Thursday, 30 August 2007

A heavenly lunch

... at the Moulin Bleu, near Bourgueil: under the awning, glorious sunshine, and mama-cat with her new kittens - one black, one white; superb food and an amazing view. Heavenly.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A day at the zoo

The zoo at Doue is an extraordinary place. Created in an old quarry, it provides a natural environment for many animals, who appeared to be very contented there - given the amount of them who had babies!

The red pandas were wonderful. Dorothy's camera has an impressive 12 x zoom, so her photo was much better than mine:

Selwyn & I had visited during an earlier holiday in France, four years ago, and were especially pleased to see one of our favourites - the snow leopards - growing up well. When we saw them in 2003, they were tiny cubs just venturing out to greet their adoring public; now they are huge, but still very recognisably cubs in their playful nature. Not to mention their still disproportionately large paws.

Other favourites included the giraffes ...

... and the vultures ...

... and some of the superb wooden carved animals around the place, just made for photography...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A visit to the troglodytes

There are many of these amazing places in France, and particularly along the banks of the Loire: dwellings actually built into the rock. In the case of those shown below, they were last lived in around 1960 (if I remember rightly), but we saw many others as we drove around where clearly regular houses had their part-troglodyte construction in the side of the hill.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Four go mad in France

Selwyn & I have spent many happy holidays in different parts of la belle France, and this year we were delighted that our dearest friends, Dorothy & Milton from Bolton, were able to join us.

We chose our area (the Loire valley) based on how far we reckoned we could drive down from the Channel Tunnel in a day, hunted down our gite on the internet, and were thrilled with our choice. Alison & Jon own the wonderful L'Ancienne Cure in the very sleepy village of Breil in Pays de la Loire. Two double bedrooms (unusual, where most properties are double + twin), a lovely garden, huge living/dining room (below), and the best hosts in the world.

Our hosts couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. Alison is a superb cook, demonstrated by the excellent meal they left for us on our late arrival and the first-class meal she cooked for us at their own house the following day.

Drinks before supper at Gue de Ray