Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Return To France, Again, 2013

So we have been back in France nearly a week now, a week too busy for blogging and connectivity dependent largely on McDonald's anyhow. Vicki has five scones left and just enough clotted cream to cover them. The last of my Wells Bombardier and Bulmers are gone, as are the ginger beer and bitter shandy I have grown to love. The Highland Park might last another week if I am judicious, which seems unlikely after the first wee dram. I have enough glorious Dorset Cereals to get me through France and Italy and back to the States. The 125 grams of Marmite probably will last forever. And I have had more than enough all day breakfast, chicken tika, and fish and chips with both mushy and non-mushy peas. We stopped at the first French super-hyper-mercado after Calais and reacquainted ourselves with French cuisine and also with reasonably priced wine and other goods. A 1 liter cardboard carton of something labeled "Spanish table wine" cost £4.99 in the UK, even at the Tescos and Morrisons and Sainsbury's. $8. Here, £1 will buy you swill, but at least it's in a bottle and allegedly from France. And not bad. I could barely keep from hugging and kissing the stockers and cashiers at the LeClercs somewhere south of Calais. We bought 2 kilos of mussels (4.4 lbs, €2.50) and a bottle of Muscadet Sevre et Maine all of which I gobbled up in two evenings.

We drove on to Lens to see the new Louvre-Lens Museum and a rather new kind of museum experience. From there we drove south into the Marne to see a great transitional Gothic cathedral, Laon, and then the last (for us) of the three great High Gothics, Reims; and a tour of its roof; and the art deco Carnegie Library next door. From there we moved on to Troyes, one of the most impressive and beautiful old towns we have seen, a fantastic rayonnant Gothic, its cathedral, and then three other churches of note. And from there on to Sens, just southeast of Paris, and its great cathedral, the first Gothic cathedral, begun in 1155. From there we drove back into Burgundy and to Vezelay and its monumental hill-top Romanesque abbey church, completed in 1155. Today, September 9, finds us back in Bourges, in the monster aire de camping cars right downtown (free and with free city wifi) after having spent much of the day again visiting St. Etienne Cathedral. It was 200 miles out of our "way" (whatever that is), but we had to see it again to make sure: it is our new favorite. Having seen them all now. More or less. 

Anyhow, all this is to say that I have much blogging to do, not least a few affectionate posts reserved for the UK. And we won't have unlimited internet access until we reach Italy, in another couple weeks. Patienz!

"Garlic in my food? GARLIC? We are Englishmen,
Sara...not savages!"

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Glad to see you are back online. I have missed your posts! I am still hoping to spend most of November in France. I am so jealous that you are there now enjoying the cathedrals, the museums, and the wine and food!