Loire Valley – Day Three

You know how when you travel you end up with a pocket full of coins you can’t do anything with. The exchange bureaus won’t accept them, and of course you don’t feel as though you can throw them away (they’re money after all). In writing this, I’ve realised I could probably give them to the poor and needy, though you don’t often see too many of them at the airport when you’re leaving. So I’ve found myself with a suitcase weighed down with half a dozen varieties of coins from countries which don’t have the Euro.

It’s a shame we couldn’t have used them yesterday morning as David and I found ourself in a roadside cafe hoping for a coffee and croissant this morning. We discovered we only had about three or four Euros between us as we found ourselves on the roadside in a small village without an ATM. “Ten, twenty, thirty”, we counted, until finally we discovered we could afford a coffee each, but only small ones.

David and I were on our way to Fontevraud Abbey. Amongst its many claims to fames is that its said to be the final resting place for the likes of Richard The Lionheart. I absolutely loved the abbey. It had a great peacefulness about it, as you might expect, and I felt the integrity of the place had been maintained through the restoration process.

After a visit to the abbey, we got some much needed cash and found a place for lunch.

“They are English”, a loud Frenchman declared pointing to David and I at lunch. “No we’re not”, David told him defiantly pointing out that he was French and that I was Australian. Even though I don’t speak French I certainly picked up the references to eating kangaroos that littered his conversation with his wife (?) and the waitress. He’s the only French man so far I’ve found who has lived up to the under-deserved reputation of his countrymen for arrogance.

Lunch was good, though, as I enjoyed a traditional French beef dish with tagliatelle. It was a really nice meal and the perfect way to spend a reasonably wet Friday afternoon.

And tonight I’ve had an even more traditional/authentic dining experience staying with David at his mother’s place. She’s a great cook, and her garlic potatoes are known far and wide. She also really appreciated the fact that I loving trying out new foods. In contrast to David who thinks goats cheese belongs in the garage, I thought it was excellent, slightly melted and served on toast. His mother seemed to agree as we munched into it with ear to ear smiles. Does life get any better?

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