In Search of a roundabout/manege

Trip Start Aug 29, 2005
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

In Search of a Roundabout/Manège

The task of this past month has been to find a Roundabout/Manège/carousel that is actually open! Often find them closed up tight, being swept in order to open....3 hours later, or just being taken down to be moved on to the next village. Ah well.
Otherwise we are settling into quite the relaxed routine - exploring the hills north of us (and finding the remnants of snow - eegads), and the more dessert scrub like area to the south and east of us. And of course trying the regions cheeses (blue - mmmm) and wines. Ted scouting out the antique shops - has found his long sought after WWI artillery shell - now have to find some kind of use for it. If we had a big boat to sail home in with our gear, he would have bought a larger one to store our umbrellas at the front door. ........But who has an umbrella in Whitehorse anyway?
Have certainly had time to frequent the 'bar' for morning café au lait for us and milk for the kids. Initially our request for cold milk met with a pause and questions of - with 'sirop' or chocolate or sugar? Cold, not warm? Then was served in lovely little glasses - with differing names of whiskey on the glass!! Ted trying to decide if 9am is late enough in the day to try the Belgian Leffe Christmas beer! Mind you if the kids wake at 5am, 9am is midday, no?
Indulged Aidan's love of trains and rose early one morning to catch the 7am train into Béziers (40 mins), wandered around the city that boasts the idea man (and the designer) behind the Canal du Midi. Found a brilliant park with ducks and geese to be fed.
Also took our bikes and chariot along an abandoned, but maintained, railbed to visit the very quaint medieval town (what isn't medieval around here becomes the question!) called Olargues - yet more narrow roads etc. And this is where each Sunday, the pork butcher travels, from away in the hills somewhere, in his white van to sell his chops, sausages in one long coil by the kg, pig's feet, and some identifiable cuts - even to the hunter in the crowd. But very very good flavours. Apparently Olargues is considered a city where no one really comes from. It enjoyed a revival and facelift after years of neglect, but... in the hands of many foreigners - or so we are told. Lots of Brits, Dutch, and also northern French have bought property and rejuvenated the city.
Another visit - Carcassonne - a very fairy tale-ish and medieval citadel and walled city. A beautiful site even if after years of abandonment and being quarried for its stones, it was rebuilt in the 19th century!
Jan's mum and dad have now joined us - great to have them here, and the kids are certainly glued to them. Jan's sister Lyn will join the gang for Xmas on the 23rd. So....Ted and Jan have decided to run away for a few days alone - to Florence. Look forward to sleeping a bit later, to walking past the parks, the fountains, the art work, peaceful long coffees..... and dinners.
But in the meantime, we want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season wherever you are, happiness, and health.

Merry Christmas to all, Happy Hannukah to others, and All the best to all for 2006
Joyeux Noël à tous, Joyeux Hannukah?? et Bonne Année en 2006 Sorry image did not come through - tant pis.


(Not to be presumptuous, but to those who keep asking for our mailing address: 9 avenue Saint Jacques, Hérépian, Hérault 34600 France -until 25 February 2006)
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