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Shangri-ooh-la-la!

Adam and I went to the French countryside for the Easter weekend.  Friday to Monday, we stayed at a tiny place called Saint Germain de Coulamer abut 40 minutes west of Le Mans.

st germain and teeny chapel

If you clicked the link you might have noticed that Saint Germain has 410 inhabitants.  I think I counted 7 people.  The rest were cows.

Curious cows

These ones all stood up and stared at me hard as I walked past.  It was as if they had never seen a human before.  I tried to speak to them: you know, to find out where the next village was, but I realised that they didn’t speak Mooglish.  Talking louder didn’t help.

The location was lovely.  Near impossible to get to: like a French Shangri-La.  But once we got there it was well worth the teeth-gnashing, hair-tearing, clothes-rending journey through the manic streets of Paris.  In a rented Smart car.

Fill er up

Which, as Adam says, was much like driving a go-kart.  Except in a go-kart you have the relief of getting out after about 20 minutes.  Three hours in a Smart car not recommended if you prefer your molars to remain in your face.  But some people are picky like that.  Me? I loved it.  Just my size, not too fancy on the inside, zippy when I needed it to be, turned on a dime (for which we needed about 20 dollars’ worth trying to navigate through Paris), and light on fuel.  Me likey!  *She says with a toothless grin*

As for the gite itself, it was happily located next to a converted mill that used to cut slate.

The mill and gite

The buildings date from pre-1200 and a manor house loomed above.  It could be seen from miles around.

Chateau_1

Chateau_2

Of course for me, the most exciting part was… THE CHICKENS!  This one told me her name was Bok-Bok.

Curious chicken

She and her three chums supplied breakfast every morning.  Yes, I got to collect the eggs.

fresh eggs

And it was confirmed to me by the owners that chickens didn’t need to be pregnant before they would produce eggs.  As there was no rooster to be seen, I was glad I didn’t have to worry about finding a beak in my yolk.

Besides the heavenly hens, there was an equally fabulous fireplace which I cremated beside each night.

Fire and feet.

The owners were going to charge us for fire wood so Adam and I plotted ways to cheat the system.  They mostly involved burning the furnishings within the gite.  Wood trim, straw mats, ceiling beams… “What?  There were no door knobs or handles on the kitchen cabinets when we arrived!  We swear!”

Of course we could have always burnt a chair.  Or ten.  As lovely as the gite was, the owners had oddly decorated the place with literally 15 wooden chairs PLUS a couch.  In a space built for TWO.  I woke up the first morning and almost killed myself on the obstacle course of wooden chairs we had unknowingly left out the night before.  Why so many chairs?  The answer shall remain a mystery and in the end we weren’t charged for fire wood anyway.  I guess we didn’t need to saw two inches off the legs of everything in the gite after all.

In conclusion, it was a very beautiful and relaxing place to hide out for a long weekend.  Ok, I hardly got to practice my French at all because the owners were fluent in English.  But c’est la vie.

Smart car and rainbow


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