The Retirees return to UK via Europe – Nottingham and Bristol

After collecting our luggage at East Midlands Airport, we check the Sky Bus timetable and decide not to wait 45 mins but call an Uber for the trip to the Benternick Hotel Nottingham. Our Uber driver picks us up and just outside the airport we get a tremendous fright when a car speeds past us racing pursued by a mate. The shoulders of the road are draped in other motor vehicles and the crowd watching this illegal racing. A short way down the highway we observe a Police car lurking in the bushes apparently unaware of the circus behind us.

By the time we arrive in Nottingham, the reception for the Hotel has closed but we knew this in advanced and had instructions on how to find our room. Our room is on the second floor. With the benefit of the emailed instructions, we gain access and drag the luggage up to our spacious room. We are yet to eat so we visit Tescos Express next door and pick up some sandwiches and a salad after all this is all about overnighting then catch the train to Bristol. Despite the lack of a lift the hotel has a lot of charm, is conveniently located across the road from the Rail station and has a continental breakfast included.

Photos of the breakfast room and the view of the rail station ourside our bedroom window, inside the station and the chimney stacks.

Our journey starts at Nottingham Station. We board the train which soon commences its journey passing by the power station chimney stacks which represented the land mark to identify Nottingham whether we came by car up the M1 or flew into East Midlands Airport. First stop is Derby a frequent destination when we lived in Long Eaton and then onto Birmingham. First time in Birmingham Station to change trains for Bristol. Our fears of changing platform disappear as we walk to the other side of the arrival platform to travel onto Bristol arriving in Bristol by the middle of the afternoon. We refer to our phone and google maps to locate our hotel West India House and our apartment for our stay in Bristol. The apartment is very private, and our apartment is again on the 2nd floor but this time we have a lift – smaller than the little lift in Lyon (I didn’t think it possible).


Welsh Back (the name of the road in front of our apartment) follows the canal/floating harbour of Bristol (the canal runs into the River Avon). Beside us is the Brewdog Bar – yes the same Brewdog as at Murarrie in Brisbane . We have a large choice of pubs and all quite handy but our search for the tourist information office was to prove impossible with misleading signage and then to learn that the office had closed. Last located in the City Aquarium we were fortunate to obtain a copy of a street map amongst papers they had left behind.

Our exploration had uncovered the ferry system running up and down the “floating harbour”. These ferries run the length and breadth of the canal off the River Avon. The walk from the station to our apartment left me with the impression that we were in a pocket and dislocated from the key parts of the city. This proved to be very wrong. Our first afternoon we spent checking our location with the aid of the tourist map. Distances looked very long on paper but nothing could be further from the truth. We found a bar and had a late afternoon lunch of burger and chips – in fact every cafe pub and restaurant seemed to have either burgers or pizzas – this proved rather tiring as a menu choice.

That night we continued our exploring and realised we were in the old city section of Bristol. Two streets over from our apartment we found Corn Market St and the St Nicholas markets. The Markets were closed but the street was alight with the lights from “pubs”. These establishments were nothing more than a cafe with beer on tap – every kind of imaginable beer. Two streets in the opposite direction we found a section of King street turned into pedestrian mall and beer hall. On one corner stood “the Old Duke”, across the road a pub the Llandower Trow (in Tudor style one section had a frightening lean suggesting it was going to fall into the next pub), then adjoining each pub another pub on each corner with the mall filled with bench tables and people – the hum of constant conversation filled the air and the smell of hops and beer a partnering aroma. We went back to Corn Market St in daylight and it is essentially now a second hand dealers emporium but its clock remains to evidence the position before Greenwich created mean time.

During our exploration, we learned there is a walking tour of street art and graffiti including two examples by Banksy. So, the next day we made our way to the College Green in front of the City Hall where we met our guide John and about 20 other visitors to Bristol. For twenty quid (seniors’ discount) John gave us more than a two and one half hour tour with constant commentary into an ear piece he provided. John told us that in his earlier life he had been a youth worker at the commencement of graffiti becoming a culture and as a youth worker he encouraged these individuals to express themselves through “art” and in this role he had been part of the development of the culture, met and knew many of the notable street artists and the not so notable taggers making up this culture. He explained that in many instances the street artist started out as a tagger and developed into a notable artist – Banksy was one of these. He also explained that taggers had a different view of the world and considered anything and everything a fair target and did not expect their tag to last as a piece of work. There are a few unwritten rules about exceptions to this rule. The key though is that graffiti artists do not expect their work to be permanent.

The first work he showed us is straight across the road from City Hall “the Well Hung Lover”. this is a protest piece done by Banksy at the start of his street art period after learning about avoiding the long arm of the law as a tagger. Bristol had a policy that graffiti was criminal damage of property and enforced it rigorously, but this piece changed that policy. Banksy was able to produce the piece without being observed and escape with the unveiling of his protest (he had contractors erect scaffolding and posing as a commercial painter produced the work under the cover of a mesh screen). The council allowed the piece to remain, but an anti-graffiti protestor used a paint ball gun to try and deface the work with the council cleaning off some of the blue paint.

Photos – the canal ferry, the golden hind atop a building, multicolour attached houses, the Bristol Museum, the Bristol Sailors Home, Hole in the Wall Pub, The Ole Duke and the Llandower Trow, the markets up the stairs and the Corn Market its clock with 3 hands and its front door, City Hall and the library. The last photo “the wellhung lover”

As the culture developed so John says a committee of youth workers and “artists” proposed a festival to celebrate the development of the culture. He then took us to see these works and talk about how some are done by stencils and others freehand. All of these works have been tagged in one way or another.

Photos and the final Banksy bottom right. Many expressed an object such as the protest that “black lives matter” and the Banksy protest about the Bristol riots

Many of these buildings were earmarked for demolition and the sites redeveloped but Covid changed all of that. You will note from my pictures the dilapidation in some sections and sectors. the council still actively seeks to stop and remove graffiti and paint companies are riding that sentiment with development of anti-graffiti paints whilst continuing to produce the material these people use – in fact there are specialist stores where taggers purchase their materials and he showed them to us. Bizarre! The only winners – the paint company.

Finally, John showed us the second Banksy – a protest against Police for causing riots over graffiti. Whilst the piece is a meaningful expression of his protest (by the way this piece was done before his name was noted worldwide) it misses the underlying point that taggers have no respect for private or community property, defacing it with meaningless pseudonyms which are in turn are defaced with someone else’s pseudonym all of which is unattractive and damaging to the property. I have seen the Berlin Wall and the graffiti that now appears on it’s remains and can understand the protest so whilst it is an expression of freedom that does not make it acceptable – I don’t accept it is a limitation on freedom to respect other people’s property.

One of the other great things about Bristol is the Brunel story. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a civil engineer who is considered “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history”. Brunel built dockyards, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven steel hulled transatlantic steamships and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under the River Thames and the development of the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built. Here in the dry dock that gave birth to the SS Great Britain, the restored hulk is displayed as a museum to its designer.

She was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean, which she did in 1845, in 14 days. The ship is 322 ft (98 m) in length and has a 3,400-ton displacement. She was powered by two inclined two-cylinder engines, with twin high pressure cylinders and twin low-pressure cylinders, all of 6-foot (1.8 m) stroke cylinders. She was also provided with secondary masts for sail power. The four decks provided accommodation for a crew of 120, plus 360 passengers who were provided with cabins, and dining and promenade saloons.

When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat. But her protracted construction time of six years (1839–1845) and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846, having spent all their remaining funds re-floating the ship after she ran aground. In 1852 she was sold for salvage and repaired. After being repaired, from 1852 she carried thousands of immigrants to Australia until being converted by removal of its engine to all-sail in 1881. Three years later, she was retired to the Falkland Islands, where she was used as a warehouse, quarantine ship and coal hulk until she was scuttled in Sparrow Cove in 1937, 98 years after being laid down. In 1970, after SS Great Britain had been abandoned for 33 years, the vessel was raised and repaired enough to be towed north through the Atlantic back to the United Kingdom, and returned to the Bristol where she had been built 127 years earlier.


The museum is comprehensive on the life of Brunel and the details of SS Great Britain. Really worth the visit. Following a bite of lunch, we walked along the canal to the M shed (the Bristol Museum) but having been there previously we moved on. That’s when we found the “Ostrich” a pub with character and a little historic memoir about the slave trade and the glassware produced in the city. The sand needed to create the glassware was obtained from excavating under the city creating “caves” which still exist today. One of the walls in the hotel has been partly demolished to expose one of the caves. A nip of Laphraoig and a glass of Sav Blanc and we journeyed on back to our apartment to prepare for our departure tomorrow.

Photos the Ostrich, othe views of the city

Our trip to Bristol finished we returned to Nottingham by train. Our return to Nottingham has been spoiled by the news that Martin and Christine (our Rhine Cruise mates) are struck down with Covid and we will not be catching up with them. So, no plans for Saturday and Sunday. I contacted our old neighbour at Long Eaton Pam Fowler to arrange our catch up with her and to my surprise she offered to meet us at Bill’s in Nottingham Old City Market. Pam is 86 years old. Pam and John were our neighbours for the 20+ months we lived as their neighbours and when we prepared to return to Australia and knowing John had a terminal cancer, we took him and Pam to the University of Nottingham Lake for a walk around the lake. A fortnight after returning home John passed over and Pam was all alone. We have maintained intermittent contact with Pam concerned she was all alone. So, when we met for lunch, it was pleasing to hear that she was blessed with some good neighbours in our former flat. She was well and happy, and we enjoyed brunch at Bill’s.

With no plans and having seen a lot of Nottingham and Derby, we have visited many of our old haunts. My favourite “anti salesman” sign is still there – “No clowns”.

However we did find some new haunts. We found another cinema – a community cinema – in the back streets and “the Curious Tavern”. Situated in Nottingham’s oldest accomodation hotel which is operated by Mercure, The Curious Tavern’s peculiar decor the captures the essence of being the oldest hotel tavern in Nottingham. Of course we all know the oldest pub is Ye Olde Trip to Jeruselem under the site where Nottingham Castle once stood.

Situated is Georges St Nottinghamthis strange door is the entrance that caught our eye and inside the light shdes in the reception are suitcases and the staircase is the original from 1822. Some luminaries have stayed at the hotel – Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Well that ends this trip. We are back in Australia with our luggage and busy as usual. till next time (should there be one) Adieu/See ya mate.

The Retirees return to Europe – Sanary Sur Mer – France

Our Lyon stay has ended, and we are now headed to Sanary sur Mer via Avignon and Toulon on the TGV train. This time we made sure we were on time and in place to board the first-class carriage. We changed trains at Avignon and left the train at Toulon. The scenery has certainly changed from the green hills of Switzerland to the Mediterranean rugged mountains and dry looking plant life. In Toulon we made the decision to complete our journey by Uber. This was without doubt the correct decision. To catch another train then a cab would have been crazy and on arrival at the address given to us by my cousin Terri both the Uber driver and us were unable to identify the apartment.

Whilst Kerry stood in the shade with our luggage, I made investigations to see if we had a home. I saw a woman standing by her car and tentatively asked “Parley vous Anglais” to which she replied, “Of course I am English”. What a relief. This is Karen who asks who I was looking for and I answered No46 – there is no number 46. Then through a series of questions we determine that Karen is the next-door neighbour to our apartment No 60 (the street numbers have been changed by the Council) and she was expecting Terri and Mick for lunch. I introduced myself as Terri’s cousin and explain Terri had invited us to stay. Karen had been expecting them for lunch but it was clear they were not going to be there any time soon so she asked us in for lunch. And that was how it was – lunch served whilst we waited for Mick and Terri. Valerie the French cleaner was still next-door in our apartment cleaning so when she finished we moved our luggage in and waited. Despite assurances that the drive from Marseille would only take an hour all factors worked against Mick and Terri delaying their arrival. Below are photos of the apartment.

Photos of the apartment – the annex where we stayed, our washing, the kitchen, the dining room, the lounge with two bedrooms on the floor above and the back yard

After a night’s rest we walked down to the village past the swimming bay, past the restaurant where our daughter married in 2007, toward the waterfront and the fishing port. There is a market on, and the place is crowded (really crowded) – even the old Roman tower is occupied. There are several Pointus in the harbour – the traditional fishing boat for Provence. The market is hectic and full of tourists – its their summer holiday.

Its around 10.00am the weather is hot and humid and with the sun setting around 8.30pm we don’t feel like eating anything at this early hour, so we struggle through the crowd past leather-craft shops, clothing, swimwear, footwear, underwear, candles and perfumes, the vegetables, the fish mongers, the butchers, the Boulanger, the Charcuterie, and of course we run into our daughter Carly, husband Vincent, and our grandsons William and Mathis amongst the thousands in the square. We expected that we would cross paths in Sanary but the sheer coincidence that my cousin Terri would be holidaying in Sanary causing us to visit Sanary at that time is amazing. Some time earlier Mick and Terri had lived in Sanary whilst Mick performed building miracles at the apartment so this holiday was a bit of payback to Mick and Terri by Mick’s sister whose husband owns the proeprty and both of whom are presnetly living in Melbourne Australia – in those circumstances it all makes sense.

After a few hours fighting the crowds and fighting for the shady spots, we give up and wander up the hill towards home. Mick has a gammy hip and needs a redo on the hip replacement, so he needs a break half way home (its about 1.1 kilometres all the way home most of it up hill). His favourite halfway mark is PB Cafe where he and Terri enjoy a beer. Who are we to break a tradition. An Aperol spritz for Kerry and 3 beers one each for Terri, Mick and me. The first beer goes down quickly and we order a second whilst Kerry sips on slowly so by the time the second beer is finished its time to move on.

By the time we arrive home and enjoy a lunch in air-conditioned comfort it’s time for a nap. Then with evening slowly arriving we adjourn to the garden and catch up on everything that happened since we last met in 2014, the progress with the new house at St Leger, kids, family and retirement.

Sanary-sur-Mer was once a fishing village, and its neighbours Cannes and San Tropez took the limelight. Whilst they still attract the celebrities Sanary attracts the tourist and the fisherman now catch tourists. It has beaches in cosy bays, long sunny days in summer and lots and lots of cafes. Nearby in the hills behind Sanary are medieval walled villages (now enclosed tourist shopping villages) like Le Chatelet, other beach resorts like Bandol and Cassis and we would do it all.

Karen our next door neighbour invited the four of us for dinner which we enjoyed in her garden along with a variety of French wines. We went swimming with the grandkids and their parents in the bay, we visited Le Chatelet, Cassis and Bandol, caught up with Mimi our son-in-law’s mother and her partner Jonathan for a very pleasant dinner by the bay at Bandol, had a thank you dinner for Karen at Bardot’s Restaurant overlooking the bay and assisted Mick to carry out maintenance on the plumbing at the accommodation. The accommodation is owned by Graham partner of Margaret sister of Mick. Mick and Terri have lived in rural southwest France for the last 23 years and Mick has made their living renovating old French cottages and converting farm sheds to holiday lets (“gites”) so when he arranged a visit to catch up with us of course the plumbing starts to play up and he ends up calling in a specialist after we found tree roots in the pipes. After a traumatic 3 days of dealing with flooding showers and blocked toilets relief came in the form of an emergency plumber with a “worm” which ground out the tree roots.

This has been our rest and relaxation from the stress and activity of our trip thus far. We even visited Castorama (incidentally Mick tells me it is owned by a UK chain), France’s version of Bunnings our Australian DIY giant to obtain some glue which Mick says from experience is the bees knees if you want to make something stick permanently. My photos follow with a brief description of what is depicted.

Photos – Le Chatelet looking over the wall, in the streets, Mick wishing he was home, hotel de ville, the church and its stained-glass window, a suit of armour and lunch with a fantastic view.

We decided to take a trip to Cassis west toward Marseille to see what we could see. Cassis is another fishing village turned holiday destination on the Cote d’Azur. Arriving in Cassis by car may have been a mistake as everyone else in Cassis had their car out that day and we found ourselves parking some distance away from the centre. After making our way into the centre of Cassis where the cove is lined with cafes Kerry noticed that one of the tour operators was offering a boat ride along the coast so we took another boat ride – yes another boat ride but the surrounding hills made it dramatic.

Photos – Cassis, the beach, the harbour, the cliffs, the coves and the beaches. I had to wonder how the locals accessed some of these coves with sheer rock surrounding them and can only be by boat.

That night we had our thank you dinner for Karen at Bardot’s. The sun did not set till 8.30pm which meant people were swimming and strolling on the beach (yes topless swim suits for women and men are popular) well into the evening and the breeze did not settle until the sun dipped below the horizon when the restaurants became lively.

Our time here has slipped by very quickly and it is time to leave Sanary sur Mer and cousin Terri and Mick. I think we have convinced them to return to Australia again and we might see them early next year. We have also got the travel bug and need to investigate what further travel we want to do before it is beyond us.

Karen is returning to the UK today also, so we bum a ride in her Fiat 500 two door. A little bit squeezy. We fill the car up with our luggage and chuff off to Marseille airport. On the way we are stopped by three Gendarmes who want to know who is in the car and continually have their hands on their weapons. But they are not looking for us this time and send us on our way with a cheery “Bon voyage” but their hands never leave their weapons.

Karen is a careful driver a bit different to Mick but perhaps doing 80kph on the 110kph freeway was a little too conservative. The car is hot even with the driver’s window down and the a/c belting out. So, it is a relief for me in the back to pry myself out at Marseille airport. Marseille Airport is not a bustling giant of an airport and is easily navigated. It has two terminals – 1 & 2 with 1 being a modern open hall with a nice restaurant for passengers to prepare for their flight. Of course, we are flying Ryanair – so it is rough old terminal 2 for us. Nevertheless, the flight leaves on time – with our luggage we hope. One and a half hours from now we will be in the midlands of the UK again and hopefully so will our luggage.

The Retirees return to Europe – Lyon France

Catching the train to Lyon proved stressful for Kerry. We missed our scheduled train at Interlaken Oust but caught the next one half an hour later. There was a train change at Berne and we arrived there in time to catch our original connecting train but due to the short changeover time we found ourselves in an overcrowded 2nd class cabin and no way to move through to first class. Distressing but not the end of the world. We were unable to sit together, and our luggage sat unattended in the entrance/exit of the carriage. The journey proved uneventful apart from the heavy odour of hot bodies in a tin can.

There was some relief when we arrived at Gare de Lyon Par Dieu opposite a huge Westfield shopping centre – just like home – and even greater relief when we found our hotel Best Western Richelieu nearby. The area around the train station is undergoing some significant renovation and navigating our way the first time was testing. The hotel is in an old building converted to this purpose which made me worry that we maybe dragging our luggage upstairs. Fortunately, it has an elevator. Now don’t feel too relieved. These old buildings may have an elevator, but it is retro fitted so many compromises are often made to make them fit. I can recall an old-style hand operated elevator in Paris fitted into the opening of the staircase barely fitting 2 people, the elevator in Vienna styled like a closet and barely fitting 2 people and this elevator styled on a sardine tin fitting only 2 people facing one another. Still better than dragging the luggage upstairs.

The hotel room is tiny but with modern fittings. It had a kettle and a desk in addition to the usual, so it felt luxurious. We had some ideas about what we wanted to do but needed to gain an understanding of the transport system to do it. We located the Tourist Information Centre on our phone and via the magic of the Google maps made our way there on foot – some hour long walk – to Bellcour Square.

Lyon is on two rivers – the Saone and the Rhone and we had crossed the Rhone to get to Bellcour Square. The pictures below show the river and some of the major buildings on its banks. Passing through the street toward the square we came upon a protest the purpose of which was unclear, but they had everyone’s attention.

As we entered Bellcour square 3 things stood out – the Information Centre, the underground station and the Basilica on the hill. Having obtained the information needed we decided we would visit the Basilica that afternoon. The Basilica appears below.

We had been told that we could access the Basilica via a funicular at the next underground station across the Saone in the old city. So, we purchased the day pass for €6 euros each travelled across the river or I should say under the river then exited at the 1st station to find right next door a funicular. Kerry had a little trouble with her ticket and entry into the funicular causing a minor issue with an underground official and a helpful local. Once solved we noticed two cars, one with a long queue and the other rather shorter. It seemed that the car with the shorter queue was leaving later and we chose that car. It proved to be the wrong choice. The car we had chosen took us to the Roman ruins and St Just a suburb of Lyon not the church. We returned to the Roman ruins and walked around and up the hill to see rather extensive ruins of foundations and a sign directing us to The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

Thinking we had stumbled onto the right path we dragged ourselves up some steep hills in very hot afternoon heat until arriving at the back of the Basilica. As we started to explore, we came across a delightful little bar with views of the city and the Basilica and an empty table with our names on it. The pictures below show the Basilica, firstly from the bar the panorama from the bar, then a tour around the exterior and a carousel designed as a Xmas tree with the large pine nut carriages at the bottom. From there I visited the interior of the Basilica starting with the crypt which appeared to be for the living rather than the dead. I had left Kerry at the Bar to finish her large G & T.

The Basilica was built with private funds between 1872 and 1896 in a dominant position overlooking the city. The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan. We felt we had completed enough for today so we headed to our hotel using our new found knowledge of the underground system only to be frustrated by a line closure. Where we were to change underground line D for line B, Line B was closed and a kind official walked us out of the subway to the nearby bus stop showing us that a bus had been substituted. We travelled to Gare de Par Dieux and walked home.

We wanted to walk through the old city, and I wanted to see the “Traboules” – passageways between houses and between streets behind doors appearing to be the entrance to homes. We knew line B remained closed so we sought out the bus to travel to Sax Gambetta but missed the stop. Realising we had missed our stop occurred about 3/4 the way to the end of the line and we ended up travelling to the end of the line not knowing what we were going to do. We got off the bus and with an exchange of hand signs with the bus driver started off in the direction of the return bus stop. Not knowing any better had we stayed on the bus the next stop was the terminus and the bus would then return to Lyon Gare de Par Dieu. So, we tracked down the bus station as best we could (about 1/2 hour) and got the return bus to Sax Gambetta then the underground line D and the old town. The following photos show Lyon Cathedral. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon. Begun in 1180 on the ruins of a 6th-century church, it was completed in 1476. Beside the cathedral are the ruins of either an earlier church a Roman ruin or an extension which has been destroyed. We followed a map given to us by the Tourist Office to locate the Traboules and the photos show the Palais des Justice, the oldest street in Lyon, timber facades on 15th century houses in a lane off that street, scenes of the old city and our hunt for the Traboules.

We finally cracked it and found our first Traboule and inside some old doors and about 3 courtyards on different levels all giving access to residences formerly the homes of weavers. We were now looking up at the timber facades in the alley behind which we had visited a short time ago. We then found about another 4 or 5 traboules which the public can access. One lead to the back of a functioning cafe and some had elevators installed for the residents. One had been converted into a hidden magic shop. We found Soleil’s House and it’s history and had coffee at Soleil’s House. Returning via the cathedral we past a mime different from others in that on making a donation he did a routine thereby changing his position.

On our final full day, we decided to visit the country and visit a medieval village called “Perouge”. Told we could catch a bus to it for €2 euro each and a journey of 20 mins, we thought this would make a nice change. It was a challenge again to find the right bus at the right bus stop, but we did it but then after 20 mins travel, no sign of Perouge and a driver who did not speak English panic started to creep in. I was able to inform the driver we were a little worried and he reassured me that it was still some distance away. 1 hour 10 mins later we were dropped off in the new Perouges with the old town 1.5 klms away. Putting on our walking shoes we headed off arriving shortly after 10.00am at the Lower Gate. Following are photos of our first sights after getting off the bus and sights of old medieval Perouge.

We made our way to the Upper Gate, where we found a small information office, which lead us to the church beside the old City gates (interestingly it had entrances outside the city walls as well as the inside and the village. In 1792 with the commencement of the French Revolution, the Revolution committee presented the town with a lime tree to plant in its main square. That tree survives and is now a National listed monument. There is also a niche with a statue of St George in it on the square and an old olive press. I found the Lower Gate once again and made a reservation at a restaurant. Before going to lunch we visited the local museum and learned that the village had been in decline until a committee of residents was formed to save the village. One of those families was the Thibault family and long serving Mayor of Lyon Edouard Herriot who owned a house in the village and they organised the renaissance of the village.

We dined at the restaurant operated by the younger generation of the Thibault family. The lunch was wonderful. Fine dining and period costume worn by the waitress, we were treated as special guests enjoying steak in mushroom sauce for me with potato au gratin and Kerry enjoying a fillet of a local river fish with season vegetables and potato au gratin. We followed this with a dessert which included the house specialty a galaterre which is in the shape of a large pizza base made of bread and brioche coated in sugar and the sugar seared as with creme Brulé. A celebration of our 34 years of marriage. After lunch we visited the museum in the old tower. They have preserved some of the equipment that made the town prosperous but it was time to walk back inot the 21st century and back to our hotel.