Monday, July 24, 2017

Gardens and lardons

I should've blogged before breakfast and black pudding languor set in, but hunger called and my stomach rules over brain. I had some extra onion and red pepper and fried them up with some lardons and boudin noir before whacking the whole rich mess into a tabasco-splashed omelette that was then crammed into a croissant smeared with garlic soft cheese.

I'm pretty sure this is what they call a power breakfast.

Today I am going to walk you through the gardens of Maqueyssac, where we went for a candlelight stroll last Thursday at sunset.

The Dutch go for candlelight jogs. Explains so much about early exploration.

The above is the most-photographed part of the gardens, so we mistakenly went in thinking it was the ENTIRE garden (research is not our strong suit). Imagine our surprise when they handed us a map with a variety of trails and at least an hour of walking ahead of us (it could easily be two if you had one of the following: a desire to see every nook and cranny, a child in tow, or a personality that lends itself to a leisurely stroll). 

All of the paths and their offshoots had something to merit them: a gazebo, a statue, a lookout, or in this case, a . . . building. (I could look it up in the informational booklet but it's so far AWAY in a DRAWER. Let's just admire it ignorantly together and move on.)

The view from the belvédère (a new word! Means 'scenic viewpoint', and I am determined to use it daily: 'Excellent use of duck in this restaurant, now can you please point me to the nearest belvédère?')

The Dordogne, winding its way through the countryside like so many Dutch children in a labrynth

A hot air balloon, just when we thought the gardens were overdoing the whole 'beautiful moment in space and time' thing. When we first saw it, Alan - usually scared of heights - exclaimed, 'I'd like to ride in a hot air balloon!' 

Until it did this:


Speaking of heights, part of the garden had a net-tube you could use to climb through a section of forest. We considered giving it a go but we were getting hangry and knew there was a sandwich shop hidden somewhere down the path. We promised ourselves we'd come back to it but then twenty more minutes of scavenging occurred and we never made the return journey. (Hunting for food in the forest is HARD, youguys.) I def want to play in here, though, so next time friends come down with us, let's do it:

As we paused to snap a pic, Alan goes, 'Are they walking over HEADS?' I look down and WHAT THE:
 Is this entire activity a metaphor for the history of France? 

Probably the best part of this particular path were the pictures they had installed throughout, by some artist that is also mentioned in the booklet. 

Artist: 'But you said you wanted MAGICAL. That's what I DID.' Director: 'Indeed.'

'I just didn't think it would be quite so . . . literal.'


Then we found the sandwich shop! We were thrilled, even though FRENCH SANDWICHES.

Baguette sandwiches are the WORST. Tearing this bread with your teeth is its own drama (nothing makes me feel alive like crust shredding the roof of my mouth), let alone how anemic the filling always is. So DRY. A single sliver of ham, perhaps a slice of cheese. No moist-maker of any kind, not even a smear of butter. It's a chewy desert of a sandwich. 

France, you do so many things right, but this is not one of them.

Refreshed by stomachs filled with bread-sludge, we kept going. 

I'd like to say this tree tunnel was so long that night fell, but we actually returned because there was a jazz band hidden in a clearing and we had to find them. 

Come on, this isn't funny, where are you


And last but not least, a sunset aperitivo

The whole night - most likely because the art set the mood - was enchanting.

We have a stormy morning ahead so the plan is make some plum jam (our garden came with a plum tree! Our tiny London garden did too, come to think of it . . . bizarre) and replace our bicycles' tires so we can take an afternoon ride when the sun returns. (WHEN, Sun, you hear us? Not IF.)

Big hugs and lots of love,

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