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Aveyron ca c'est Bon! A non-TR Trip Report.

So we figured that instead of our usual quirky TR, this time we're just going to mention the locales that we visited along with bare bones descriptors. If any travelers might have any questions, we'll try to help. Mrs Z and I intend to inflict our fotos from this trip on you all further down the road (we're real busy just now). We'll also post this same same over on other sites in hopes of getting enough 'likes' to finally earn our sparkly red armband.

Itinerary:
Paris, flew to Conques for Fest of Ste Foy-- 4 nights; Villefranche de Rouergue (9 nights at excellent gite rental de Maison Pago/Pierre et Thierry); don't miss St. Joseph Lycee's 'Restaurant d'application', where teens make, then serve lunch as part of training; incredible story of the 'Croat Rebellion' here in Sept. '43, wherein Muslim conscripts rebelled against their cruel Nazi SS officers and held out for a couple days (how did this never become a Hollywood movie?!); nice bridge and river.

Belcastel (4 nights at hotel Vieux Pont, whose restaurant is worth crossing an ocean for; remarkable views from both the well-known castle/art gallery plus the less well-known and distant 'Les Chaises du Seigneur' vista; this is the rural Occitaine heartland; Figeac (12 nights at superb splurge farmhouse rental 'Les Deux Sources' overlooking Cele valley in nearby hamlet 'Roussilhe' (this is actually considered The Lot); received multiple phone calls there from strange woman posing as the traveler/writer/sleep enthusiast 'St Cirq'; Daytrips to Faycelles and Capdenac le Haut--both are wonderful perched villages with excellent views, zero tourists and 1 or 2 restaurants.

Finally back to Paris: 3 night rental of a house (yes a house) in the Charonne/St. Blaise area, just south of Pere Lachaise Cemetery, right next to the Buzevenal metro stop; met American TV personality Drew Carey with his young posse @ Jim Morrison's gave at Pere Lachaise; pondered Parisian rain during walk of close by 'Campagne a Paris' district of old village homes; read copy of Tchou's book Guide de Paris Amoureaux; shopped at nearby Auchon supermarket; enjoyed massage at atmospheric venue literally beside our front door.

I am done. The end.

Posted by
248 posts

What a fabulous trip report! Entertaining and informative! I love your style of writing and specific mention of highlights and made several notes. Thank you.

It led me to read your earlier one to Provence — do you have a favorite town in the south of France? Our plan is to stay a month in Old Town Aix in September but there is something about Lourmarin that is drawing me. I know... a small village versus a city but Lourmarin seems bustling. We will be without a car so I had crossed Lourmarin (or any of the Luberon villages) off my list. I also found an amazing apartment in town in Roussillon. Sigh... so many choices....

Posted by
179 posts

Hi CaliMom,
Thank you for the kind words and glad that some proved useful. Fave town? Not really. We've had peak experiences in a number of places around the globe, including Europe, including France. Uzes comes to mind, but that's a rather arbitrary choice. A lot of the pleasure there had to do with an all-time great splurge rental, the nearby park-valley plus the pair of weekly markets. Of course there are valleys and markets and rentals to be had everywhere.
Aix vs Lourmarin provokes an interesting debate, yeah? Larger vs smaller. Again, our Lourmarin rental made all the difference, a most-rare semi-rural private kinda place. Our landlady there had just lost her popular husband, so we tried to be discrete and not be needy. Whereas Lourmarin is unabashedly touristy, with its fair share of tour buses, its market is just SO excellent that we overlooked any negative aspects and simply did our best to enjoy. We loved Aix to death too. Odd ending there though. Our apartment rental had a roof leak and on the final night when it finally rained, half an ocean leaked onto the stereo, the antique furniture etc.
Tough call between the 2 towns.

Haven't been to Rousillon in 32 yrs so cannot provide meaningful feedback.
We've never owned a car, but between budgeting for taxis and taking bus/train, ain't never had any real probs. Both of us used to drive and during the 70s, I was forever renting cars, vans and trucks as leader of my rock band, but chose soon after to save $ from car expenses for my then-new passion: travel.
Bon Chance CaliMom!

PS we're still mourning our recent lost hero, one who moved to LA twenty yrs ago to start a new family, after his old one died. I refer to the greatest drummer-lyricist of all time, my boy Neil Peart from the band Rush. Respect to that worthy role model and hero---note that he was quite the traveler too, and wrote numerous travel books.
I am done. The end.

Posted by
179 posts

Those interested in a related Photo Essay for this TR, might visit the Fodor's travel site, which allows for the display of photographs. All of the above towns and villages are depicted there, with copious images.

The Photo Essay is titled 'En Pays Villefranchoise' and is offered by 'zebec' in the France section..
Enjoy!

cheers

I am done. The end.