France 2016

What a privilege, a fabulous spot only for camping cars.  This is Villerest.  It costs €6.50 per night and there is a nice little restaurant right next door.

Camping cars only

Autun, below

and this is Autun, this Roman theatre only yards from the camping car parking.  There's much more at Autun, see the Wiki page,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autun

We popped in to Augerolles, just south of Thiers to meet up with some distant relis who kindly fed us a beautiful meal of local trout.  Good to meet their Dad too but missed getting his photo.

Nearby, the locals were doing the same thing as only the men know how.    Cough, cough!

Great sculpture at the lake there too.

Travelling south, we took a break at Millau and went to the visitor centre. The centre is not huge but has a video running of the construction of the incredible structure, which is huge.  It was designed by Brit,  Norman Foster.


The Roquefort cheese tour nearby was interesting.  They even make their own mould used to seed the whey.  It is baked in bread which is then left to mature and produce the mould.  The bread is only baked on two days per year and that produces enough of the mould for the whole of the next year's production.  This may not be correct, ( I may have made that up) but I seem to remember that they only need 25 g of mould per ton of whey.  Roquefort cheese is only made in the early summer, after that the ewes that produce the milk have their babies and so the cheese production is stopped.

We bought some of the white version of the Papillon cheese, it was probably even more delicious than the blue variety.  Mind you, it did 'stink' the fridge until we finished it !!

Our next stop was a small village that really takes great pride in everything.  These waterwheels are part of a delightful riverside walk at Fraisse sur Agout.

We think it is playing a tune but can't make out what it is.  There are keys in the style of a music box that strike pipes of bamboo.

Fraise sur Agout

Several buildings hereabouts have walls in this style.  This is clad with large sheets of slate pinned on with big iron nails.
No everso pretty but dramatic nevertheless.  They got noticed!  I think they look like a child's painting.

Below, the pub terrace overlooks trees reflected in the river.  Great menu with lots of variations of duck.

Close by, we revisited Simon and Monica at Domaine Trinites who make beautiful natural wine.  In fact, it was they who enlightened us about the area above.

Our next noteworthy place is Caune-Minervois.  I really should be keeping it a secret.
Our thanks to our friend Marj, who was meeting her friend Hanni and suggested that we tag along too.
There's a really good campground too, €14 a night with power and €2 to use the brand new washing machine.


Hanni bought a house here last year

Some of the streets are just big enough for a car, some are not.  It's definitely walking for us.


... but there's a doormat.

With Marj and Hanni at La Cantine du Cure.
Good for tapas and wines.


There is marble in the hills here, the colours range from the palest pink to black


Marianne is the national symbol of the French Republic, an allegory of liberty and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty.

Next,  Carcassonne ...

....  was actually a huge disappointment.  The place was full of very tacky tourist shops and expensive restaurants.  
That said, we did have a very nice meal.  No photos as too many people.
Just this one taken on the streamside, 2 k walk to get there.

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