Les Prauds, Ardeche
Trip Start Apr 28, 2007
65Trip End Oct 26, 2007
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Thanks to Joy and Gary we had wheels! They very generously loaned us their Chrysler Cruiser PT convertible for a 10 day trip into France. A couple of months before, when we had driven through British Columbia and wine country in California and had seen all the baby- boomers touring in their Cruisers, we admit that we had made the odd comment. Now it was us - just as well we had spoken so benevolently!
Unfortunately it rained chats & chiens
We were invited to stay with Melvyn and Paull in the Ardeche. "Emily" was our travelling companion. Christened by Joy and Gary, she is their resident in-car GPS and she did very
Paull and Melvyn have renovated an amazing old stone farm house and barn
Tuesday morning is market day in Lamastre, and we went with them to buy the ingredients for the delicious meals they prepared for us. There was a profusion of hand crafted cheeses- the local specialty being varieties of brie-like goats cheeses; breads and patisseries; the freshest of fruits and veges; interesting meats; and preserved fruit pastes made locally; as well as a vast array of clothing and crafts.
To maintain some of our hard earned Swiss fitness, we later walked to their neighbouring village, Nozieres. Like so many villages in France, Nozieres was charming.
Breaking news is that Melvyn has been invited to play at the Wellington Arts Festival in 2008! For those who enjoy classical music, and piano or fortepiano, Melvyn Tan is a must see. As an indication of his talent, Beethoven's own original forte piano was restored several years ago for Melvyn to play in concert. Melvyn is a member of Royal College of Music, and has performed all of the Beethoven sonatas and concertos which is no mean feat. It's not just Beethoven he plays though. Given he has played almost everywhere else, we Kiwis have a chance to see him. So far he has been to NZ only vicariously - Melvyn was the pianist for the BBC' series, Pride and Prejudice.