French countryside—Paris Day 1

We head directly from airport to the village of Maule, with Troy our host and driver taking us through the outskirts of Paris, to the beautiful French countryside. Woods and fields and a village dating from pre-Roman times. Being on the Mauldre River which flows into the mighty Seine, assorted invaders throughout the ages–Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Germans—attacked the village on the way to Paris.

Today, we invade the village square and its farmer’s market, testing grapes at the bio (organic) stand, and choosing delicious green plums, melons, but not apples because Troy and family have their own trees!

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We skip the Chicken Bus food truck:

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Then it’s off to the bakery for bread, pan au chocolat for Mary, and the wonder of desserts and the ever-present champagne.

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Here’s the medieval church and tower:

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Here’s the oldest door in town with the newest visitors:

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Then we’re off to the house, enjoying lunch of cheese and bread and fruit on the patio.

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Next we walk in the fields and forests that border the backyard, accompanied by Troy and Django.

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After the stone and concrete of Barcelona, we revel in the smells and sights of every green bush, tree and piece of grass, every flower, herb, and fruit. Spiky chestnuts fall around us, but none our heads (that comes later to Troy on the streets of Paris). The blackberries are not ripe en masse (look we know some French!), but we find a couple early achievers to munch. We come back to the yard and its apple trees:

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Back at the house, the teenage girls return with giggles and stories from the school picnic fundraiser.  Mary last saw these girls when they were age 9 and 11 and still being tutored in French. Now, they are fluent and are learning Italian and Russian!

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Tomorrow—we hit the big city!

© 2013 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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