His first job is to find a flat to share with two buddies though.
Meanwhile, after all the 'excitement' of the previous weeks (Bac, broken wrists, being confined to barracks), my DB and I decided we needed a weekend away, but not too far. I suggested Villefort in Lozère where we rented a chalet a few years ago because it has a nice lake you can walk around and is in one of my favourite regions - the Cevennes.
|Lac Villefort (with dam). We walked along the top right hand lake path.|
Eventually, the satnav woman caught up with our choice of route and stopped telling us to do a demi-tour dès que possible. The weather was very pleasant, and the roads far from busy. We drove through Anduze which is another little town on my top local places list.
I camped there with the boys several years ago (probably the last time I slept in a tent! My back took a long time to recover!) and had a terrific time. There's a steam train that leaves from Anduze to chug its way through some beautiful scenery, stop at the Bambouseraie, and continue on to its terminus at St Jean du Gard. You can take a picnic lunch and either eat it at tables on the station platform or walk to the river, or buy a snack at the snack bar. I used to have a favourite day out which involved catching the train to St Jean where we ate our picnic lunch, then getting back on the train, stopping to visit the Bambouseraie, and catching the last train back to Anduze (or the other way round). This was when my youngest was small and I could carry everything in the pushchair (nostalgia).
My DB hasn't been on the steam train yet, and although we didn't stop this time, we have decided to make Anduze our destination next weekend.
Beyond Alès (which is a dump), we came off the main road to find a spot for our picnic lunch. We found a nice quiet country road which had been recently rained upon and smelled delicious. I had packed a ploughman's lunch complete with cheddar and Branston Pickle which tasted marvellous with the Tradition (levain) bread from the boulangerie. We ate shooting party style with the Yaris boot up and platform down to make a lunch bar. It was peaceful, pretty and perfumed.
|Picnic spot... note incongruous shoes with walking outfit|
It takes two and a half hours to walk round, but this time we stopped after half an hour, and turned back. My DB was feeling a little fragile after the previous evening's merriment... (plus tendinitis, bad back, etc...).
|Lake walk (lake on left)... note sensible walking shoes|
Just outside Florac, we came across a village that had a hotel and not too many people about, unlike the picturesque Pont de Montvert which was packed with visitors. The Hotel Lozerette had room (hurrah!) so we booked ourselves in and went to relax in our room.
Unfortunately, wifi was not available in the rooms, and there was barely a phone network. This wouldn't have been a problem except that my DB had two MOOC assignments to finish which he'd completely forgotten about, and needed a good internet link to watch the videos. He hummed and haahed about staying or leaving (and going home!), and in the end opted to stay because he could do his MOOC the next day once home.
By this time, we were sitting outside in the delightful garden, in the balmy summer air, sipping rosé and studying the menu. Dinner turned out to be nothing great. I had a trout which was so over-fried some of the bones were welded to the meat. He asked for a vegetarian menu and got a plate of veggies plus mashed potato instead of fish, which was a little weird. We also had to send back a half bottle of local wine because it was 'bouchonné'. The waitress annoyed my DB by going to check with the chef rather than taking him at his word, like he can't tell the difference between bouchonné and normal rosé! I don't think we'll go back!
Next day, we packed up and left, had a coffee and croissant in Florac at the biker bar rather than pay 9 Eur for the hotel breakfast and were home by lunch time.
|View from biker bar terrace, Florac|