Friends, Flowers and Ancient Towns

Balcony des fleurs
As we walked up to Carleen’s 13th Century Templar house we noticed her balcony still had traces of the Marche aux Fleurs that had taken place in Richerenches the week before. A hardboard butterfly, three tasteful paper flowers, and a selection of pots gave a feeling of merriment to the frontage.
The famed balcone - photo courtesy Carleen
Having known Carleen and her family since she was ten and I was twelve (since school in the NSW town of Orange) it seemed strange for two daggy chicks from Oz (well one at least - ie me) to be meeting in another hemisphere, in a setting from an ancient century, some ‘cough cough’ years after school. Who would have thought it…?
Carleen doing green by the clock tower
Mr Fluffy was happy to busy himself with a few DIY projects particularly when the girly vibe almost exploded with a hairdressing session in the kitchen. He could safely retreat to Gerard’s workshop to angle-grind the legs off a metal table and drill holes in things that needed holes in. The village itself dates back to the Templars and has a very famous truffle market on Saturdays over winter.
By the restaurant O'Rabasse
Hugo ‘kind of’ enjoyed meeting Elvis the dog for the second time (we visited briefly for Christmas Eve) but was a tad annoyed he was no longer the sole canine target of our affections. We ate at an excellent restaurant O’Rabasse, run by a Belgian couple, who made the best strawberry desert in the world. It was almost as good as the jar of coq (au vin) I'd cooked the night before.
View over Lunas

Hugo enjoys a stroll by the river in Lunas

Boys' Delight
The boys sneak in to St Georges' Chapel in Lunas
This does not look scary enough
























Hugo enjoying a good sock by the river

We’d spent a few days travelling to Richerenches via the Pyrenees and what stunning medieval villages we encountered along the way. We spent the full moon night in the aptly named Lunas and went on to steam train wonderland, St Jean de Gard. We have just driven north through some horrendously windy alpine roads along gorges and through tunnels that have seriously set me up with a bout of extreme stress but thankfully we are now in St Antoine L’Abbaye for a couple of days to rest before heading for the Route De Vins in the Alsace (although I have sworn off the drink after a couple of nights on the lash with Carleen).
I thought I was the immature one - Abby at St Antoine
Oh and the good news is we’ve found some suitably overpriced PG tips so there is no longer any need to hurry back.

 
Medieval garden St Antoine

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