01 November 2009

Around Town

While Ventenac is a tiny village, it makes up in charm what it lacks in population.
The red tiled roofs, so common here in the south, lend an unassuming
beauty to the views out our windows here at Lafontenille.

Every day, the canal brings us so much joy we just can't contain ourselves.
Passers-by might think we look a little strange,
but we just can't understand why everyone ELSE isn't as excited as we are.

About an hour's walk east of Ventenac is the little village of Le Somail. The town used to be used as an overnight stop for visitors coming from the Mediterranean traveling along the Canal on their way to Toulouse. Thomas Jefferson even made his way there for a brief stay.
I wonder if he stopped and had some of the scrumptious ice cream like we did.

Today, Le Somail is a very quiet, peaceful little place with a few canal-side cafes, B&Bs, an old church, boat rentals, and a fantastic used bookstore.

"Le Trouve Tout du Livre" bookstore was an unexpected little gem.
It has a collection of 80,000 books from the French classics to poetry to history to children's books. Many of the books were hundreds of years old...a bibliophiles dream.

Le Somail is still a popular destination for boaters. It was especially busy because we are in the middle of "la vacance." The French definitely live up to their reputation for taking a lot of time off, and also for taking full advantage of it. All the kids are currently enjoying a two
week break from school -- maybe they work really hard in September????

Here is a view the vineyards and the Pyrenees in the distance from Ventenac.

Ventenac's very own Chateau at dusk. This is actually a "cave cooperative" -- a sort of wine co-op. We have yet to try any of their wine...we'll have to save that for another day.

A toute a l'heure!