Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Viking Forseti: The Libourne Market

It’s a really good thing AdventureMan collected all the Daily News, because already my notebook has become confused, with arrows pointing to when we *really* did this and scratch outs where I totally got things wrong.

First, I am going to insert photos from our time on the Dordogne, en route to Libourne:

 

Yep. That’s me, on the balcony, taking photos. Thank you, AdventureMan 🙂

It is a glorious afternoon, and the scenery on the way to Libourne is amazing. There is a mansion around every bend.

 

The Viking Forseti has a map you can follow on the television in your room. You can see the little Viking longship going into the bend of the river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is an impressive fortress – or church. even on low ground, with no low windows, it is defensible.

 

 

November, and we are having a day in the 70’s F.

 

 

 

 

We hike into Libourne in late afternoon to figure out our plan for the following morning. Once again, we are thoroughly enjoying the warm sun, and a beautifully walkable town.

 

 

View at dusk in Libourne, from our balcony.

We get up and have breakfast so we can head into town. We know the markets get started early, and I want to be able to take photos before the groups tours start arriving.

Through all these years, those who have continued to follow me, you know how I love local markets. You never know what treasures you might find. Some of the treasures, we can’t even buy because we can’t cook them and we can’t take them back to the USA. We just have to appreciate them in place.

I covet these windows, and the shutters that you can pull closed to cover them. I would love to have a house like this!

The detail of the stone and wooden beams in the building facades.

Love the old doorbell pull and the new intercom juxtaposed.

I admire the way the French can create a garden from the tiniest patch of earth.

The outdoor market is small on this cold November day, but there are also stalls under the protected areas all around the square, and in the Marche’ Couvert.

 

 

Behind the market stalls here is a lovely Tourist office with nice goods, and a cafe full of smoking men, waiting, I think, for their wives to do the marketing. The owner was kind and let me use the restroom – clean enough for a desperate woman. I never found the people to be unkind, as long I as I asked them politely, the answer was always “yes.”

One of the nicest memories of this market is a needle-arts vendor in the center of the plane who had a little butterfly stitching kit suitable for my 6 year-old granddaughter, in colors I knew she would adore, and a small pair of sharp sewing scissors, in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. More than anything, I want her to love France, the very idea of France.

The word I learned for pumpkin was “potion” but here in the Bordeaux there are many pumpkins, and the most common one I saw was “Potimarron.” I expect it’s a variety of pumpkin, and I love having a new word 🙂

 

 

 

Inside the covered market, all is immaculately clean, the foods are fresh and beautifully displayed.

Even at eight in the morning, oysters may be paired with beer and eaten with gusto.


My old friend, Mimoletta, which, I believe, is actually a kind of Belgian or Dutch cheddar, but oh, so good, especially aged.

The local and Basque special cheese:

A spectacular variety of goats’ cheeses!

Look at those beautiful scallop shells!

We were delighted to see what “Maigre” looks like in fresh form; this is the fish my husband ate at the restaurant in Cadillac.

Huitres! The magic word for oysters!

Palourdes are delicious little clams.

I really wanted to bring some of this home, but was not sure I could transport it safely.

 

I did bring home prunes from Agen, and I ration them out a little every day 🙂

 

 

This is the way we bought squash in Tunisia – in hunks. It wasn’t expensive. Once, at Halloween, I caused a scandal in the Marche’ Lafayette by buying a WHOLE pumpkin to take home and carve for my three year old little son. There are some things you just can’t explain cross culturally, and buying a whole pumpkin to carve and put a candle in to burn to scare away evil spirits you don’t believe in – some things are too complicated. Sometimes, you just don’t even try to explain.

 

 

This was heaven and hell for my husband and I. We would have loved shopping, taking home some of the beautiful produce and preparing it for our own meals. What a thrill it was just to see them in such abundance. Grilled chicken, below, was expensive compared to the USA, but the chicken really tasted like chicken.

Canale’ is a speciality in the Bordeaux area. We expected to love it, but it has a burnt under taste that put us off a little.

 

Walking back along the river to the boat, we could see the results of the Mascaret, the tides coming in and going out from the Atlantic. At low tide, the Forseti had to head out to the middle of the river, and boats all along the sides of the river were stranded.

It’s around here that the photographic record becomes really important. Even with the daily newspaper and my notebook, some parts of the day become fuzzy. What I remember was the thrill of seeing Chateau Petrus. Bruno, Chief of Police talks about the one bottle he was given, and what a treasure it was. One day, I would love just a little 3 oz glass of a Chateau Petrus.

Wineries and vineyards in the St. Emilion area.


 

 

The weather has changed. As we exit our bus, we grab our umbrellas. It looks like the rain could get really serious.

I loved the St. Emilion church. You could see that it was a working church, and a beloved church. It had a special feeling to it.

 

 

I am a total sucker for this kind of architecture.

 

 

Looking out over the rooftops of St. Emilion, trying to shelter my camera from raindrops.

 

 

All the Viking guides were really good, but the one we had really seemed to bad-mouth several of the wine vendors, and really seemed to push one particular vendor. Many people were buying the wines, most of whom were having it sent or were going directly bak after the tour.


 

 

We boarded the bus, chilled and soaked, even with our umbrellas, and were thankful for hot showers when we got back to the Forseti. We loved the market in Libourne, and I loved the church of St. Emilion.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Food, Living Conditions, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment