Here are some long overdue pages from my journal of my vacation in France this summer. The journal is long on text and short on sketches. Missing are the flower markets and other colorful sights. Nothing from the beach and too little of the many markets we visited. I wonder if it would be 'cheating' to add after-the-fact sketch pages...I left out a lot and have lots of photos to add too. To see photos, see other entries in this blog, and click here to see my Letterlady blog, where I've added lots of them.
Two friends and I, traveling separately from Louisville and Portland Oregon, met at the airport in Toulouse, France to begin our two week (Sue) and three week (Beth and I) stays in my cousine's maison in Gargas France. We visited Toulouse more than any other place, but also visited the (topless) beach at Narbonne, the walled city of Carcassonne, the amazing cliff village of Rocamadour, the city on the sky Cordes sur Ciel and many smaller villages and towns. It was a memorable vacation!
Upon our arrival, we stopped at a large grocery store near the airport. I was fascinated by the fresh seafood displays, and we were shocked at the prices of the cheeses and gourmet meats...we soon found less expensive fare - and inexpensive wines!
(Click on the double spread photos to see them larger.)
This page includes the wrapper from my wonderful caramel ice cream cone (cornette). I think I need to add color to this page...my cornette was a beauty, but Sue's was the prettiest. I think she had some raspberry in hers.
In the very expensive market that our first day friends Saro and Gilles took us to, the chickens (poules) were displayed with their heads on, as were the fish (poissons.)
One of my favorite experiences was visiting the Caves at Foix France in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountians that border France and Spain. No cameras were allowed inside, so I had to rely on my memory to do these sketches. We carried flashlights to illuminate our footpaths, but they were extinguished when we reached the caverns with the drawings. At that time, the guides, using minimal spot lighting illuminated the drawings collectively, but mostly one at a time. The illumination had to be limited as well as the number of people in the cave at one time in order to control the heat and try to avoid deterioration of these archeological and historical treasures. The actual drawings are about 13,000 (yes thirteen THOUSAND) years old! Amazing!
On most evenings with our dinner we toasted our good fortune to have the delightful experience of exploring the south of France. For some reason we bought a Chilean wine for our last toasts. Every French wine we tried was delicious and very reasonably priced. This Chilean wine was very good too, but I have a feeling we simply overlooked its source when we purchased it.