The workshops will be arriving soon at La Cascade so we decided to go away for a few days to Lyon. Lyon considers itself the gastronomic capital of France and with good reason. But first things first!
First, it is a beautiful large city with lots of energy. Many people liken it to Paris and some say they enjoy it more. Besides the new city, there are two “old towns” which are so charming. We stayed on the peninsula-called Le Presqu’ile- so convenient to all the places we wanted to go. This peninsula is created by the Saone River and the Rhone River converging at the southern tip of the peninsula.
There is the ancient Roman area 2000 years old with an existing Amphitheater and Odeon on the west side and the ancient medieval side on the north side of the peninsula. Both within metro or walking distance.
One of the first things we did Sunday market was go to the Sunday outdoor food market. Beautiful food and beautifully displayed. This market and the Paul Bocuse Food Hall (the inside market) are the main places where the chefs shop. This was the first time I have seen endive as it grows on a stalk!
Next up was a trip to the Textile Museum of Lyon. By the 18th century, silk production was the main industry of Lyon: 28,000 people were registered as silkworkers in 1788. Today there are still several silk artisans making incredible silk fabrics and wearables.
We had a beautiful dinner that night. Dan had a fantastic seafood extravaganza and I had a beautiful salad with frites and Mousse au chocolate!
After a rather long trip- our flight was cancelled the day before we left – we arrived in our beloved village. We took the bus from the Toulouse airport to Revel- a town about 5 min from our village- and our lovely neighbor picked us up.
It’s a lovey feeling to see the first glimpse of our street here. The fronts of the houses face the street and the back of the houses face the river Sor. Many of these houses were copper studios- ateliers du cuivre. Durfort has been making copperware since the Middle Ages and still produces today. The museum in our village has beautiful pieces from the middle ages on. The waterway down the middle of the street was used to quench the hot copper and other processes. Today we use it to chill wine!!!
A short post today as I am slowly settling in and getting the studio at La Cascade all organized and ready for the summer.
Can’t wait to share it all with those that are joining us this year!
Even tho it’s going to be 90 degrees this week, it feels like fall has arrived. The sunflowers fields are brown and ready to harvest. I get asked a lot from the La Cascade workshops participants what the endless sunflower fields are harvested for. The best that I have found out is seeds, sunflower oil (used extensively here like we use canola) and then finally, animal feed.
The fields are glorious while they last- usually from mid July til the end of August.
Most of the summer people have left the village but there is still much fun to be had. And many workshops still to come this fall at La Cascade.
Last weekend was the first annual Country Western Days here in the village. Strange but true! The Red Riders dance club came for two days and danced ceaselessly from 4 PM Sat til 1 AM (with live music at night (great) and all day Sunday. This group specialized in line dancing and was so amazing it made me want to join them next year. It’s a little disconcerting at first to hear country music sung with a French accent and also to see the sea of cowboy hats and boots. But ya gotta admire their passion for the genre.
One of the more interesting experiences to have in a small French village- is to offer to be on one the village festival committees! My husband and I sit on two committees – and we basically understand nothing! The meetings are fun, full of laughter and opinions and disagreements- but the conversations are so fast and filled with French slang- that most of it goes by in a blur.
There is always, ALWAYS, delish food and drink so and we just keep saying (in French)- we are here to help!!
Our friends and fellow villagers seem to really appreciate our effort and translate the important stuff eventually!
And we have had a great time the last three years on the Fete de L’eau committee.This year was no different.
There is a feeling of chaos and disorganization (partly because we don’t understand really what is going on) but then it all always pulls together the day of. We hung hundreds of bright colored flags thru the streets and around the village square. I sang in the Fete de l’eau choir in our small sweet church. The acoustics there make an average choir sound fantastic- we sang water songs in French and English (I’m singing in the rain was one.)
All day long were wonderful activities for young and old. Building boats out of recycled materials for a boat race down the waterways in our village, a waiter relay race –holding a tray of glasses filled with water and running thru the streets of the village. Trout fishing, storytelling, the creating of a flower art in the river by each person attending. An art show of Water art at our village gallery. Ending with an apero for all and a pot luck dinner in the street. Here’s some pics!!
A week ago we made a quick trip to meet a friend in Marseilles. The city is big and full of energy- it reminds me of NYC where I lived for 10 years. It’s the second or third largest city in France (depending on who you talk to) and has the largest port in France. The location on the Mediterranean is truly unique and astounding.
The first night we walked around and had dinner in a neighborhood called La Plaine.It’s high up on one of the seven hills of Marseilles, but our friend told us that La Plaine translates as “the valley”!?!
There are many bars, restaurants and shops and it’s considered to be the cool and trendy part of Marseilles. I was entranced by the storefront and building art-any available space is covered with artistic paintings. Here’s a few of my favorites!