As we are fast approaching the last weekend of August, I realise I have not yet posted about the wonderful first weekend of this month:
My sister and I went to visit friends in France.
The background about these friends is explained in my Mum's latest guest post; W and B came to Europe now for a trip lasting several months, and one stage of the trip was a few weeks in the French countryside, where they rented a large house and had their children with their respective families come over for their holiday, and our whole family was invited to join them.My parents didn't really feel up to it, but they were very happy about my sister and I going, and so we both took Friday afternoon and all of the Monday off and booked tickets for the plane from Stuttgart to Lyon (that's about an hour's flight).
I always travel lightly, and there is really not much that I need for a long weekend in summer, so that the bag I normally use for my gym stuff was enough, plus my handbag, and my beloved yellow zip-up was the only warmer item I took.
Have you ever heard a sweeter name for a place than Saint Amour Bellevue? It literally means "Saint Love Beautiful View", and the small community in the Beaujolais region of course do what they can to play on that lovely name. Their website is here.
We were met in Lyon by W and his soon-to-be son-in-law, and although we had never met G before, there wasn't a moment of awkwardness between us or feeling like strangers. They drove us to Saint Amour, where the rest of the family were waiting for us at the beautiful house:
Because of the way the house is placed in the village, and there always being people who of course I am not going to show on my blog, I was unable to get a picture of the whole house. So, don't be fooled - this is only about a third of the length of the building. The house belongs to an old lady who grew up in it; eventually, it became too big for her and so she moved to a smaller place and now rents this out. You can find complete info and contact details about how to rent it here; there are also some very good pictures of the house (inside and out) on that website, so have a look even if you are not interested in going there.
The open plan living/dining area with the big old grandfather clock.
Our bedroom. I slept so well in that bed - it is very narrow compared to my own bed at home, but the mattress was really good for my back. Note the chocolate that our hosts had so kindly placed there for us :-)
This was the start of the Olympics in London, and on the plane, we were given this little sachet; it contained a London Underground map, a Walker's shortbread biscuit and an After Eight mint praliné. The snack that came with it was a turkey sandwich. We both liked the sachet, and it now houses my Kindle cable.
The little Koala bear holding the Australian flag was a present from H, one of W and B's grandchildren, a girl of almost 5 years who was very sweet and well-behaved and became quite attached to us during our short visit.
This sign greets visitors upon entering the village. Kay, I was thinking of you when I took that picture!
The landscape around Saint Amour.
There will be more pictures and descriptions of what we did and saw over that weekend, but I think this post has become long enough for now!