinner to ease fatigue and soreness, and Le Prieuré served one I won’t soon forget. While it’s a myth that every out-of-the-way French village restaurant sets a good table, it’s true often enough. Carennac isn’t as out-of-the-way as some, but this restaurant was better than most, and I include Paris in that verdict.

Not the cheapest dinner, at €37, but I had a grand time. A typical salad with smoked duck breast, honey, cheese, and butter lettuce; faux filet with mashed potatoes and a zucchini soufflé; and a state-of-the-art lemon tart, different from any I’ve ever had, made in-house. It had a soft crust, a tart filling that you’d hardly know contained eggs, and a soft topping of confectioners’ sugar and chopped nuts. What I wouldn’t give for the recipe.

Yelp had given this place mixed reviews, because the management was sniffy. Not at all. My server held a running conversation with me, first, about the raucous party that never stopped laughing (“They’re nicely set up on apéritifs,” she said, rolling her eyes in amusement), and, later, when I turned down coffee, “Of course, not at this time of night.” Which led her to ask where I was staying, and what I was doing in the valley. She was more forthcoming than many, but everywhere I went, people were curious about a tourist who walked alone over their paths and back roads. When they wished me bonne route, they meant it.


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

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