France, gorgeous France! Part 2: Pyrenees

2 Jan

Jonathan and I muscled our way through the Metro with our luggage and boarded our train to Toulouse.  Our instructions from Francis were this: come into the main train hall and go left, we’ll be the obvious ones.  He was fairly certain this approach would not work, but at 3pm (after boarding at 9:30am), we arrived in Toulouse!

Note: I thought the train was about 3 hours…when Jonathan reminded me it was 5 and a half, he suddenly got this “oh shit” look, because I hate, hate, HATE long distance travel (except planes).  Luckily, I was fine!  Plus I was on my best honeymoon behavior.

Francis and Jon picked us up to ferry us to their lovely little vacation house in the Pyrenees.  They live in a village of about 40 full-time residents called “Buzan” in what is referred to as the “Midi-Pyrenees” (I have no idea what that means).    We dropped our stuff, had a little wine and cheese and then headed off to a restaurant in nearby Lorp Sentaraille, called La Petit Maison.  The food was very posh, delicious, I mean REALLY delicious, and the lovely server had worked for 20 years with Gordon Ramsey.  So he knew English.  He also liked Ramsey, so, good, I guess!

The next morning, as we are leisurely rolling out of bed, Francis gets a phone call from his good friend Ian, who is in the area.  We all decide to meet at Saint Bertrand de Comminges which is a beautiful cathedral in another part of the Pyrenees.  It is mostly known for it’s intricately carved choir stalls.  We then went to Saint Jean de Valcabrere.  Although it was a rather gray and rainy day, it was still a great outing.

The next day, we found a little dog on our doorstep.  She looked well cared for, so she must have belonged to someone, and she had a phone number on her collar.  We called the number and left a message.  Later on, we went for a hike/walk and the dog accompanied us.  I named her Molly.  That evening, we realized she would need to sleep somewhere, so we placed some blankets and food in their woodshed and locked her in (she was barking insanely).

Today we work up and let her out.  It was raining really hard, so we made her some warm food.  About mid-day we received a phone call.  Francis had realized, after calling the phone number several times, that her owner said she was out of town until Jan 5.  Turns out, the owner (mayor of a small local town) had placed her in the care of someone who lived a little deeper into the mountains here in Buzan.  She thought we took the dog (whose name, it turns out, was Peta).  She kept insisting the dog would have come home, when Francis finally got it across to her that the dog sat outside the house all day yesterday and most of today, she finally realized we had not kidnapped her.  She wasn’t terribly grateful, but, then again, this wasn’t her dog.

Anyhow, it has been so lovely here in the Pyrenees.  Relaxing and fun.  Jon works for the BBC and is a member of BAFTA, so we have also watched a ton of screeners for BAFTA, several movies which are currently in the theater.  Yay!

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