Chilling in Country Cruese France & surrounding areas – loads to see and do
Bouganeuf is a lovely little town in the Cruese Department in the center of France. So on our first official housesit day, we drove here for some shopping at the country market.
We park opposite, and the parking is free. We ask to be sure, as we have never found free parking in a town anywhere before without a parking dial or system.
First stop was for cheese. This region has fabulous goat and sheet cheese, and the night before our hosts had shared the most divine cheeses at dinner, and Explorason wanted to find some.
Even Escargot, or snails were available, but the locals later told us this was only for the tourists, and they never ate them – or frogs legs for that matter.
So giving them the ‘big miss’, we moved to the bread area. I have never seen such large loaves of bread. We settled on some croissants with chocolate centers – Explorason’s favorite, with him being a chocolate addict.
So we sat in the courtyard of the medieval area of town. Munching on the most divine, warm and moist chocolate croissants. Here you can take a tour and see where the Arabs came centuries ago to invite the French. In fact, quite a few still influence the area as we are told.
Next, we fill the car in this same town, at Aldi. It is cheaper than the market and although it is a little out of town on the other side, it is worth the drive.
Next day we head to explore in the opposite direction. A small and pretty town called Aubusson.
This town is the heart of ancient Tapestry. In days gone by factories and workshops filled the area and supported the art and handicraft skills of the locals.
There are several tapestry stores, and each has several ladies busily buying their threads for their work.
This is Saturday, and the shops shut by lunchtime. This place becomes less busy and very peaceful.
We head into Hotel de Ville. There seems to be a Hotel de Ville in every town in France (we joke) – we have seen so many already. This one is no longer a hotel, but instead, it has an exhibition of tapestries from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Very modern for his time, we really enjoy the colors. Some abstracts were so full of detail that we stood back and stared at the designs for a while to work out what they were. It is amazing to know that these are tapestries and not paintings.
In Aubusson, there are many tapestry museums too, so if you go, wander through the cobblestone and paved streets and get lost in time.
This is a quaint country French town. As you would imagine the French to have lived in yesteryear.
Here are a few of the lovely little streets we found as we wandered around.
This building sits on the corner of the main street. The main street is a tiny one-way lane you can drive down to.
Lovely little stores look invitingly at us to entice us to buy their wares.
I really wanted to look into this one, but it is noon, the town closes and all is quiet.
There seems to be few travelers and locals enjoying a coffee in the sun at this cafe. But we are ready for lunch right now, and being on a budget we decide we might eat at home. Especially as we bought a yummy French stick, and have fresh vegetables in the garden to make homemade soup.
So as we walk back to the car I spied this lovely old building by the bridge, and I want to keep exploring these little streets.
Explorason and I climb the hill for a view of the village, and to see the old clock tower.
On the way home another day we see lovely old Chateaus in the area around us. I love this one, and I see it is inhabited with children’s toys in the yard. Next to it is a playground and park at the rear if you drive up the lane.
This is the front of the same property. You would never imagine this is someone’s home.
Chateau de la Chassagne (Chambres d’hotes) is another hotel we decided to take a look at not far from us.
As you drive toward it the presence is magnificent, and an old wagon and barn are on one side, and a mirror lake with beautiful horses is at the front.
We watch guests enjoy the evening breeze, and a man sits alone and stares out at the lake.
We ask the owner if they do afternoon tea, but are told it is only for guests. We miss the afternoon tea we used to have in Scotland, Wales, and England at the castles. I know there is so much more I could tell you about. Maybe in another blog.
But if you get to this area, be sure to have a look around. You’ll be so glad you did. Oh – and the people are so friendly too 🙂
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