30 June 2010


I have mentioned already the difference between the countryside where we have our holiday home in France and where Pete and Cyn have theirs.

A stroll in many areas of the Loire will conjure up images of wealthy kings, flamboyant chateaux and lavish entertaining. One could easily imagine a few contented peasants toiling happily in the meadows or tending the vines.

Looking around the catalan villages we saw in the Pyrénées Orientales, I could somehow tell that life had been, and probably still was, hard for some people.
Fellow bloggers Leon and Sue are currently posting about their time in the region and if you would like to find out more about the history of the place, you could try there.

During our little tour, we came across another village which was also very picturesque and charming. There was a pottery selling lots of lovely bright pots ready for the tourist season, and some very attractive more artistic pieces. We bought a small dish to add to our collection of pots purchased all over France.

The lady in the pottery (the French term is potier, I think) told us that the village church was in such poor repair that it is no longer in use. What a shame. (The dog in the picture belongs to the potier.)

The village had some very old buildings in poor repair and others that were beautifully restored. I wondered who lived in each kind of house, if the better ones were maison secondaires and therefore unoccupied a lot of the time. I hoped not.

We admired the potier's handywork on the outside of the building. (Poteriste would have been a better word, I think . According to the principles of Crabtree anyway !)

We also admired the wildlife inside the building !

We thought this building looked unused and deserted but there was the distinct sound of running water coming from within. Looks can deceive, it seems.


  1. Love your blog great photos....
    Erna from Amsterdam

  2. More grand photos.

    Terrible thing — houses unoccupied.

  3. I love the pictures Jean. You are getting me in the French mode. I'm on countdown now.

  4. I love the photos Jean. We found that when we had a home in the Alps there was a distinct contrast between how the various groups of people lived. There were the second home chalet owners and those people who made their living out of the mountains and mountain activities - people with money to spend who demand things with high price tags. Then there is the contrast of the people who had to live and raise their animals and scratch what living they could out of the harsh conditions. Still I guess that sort of contrast is there the world over.........
    What is good is that your photographs remind us all of this contrast. Well done!

  5. Hi there

    Enjoying this trip through an area I know at least slightly. I think this village is probably Soulatge, which is in a rather remote part of the high Corbières.

  6. Veronica - welcome and thanks for the info. We wandered about a lot that day and looking at the map afterwards I could not work out where we had stopped to take photos. All I can say is that it is a beautiful part of France.