Le Grand Pleut
16.12.2011 - 16.12.2011 9 °C
During the night of the 14th December, a warnings-laden storm rolled across this part of France and the river beside the gîte started to rise. Some neighbours that we met may have had some worries with low level inundation but we decided to take the Yaris for a spin.
Our first journey was to a town called Autun where Friday was market day underneath L'Hôtel de Ville. Although getting inside the markets whilst staying dry proved a bit tricky, we enjoyed investigating the different produce from the local suppliers. Sonia needed to do some cooking after going for several days without having done any so we left with bread, olives, dried fruits, various vegetables, two pieces of salmon and a lemon.
Heavy rain stopped us from doing much looking around so we drove on to Châteauneuf-en-Auxois which is a castle-like fortified hilltop village. It was beautiful although almost deserted. The castle was supposed to be open but a man living nearby told us, "Il a fermé parce que il y a les ventes très fortes .... C'est une situation de securité." He went inside and checked again with the guardians of the castle but unfortunately the winds were still a problem so we walked around the outside and went on our way.
Our next destination was the ancient Abbaye de Fontenay. I selected the "no tolls" option proffered by the GPS which took us on some very scenic older roads through the wet but beautiful countryside. The Abbaye was a well presented former Benedictine monastery that was established on the site in various forms from about the 12th to the 16th centuries. It has been privately owned by a family for 5 generations but is made open to the public as a historical site of significance. The owners live in a rather grand residence in the middle of the complex. The buildings included a church, chapter rooms, cloisters, a forge and a gatehouse with dog kennels. The site also had some beautiful formal garden areas.
As it was getting dark, we selected the "tolls" option and after some confusion working out the tolling system, we took a motorway most of the way back to the gîte.