Le grand coderc

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
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Trip End Oct 25, 2010


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Flag of France  ,
Monday, May 19, 2008

Of all the interesting places to visit here, the magnificent castles, the world famous caves, museums - the obvious, there is one place,  you definitely shouldn't miss: L'Auberge le Grand Coderc.
Restaurant and place to spend the night when you find you've eaten and drunk yourself into a stupor. And you will, for once you step over the threshold your destiny is no longer in your hands. But that is a story in itself, I'll get to it later.
Meanwhile, the village Le Grand Coderc, just cross the road from us, is in contrast to most of the places around, rather unsightly.
Farmers mostly, active and not much concerned with keeping their houses and barns looking pretty to please the tourists. None of the Mediterranean blue, the foreigners tend to paint their houses in, nor the blood-red, or gray-green of the region. Drab, but characteristic old dwellings, thrown haphazardly together to form a working community.
The only person not French living there is a former actress, Dutch. I'm told she doesn't go down well with her airs and graces and is not expected to stick it out that long.

Alright, on a rainy day, we venture a short walk. This destination will do us nicely.
Up we trundle, Sheppie gets snarled at by every single dog in the village as we do by the locals. Never mind, I understand, we're nosy, peering into their houses, checking out their gardens. Wouldn't do in Amsterdam either, providing there were any gardens. We go down the back of the village, lose our bearings and as it's raining more serious now, decide to make our way back quickly as possible. We take a chance, an unlikely (animal?) track and to our surprise see smoke and what looks like fire not far off.
What we discovered was an amazing contraption, we realized straight away something illegal was going on.
Someone was  secretly brewing liquor, hidden in the woods his out-dated, mysterious machine. On closer inspection, barrels of prunes, piths, skins, water - dead flies floating around.
It was exciting,
Peter took some pictures, hurriedly, as we half expected someone to jump out of the bushes and bash us over the head. 
As we continued on, we mused: who was so bold as to defy the strict French laws on food and drink? It seemed like a well run operation, not just for private use.
By now we'd reached the restaurant. We both stopped in our tracks and went, ahhh.......remembering the eau-de-vie, that finished off, not only the meal, but most of the guests.  How the proprietor had laughed, tapping his finger against the side of his long, red nose, when I gasped and asked him what the hell it was I was drinking........
 
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