Side trip

We went to Switzerland yesterday. I love it that a two hour train ride takes me to another country! Well, Geneva, which is French speaking. But it is a very international city.

I had thought the trip up there would be more mountainous. It was through a beautiful green valley with some dramatic hills.

And also a lake. Geneva is on Lake Leman, which is quite large, and is the source of the Rhone River, which runs through the city. The famous sight of Geneva is the Jet d’eau.

It is a lovely modern city, with an old town and lots of expensive shops.

I did buy some chocolate. It would be nice to have a longer visit sometime.

Worth the wait

The Grenoble Museum was open today. It houses a collection of 900 works in a building opened in 1994. A great design with privacy, the crowd of high school students who came in with me vanished, and great light. And they provide little folding chairs to carry around.

The collection is mostly modern. There are no great works but lots of interesting ones.

This is where I started.

And that’s the end. More on request when I get home.

The museums are open on Monday

But closed on Tuesday, which I hadn’t read far enough in the guide book to discover. This is the outside of the big museum.

This is the Isere River cutting through the city.

This is the sort of left bank side

And the entrance to the archeological museum.

Also closed.

This is the upscale shopping area back on our side.

Where I revived myself

Before going to Monoprix for a necessary summer dress. For the museums tomorrow.

Room with a view

We arrived in Grenoble yesterday. This is from our terrace.

Since the city has mountains all around almost any street ends in a view.

We explored the old town, which is a fascinating mixture.

This is the home town of Stendahl. Almost every building was part of his life. Really interesting town.


After a cool spring the heat is on. Kevin arrived today and met me in Toulouse. He says the weather was the same in California.

Everyone is ready to enjoy it.

We walked past here, in the main square, on the way to one of my favorite cloisters at the Jacobin convent.

Kevin asked why Jacobins. Not the ones in the French Revolution. The order was actually Dominicans, who were called Jacobins because their original convent in Paris was on rue St Jacques. Somehow this feels very French.

But, the Jacobins of the Revolution were called that because they first met in the old Jacobin convent in Paris. What’s in a name.

Cherry on top

The star attraction here is the hill town of Cordes-sur-Ciel. They have packaged it well, changing the name from the original Cordue and adding up above heaven. It is dramatically situated.And when the valley is full of fog it must be magical. And it does have some beautiful houses.And wonderful views.So it lives up to its billing. A great last day in this region.

Sleepy beauty

My plan for today was to tour the villages along the Aveyron river. I began with St Antonin Noble Val. What a great name. Came from the Latin, Nobilis Vallis. And it is a beautiful valley.

The narrow medieval streets were still a bit chilly. So, despite the sweet cat

I decided to drive on. The next one was okay but didn’t call me to linger.

The third, Bruniquel, was my choice. It’s a tiny place running down the hill from its chateau. Right out of the parking place I found classic cars and a good bakery.

Up the hill there is no traffic and few people.

The chateau is quirky with a great view.

Truly a noble valley. After the French version of a bacon cheeseburger with fries, really good, outside with this view

I felt completely satisfied and came wandering home.

Before the market

I did take a detour to see the tourist attractions in Gaillac. The major sight is the abbey, which was founded in 972. It’s currently being restored, but was open for visiting.

It has the most elaborate pulpit I have ever seen.

It’s located on the bank of the Tarn.

In the beginning the monks had a thriving wine export down to Bordeaux and probably on to England.

Across the river there is a charming place called Archeosite. This is a combination museum, storehouse for local finds, and research center. They have a simple reconstruction of a Roman street and house which are more middle class.

I also learned this was one of three major pottery centers in the Roman empire. There was a big factory with sort of assembly lines and a big fancy kiln.

Also handy to ship downstream. Fascinating the levels of history that keep appearing.

Trip to the store

I want to share a bit of real life here. This is my lovely rental Mini alongside the cottage.

This is the road from the house to St. Beauzile.

This is practically all of St. Beauzile.

The junction a mile downhill with the main road.

From there it gets too busy to take pictures and then you are in the parking lot of the supermarket in Gaillac, which is 10 miles and 20 minutes away.

The market is like a Walmart in a minimall.

Very clean and well organized. Which means the toilet paper is in the very back corner.

Actually, I stopped at that market on my way here from Toulouse on arrival on the recommendation of my hosts. Since then I have been shopping at the nice natural food market in the shopping center across the highway.