Friday, November 3rd, 2000 On the road North to France
On the road by 8 am. Weather is very overcast but the sun is also shinning! Makes for a very dramatic sky! Crossed the boarder back into France at 9:35 am. No rain yet but very cold outside. As we headed north towards Carcassonne we had a beautiful rainbow. I said that it predicted sunshine and Jim said "yes, but it also takes rain to make a rainbow!"
The high winds were pushing our little Fiat. There were a few sprinkles as we left the autoroute and started our quest for the day. We decided to try to find the little town where we'd purchased the crooked bottle of wine on our trip down the Canal du Midi last year. Jim was sure that he'd remember it. He, Dave and Shari had ridden the bikes into the town for supplies. We found the town (Jim is sure) but not the grocery store and couldn't find the winery with the silver storage tanks. Did find the church. Actually went to the canal and crossed over it several times. Looked really great! After over an hour we gave up as the stores would be closing for lunch and even if we found it we wouldn't be able to get inside! On to Toulouse! [We actually found it on a trip in 2002...I'd brought maps with me! And we purchased several bottles to take home for our friends who were with us in 1999....not nearly as good as we remembered!]
Had a few problems with the roads around Toulouse and ended up back on the divided highway for a while. Back on the autoroute and then when that ended, the country roads. Saw one car with a broken fender and the truck that they’d collided with! It was mostly two lane roads, twisting and turning constantly. But we arrived at Sarlat before 4 pm. Just as we unloaded the car the rain started to come down in torrents!
The town is an absolutely charming ancient storybook village. Our hotel is a very old private home converted and added on to for centuries! The walls are about two feet thick on the outside. We're on the third floor but there is a very small elevator! The TV has about five French channels, no English! There is a telephone in the room. Bath has a shower. The room has radiator heating. (Tossa de Mar didn't have any heat in the rooms as they close in the winter.) Comfortable twin beds. Went over to check out the Laundromat (right across the street) and met a couple from Sacramento who are in town with an Elder Hostel Group Tour. They are with the same tour guide for the fifth trip. It's three weeks. One week at each of three towns. The guide lives in France but is Chinese and speaks wonderful English. They highly recommended the tours.
Dinner was in the hotel sooooo good! Some great hot d'oeuvre...don't know what, they were just served without our ordering and we were told to eat them! Waiter didn't speak any English but was delightful. When he saw me trying to diagram the folding of the napkin, he brought me one and told me to put it into my "bag"/purse complements of the house. [I still have that napkin!] We each had a salad. My salad had poached eggs in it! Then we each had Casserole with duck, sausage and lots of beans. Then a dessert. Stuffed!!! The specialty of this area is Foie Gras. Duck liver. Also walnuts and truffles. Well, Jim is already asleep. So I'm closing for tonight.