Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Scouting Out Montbron

The Calm One will be giving a series of educational workshops culminating in a December treasure hunt for adolescents in Monbron. In preparation for that, we tootled off east of Angoulême for a fifty-minute drive in our electric car to check out the village of about two-thousand inhabitants. Parking the Zoe near Le Vieux Château, we started our exploratory walk.

My scooting down the steep steps flanking one side of the château and leading to the ville basse (lower village) provided a vantage point from which to see the monumental structure. It was built in the 15th Century within the remparts from stones of an earlier and destroyed château. Modified through the centuries and renovated by the town, it serves as a venue for municipal events and activities.

At the bottom of the stairs, the streetlights of the old quartier are shaped like golden lanterns which most likely provide a beautiful glow at night.

Note the orange and black lantern on the pigeonnier: shadow or painting?

Since the day was a jour férié (a national holiday, in this case, Armistice Day), it was just us and few others ambling about the winding streets.

Green garden gates are perfect cheery companions for narrow streets...

...ditto for pots of bright geraniums.

Eating fish on Friday (Vendredi), once mandated for Catholics by the Vatican, remains a part of the culinary culture in this region. But with a British twist.

The lower village slopes into countryside.

Succulents thriving in a rock garden

The surrounding Tardoire river valley consists of rolling hills presently tinted a mellow green and gold. 

That patch of bare earth is a veggie garden put to rest for the winter

Montbron and its environs have many points of interest and one are artisan flour and walnut oil mills in the Bandiat and Tardoire valleys. Another is the Vignoble de Saint-Sornin  from which is produced the vin de pays charentaisI can't wait to come back.

À la prochaine!

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