Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Travels in France

My husband, Steve, and I just returned from travels in France.  For much of our trip we stayed in Gramat with friend and illustrator, Catherine Stock ( check her website for rentals and much more).  The Lot region of France, just north of Toulouse, is lovely and relaxing, full of farm houses, hundreds of years old and tiny villages sporting stone houses with red tile roofs.  The town of Rignac is 900 years old and the church dates back to the 12th century.
Catherine's cottage, named Le Tramizal, her summer cottage, barn studio, loft and gallery all make for a whimsical and inspiring get- away, everything one would image an artist and children's book illustrator in France could offer.   Lots of material for my poetry and travel writing needs and good times with a creative and talented friend.

High points of the trip:
Hiking in the area(and getting lost) especially to Rocamadour, the old mills along the river.

Stone walls, tiny red poppies and collecting fossils.  
My answer to my husband about a suitcase full of rocks?  
Cheap souvenirs I will treasure.

Visit to prehistoric cave paintings at Peche Merle. I have wanted to see these stories in stone since I was in elementary school and the grandeur and mystery did not disappoint.  I felt the shivers of emotion. 

Saint- Cirq-Lapopie.  The cafe and peeking at shops.

Bicycling on the quay in Bordeaux after spending the night in a chateau in nearby vineyards.

Breakfast of crepes in the square in St. Emilion.

Figure drawing class in Catherine's studio.  I overcame the intimidation of using my unpracticed drawing and painting abilities in the presence of artists and enjoyed myself immensely.  Creating visual art is a lot like writing poetry for me.

The Musee d'Orsay in Paris and standing in front of Monet, Picasso, Manet, Van Gogh, Serusier, Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Too rich to take in all at once.

The food. Catherine is a wonderful cook.  The Rocamadour cheese, foie gras, the wine, the cafes in Paris.

Walking everywhere in Paris.   Along the Seine, the Champs Elysees, our own little rue Le Cler where our hotel was full of fruit sellers and patisseries and cheese shops.  The booksellers and the boats on the famed river in that city.


Calabria said...

Your adventures are always wonderful. I will keep checking in.

Rachel said...

It looks great!