Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I have no idea why we selected Confolens other than it seemed like a good middle stop on the way to Chinon in the Loire. The hotel was in our budget and it was a half way stop. It was one of those surprises that are sometimes unexpected.
Confolens sits on the Vienne river, a river that we've had many experiences of renewing friendships with in subsequent trips to France. When we were there in 2008, the town had a population of less than 3000 but seemed larger.
As we travelled from our mid-day stop at Limoges towards Confolens, we passed signs that announced the path that Richard the Lionheart had travelled before that ill fated arrow took his life, not by instant death but by infection. Today antibiotics would have saved his life.
As we travelled closer to Confolens, we came across a side road with an interesting sign to a ruined castle. We decided to take the detour towards Saint Germaine de Confolens, and were are glad we did.

Saint Germaine de Confolens in the Charante is a little village on the Vienne with a ruined castle overlooking it. Not alot can be found about its history on the net but to us it was one of those little highlights on our travels. We took time to walk amongst the ruins of the chateau and take in the views of the Vienne river below. We were alone, just two Aussies taking in the history of these magnificent left-overs of time. Except for one small moment when natured called and as I relieved myself behind an ancient wall the sound of "tourists" were heard. I wonder if they suspected anything.

Back in the car, we drove down to the village below and stopped at a local bar for a glass of wine - its what we do. We chatted with the owners and relaxed a little before driving across the ancient stone bridge to Cofolens to find our accommodation for the next two nights. Later in the afternoon I put my bike together and rode the 5 kms back to the village on the Vienne for a glass of wine. It was a good afternoon.

More next Wednesdays in France.
A Car Rally and a wander through the streets of Confolens


  1. I've been to Confolens a few times and always found it to be a pleasant little town.
    The ruins are lovely. The photo of the countryside framed by the ruins is excellent.
    Do you ship your bike to France when you come? Or do you borrow one locally?

  2. Craig, the bike is dismantled and goes in an over the shoulder carry bag. Done this three times now and the bag has seen its last days. Thought I might purchase a bike next trip and take it back home.
    More on Confolens proper next Wed.

  3. What a stunning place Confolens is! Thanks for posting those photos. Martine

  4. more to come on Confolens next wednesday Martine


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