Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scenes of France from a Car Window

Yes, most of today's photos are from the car windows as we drove from Moulins to Bellac.

From Moulins to Bellac - wet roads all the way. That's Tommy to the left of the screen that tries very hard not to get us lost.
We emerged from our hotel room to find it was raining, not too heavy but threatening. It put a "damper" on discovering more of Moulins so we ventured off to Bellac by the back roads once again. Feeling like a stop further down the road we found the picturesque town of Souvigny on the D945 before it becomes the D73.
Driving into Souvigny it just looked like another french village but we needed a mid-morning coffee. The  cafe/bar owner I'm sure was the local tourist officer as well. He told us of the hidden delights behind the main street. It was to wet to explore on foot so we appreciated the town's sights from behind the windscreen.

There was a fair bit of work going on in the village - these two doors are part of the same building.
This is the before version.
This is the after version - not bad, hey!

The village had strong spiritual ties to the Bourbons as it has one of the first Burgundy Abbeys. During the middle ages it was a destination of pilgrimage.
To drive the streets of Souvigny was all we could do as the clouds burst down upon us. There was certainly no chance of getting out of the car to wander the streets so Sue took photos from the car window as I drove slowly up and down the narrow roads.
This ancient church was having work done around its foundations but the workers were performing the digging operations with small hand picks - one wonders what they may have discovered below the earth!

Even with the heavy rain, the country side showed a different side of its personality. The rolling hills contain forests mixed with green pasture land. Grazing in these green fields are many white cattle.
They are the famous Charolaise cattle especially bred in the area for their tender meat.

The famous Charolaise cattle of the local district.
We finally made it to Bellac with time to get a little laundry done before booking into our B and B run by a Scottish couple, Eleanor and John Gash. The house is on three levels with a lovely garden that unfortunately we can't use due to the weather but I can imagine sipping a cold Chardy on a hot day there.
Looking out the bedroom window, we look over rooftops and fields. The church bell tower rises above the rooftops and we heard the bells ring several times. I wonder if it will wake us in time for breakfast with our hosts.
The view from our bedroom window overlooking the garden and the rolling hills.
After breakfast we are off to Oradour sur Glane to visit the memorial to a village wiped out and destroyed by the SS towards the end of WWII - I expect it will be a sobering experience.
On the bright side we get to meet Diane and Nigel of "My Life in the Charente" (see our sidebar for her blog).

PS: We awoke this morning to see that we clocked up 100,000 visitors. We've made friends through blogging and met some along the way which is very gratifying.
I remember when Simon and Susan of "Days on the Claise" reached that milestone and now they are in the 300,000s. 


  1. Congrats on the 1000,000 visitors, looking forward to meeting you this morning :) Diane

  2. You must have been SO pleased to arrive at you B&B after all that driving in the rain .... Great shots for through the wind-screen by the way. You've now moved over to an area of France I've never visited so it will be interesting to see what treasures you unfold ... I'm sure there will be many.
    Travel safe

  3. Oops! I forgot to say well done on reaching a millstone on your blog ... You've done well!

  4. Congratulations, I'm not sure I'll ever get to 100,000 !!

    It's a shame about the rain but it doesn't seem to have stopped you from enjoying your holiday !!

  5. Okay, okay ... just rub it in! Congratulations on the 100,000! I told you that my 200 hits advance was not enough to assure me the title in this race. My blog has slowed down lately. I hope it'll live up again when I'm posting about the Loire Valley.
    Sorry to read that the weather gods have abandoned you. But warmer, sunny and dry weather is expected for the weekend.

  6. Great roads you're traveling! Pity about the rain though - my fingers are crossed for the weather to clear - 6 more sleeps :)

  7. Congratulations, a milestone has been reached! Here's to the next 100,000...

  8. I'll be very interested to read your thoughts on Oradour sur Glane. I found it intensely moving when we went - over 12 years later I can still remember it clearly...how the children who were visiting became stiller and less noisy, the incredible stillness, even on a bright summer day, the fact that somehow the birds were singing less and the sense of sadness and loss that seemed to hang there.

    I hope you get better weather than we have on the other side of the Massif Central. Clermont Ferrand was inundated yesterday. I don't think it stopped raining all day! I'm happy to have found your blog - yet another for the bookmarked list!

    1. I can't call you Fat Doormouse but thanks for your comment and now we are a follower of your blog in return. Yes, we had all the rain too but today in Chinon is just perfect.

  9. Hey - what a great lot of people in Blog Land. Thanks for your comments.
    Diane - great to have met you thanks Nigel for the lunch.
    Dianne - Rain or sunshine, its great to be in France regardless - isn't it???
    Jean - still sad we won't meet but yes, its great to be here and we are having a ball meeting both old and new faces.
    Martine - I'm contributing to your hits every day I can and you are right - I'm a sprinter. i'll make sure we leave a bottle of bubbly for you with your Loire friends.
    Jay - Can't wait to see you in Paris soon.
    Gaynor - Thanks for that - not sure about the next 100,000 but I do wonder who reads our blogs sometimes. For us I guess its a diary.

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