Last Sunday we went into Verteillac for the Brocante. The whole village was taken over by stalls selling everything from toys, clothes and antiques. Lucas picked up a little car and a knight figure.
On Monday, we ventured into Ribérac. Ribérac is quite a busy town with a few shops and restaurants. It looked like a few places had closed down and it didn’t have the best atmosphere about it. We did sit outside of one of the cafes though and had a coffee and ice cream whilst we watched the world go by for a while.
We visited a village called Saint Séverin on the way to Poltrot one day. It’s quite a pretty village to wander through and there was a restaurant that caught my eye that I would like to visit in the evening one night.
We have visited Poltrot in Nabinaud a couple of times this week. This is Lucas’ new favourite place. Poltrot is a beautiful outdoor space where you can hire canoes, do some tree top trekking, play disc golf, boules and bubble football. We visited the small river beach here and also the children’s assault course which is aimed at children between 3 and 6. You could see Lucas’ confidence grow as he did this and he went from needing support along the course to doing it completely independently and he was so proud of himself. We also went into the maze. Lucas held the map which had some arrows where to follow (we still got lost) and around the maze, where numbers with an animal on that we had to write down once we had found them. We all really enjoyed doing this together. Before we left, we had an ice cream and drink at the restaurant next to a stream.
They did some hay making in the fields near to our gite this week too, Lucas enjoyed watching them in their tractors and we could see the kestrels circling the fields, waiting to get the mice that would be disturbed.
We visited Aubeterre-sur-Dronne on Friday which is such a pretty village. It had a lovely bustly atmosphere to it and it had plenty of little shops full of clothes, jewellery and gifts as well as restaurants. We had lunch in one of the restaurants, I love sitting outside in the square with everyone going about their business and enjoying time with their friends and family during lunch. France is very much still a proper lunch place, the majority of places close between 12 and 2, the roads quieten down whilst everyone has a dinner break and once it goes 2pm, the roads become alive again.
Whilst we were in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, we visited the underground Church of St Jean. Made from solid rock in the 12th century, is the largest subterranean church in Europe. Its original purpose was to conserve religious artefacts in a series of pits, and in a reliquary (“a container of Holy relics”), inspired by the Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was discovered during the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century. The church itself, and its crypt, were hidden for centuries by a rock fall, and only rediscovered in the 1950’s. The sheer scale of this edifice with its nave 20 metres in height, its surrounding gallery, and the hundreds of stone tombs (“sarcophagi”) in the necropolis, bear witness to its importance as a sacred, religious destination. It was such an incredible place to visit and my phone camera has not done it any justice. Lucas was so excited going round too as his imagination turned it into a place where ninjas would battle!
Last night we went into Mareuil and had some tea out and a walk around to see what it was like during the evening as when we went last week, we went in the day. It was still pretty quiet for a town but we did go and have a closer look at the chateau which was nice. On the drive home we saw a beautiful sunset over the sunflower fields x