Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Like Promised

I know it's been several days since I promised more pictures of our little trip. I've got plenty of excuses for why that hasn't happened yet, most of which are related to pregnancy, of coursel. All of them basically amount to saying that I've got other things on my mind, so I don't blog much these days, even if I do have things to share. And, since I have things to share, I will try to do so here. Right now. Let's see if Blogger cooperates (it wouldn't the other morning when I actually sat down to post something.

So, first up, we've got a picture of those pretty slate rooves I was telling you are typical of the area in and around the town of Argentat. One of the things that Americans should notice when traveling through France (and probably other European countries, too) is that the people have always tended (until somewhat recently) to use the materials closest to the building site to make their homes. Pretty logical, really, but being raised in American neighborhoods that all look like the next, where each home bears a strong resemblance to those surrounding it, this logic might escape you. Sure, in the US, there are some architectural differences between the homes found in the South versus those built in California, for example. But, if you look at the homes found in the rather large region that is Southern California, they all look pretty similar. Not so in a region of the same size in France.

You don't have to drive far to change terrains here, and the homes in each different terrain reflect the terrain itself. This allows you to end up with deep red rock houses in one area and quaint little homes with slanted slate rooves in another. You don't even have to travel great distances to see the changes in architecture. One village may have one distinct aspect to its architecture while a village less than a half-hour away has another. This makes roaming the French countryside especially fun.

So, let's roam a little, shall we? Let the picture here take you away to a faraway land. Pretend you are no longer at your desk at work, staring blankly at your computer hoping your boss doesn't notice you're surfing the net. Let's all go to a little hamlet called Le Falgoux. Yes, hamlets still exist in parts of France. Le Falgoux, the one our cabin was located in has less than 10 houses in it. Very cute. The house pictured here is the actual cabin we stayed. It is a few hundred years old and recently remodeled to house vacationers. Back in the day, it would have been used both as a home and a barn. Yep, I know many of you sleep with your dogs or cats, but how about your pigs and cows? Before the advent of central heating (or at least radiators), poorer families shared quarters with the stench that was their beasts of burden in order to profit from their stinky warmth. Luckily, times have changed, and this place was equipped with in-floor heating coils, a wood-burning stove and radiators, so no need for the stink. Cute, though, ain't it? We'll take a little tour of the inside another day, but notice the slate roof. That's very typical of the area.