Vacances en France – 2018 – La Calsade to Moulins


We awoke to yet another glorious, sunny morning. Needless to say, we were sad to be leaving the gite which had been our home for the last three weeks. Settled up with our host, had to pay an additional 11 euros for electricity. We had a couple of cold days during the first week and during the second week, one of the electric heaters was inadvertantly left on over night. Oh well, it could have been worse.

With our car fully loaded and one last check around the gite, we set off, leaving Badailhac and travelling up through Vic sur Cere to Le Lioran. Here we entered the tunnel. On exit the sun had gone and the temperature , according to the car, was 8 deg C. Everywhere just looked chilly and grey.

We had a trouble free journey to Moulins. The temperature slowly rose and with the sunshine reappearing the day carried on as it had started. We had made good time and checked into our hotel, Le Clos de Bourgogne, early. We had a refreshing cuppa before going for a stroll through the old town.

With the sun setting we made our way back to the hotel where we made a couple of FaceTime calls back to the UK and family. This was the first time we had any WiFi in three weeks. It was so nice to hear and see our daughters and grand-daughters.

We had opted to eat at the hotel but what wasn’t made clear at check-in, was the fact that there was to be no menu choice. Apparently, on Mondays the hotels restaurant only caters for residents. I have pretty broad tastes when it comes to food. However, Gerry is a little more selective. As it happens, we needn’t have worried. The food was very nice. To start there was Pate En-Croute, followed by a Duo of Fish (Salmon and Monkfish?) in a white buttery sauce with vegetables. The dessert was a fruit crumble (Figs, Raspberries and Apple). An unusual ingredient, for us, in the crumble was Mint. It did seem to work but for me the one thing that was missing was the custard.

Vacances en France – 2018 – Disappointment


Our last day at the gite, before heading up through France to visit family in Achiete-le-Grande. Time to tie up a few loose ends.

On numerous occasions, when heading out to visit places of interest, we had passed a sign with the name “Calmejane”. We always referred to it as Call Me Jane. Never having been down that lane we decided to explore. Turns out that the sign post indicated the name of the family that lived at the end of the lane, a dead end or should I perhaps use the French cul-de-sac ?

Similarly, we had passed this field with donkeys. On this occasion we stopped to say hello. They were very friendly and curious. Sad to say they were expecting treats and we had none. They were quick to snort their disgust and soon lost interest in us. They were very cute.

Having disappointed the donkeys, by turning up without any treats, we decided to follow road past the donkey field. Just to see where it led. After a couple of kilometers, we found that it led to a small group of private houses. Another dead end, a cul-de-sac. There were some great views en-route though. Disappointed, we enjoyed the same views on the way back to the donkeys.

The Road To Nowhere

We then drove down to Vic-sur-Cere to get fuel and cash in preparation for our journey north, this being our last day at the gite.

We had cleaned and packed earlier, so we were basically killing time until we could go to a restaurant for an evening meal. Big mistake….

We should have found somewhere to eat at lunch time. Waiting until 19:00 before approaching our restaurant of choice was a huge fail. No only was the restaurant closed but the hotel, Hôtel Restaurant Beauséjour, seemed to be too !!! Our second choice, Casino de Vic Sur Cère, was open but there was a private function in full flow complete with live band. The restaurant itself was shut. Similarly, several other local restaurants were closed. The only viable choice seemed to be to travel into Aurillac, a thirty plus minute drive. Not far but neither of us really wanted to do that. So it was back to the gite.

In anticipation of our departure, we had run our food stocks down. We had bacon, eggs and cheese and bread. So our Sunday meal consisted of eggs and bacon on toasted french baguette. It was actually very good, but was the cheapest sunday meal and I didn’t even get a tip.

Vacances en France – 2018 – Vic-sur-Cère


Saturday 8th September and after a good nights sleep we all awoke to a brilliant sunny day. With all the travelling of the previous day, nobody wanted to go too far afield. So it was decided that we would visit Vic-sur-Cère located about 11km away from the gite, about fifteen minutes drive. Vic-sur-Cère or Vic in Carladez is an old spa town in the valley of the Cère river.

Parking up in the town center we first visited Claveras Sébastien, the local boulangerie, where we purchased a couple of loaves. Stashing our fresh bread in the car we then set out to explore the town.

Le Manoir dates from the 17th Century. Since then it has been a Benedictine Convent,
a boarding school for girls. Then it became the property of the Murat-Sistrieres Family, and subsequently the De Pierre Family. Today, it is an extension of the Hotel Beauséjour.

Saint-Pierre Church of Vic sur Cère

Dating from the 11th century, the church of Saint Peter was destroyed for the first time in 1261 before being rebuilt in a Romanesque style. It remains of the Romanesque period only the intact steeple dating from 1265.
The Revolution was a test for the building and after a period when he was left abandoned, Mr. Murat de Sistrières in 1802 decided to repair the seven altars, floors, steeple stairs, the big door and part of the roof.
In 1894, the vicar of Vic, anxious to welcome more and more summer visitors, considered it necessary to enlarge the church but the dissuasive estimate was refused by the municipality. It was then that the priest opened a parish subscription

Vic-sur-Cère has many winding back streets, not obvious when you drive through on the main road.

Doing that touristy thing tends to give one both a thirst and hunger pangs. Although Vic-sur-Cère appears to have several brasseries and restaurants, catching them open must be a form of sport. We did eventually manage to get quite a nice meal at the Casino de Vic-sur-Cere.

Vic3

Casino de Vic-sur-Cere

Turns out that it is actually a casino, not just a hotel as we first thought. After lunch we returned to the gite to make the most of a beautiful sunny day. We sat outside until the sun went down behind the farm buildings. With such a clear sky, the temperature drop was quite dramatic.

Had relaxed supper of local cheeses, sausage, Friton (made from pork, a kind of course pâté) and the crusty bread purchased earlier, all washed down with some really nice red wine.