France Day 5 Thurs Oct 19th

Thurs Oct 19th
What a fun day! After breakfast we headed to La Cote Saint Andre,

a marvelous hillside country village where Valerie one of the tour hosts lives. Inhabitants: 5000.

Our first stop was La Halle, a 13th century covered market where the locals shop. Last night Valerie gave us each a food item to buy at the market where only French is spoken. Hahahaha, what a scene! My item was fromage, yes! Cheese, so we all stayed together to help each other and I found the cheese vendor. I tried to search for some kind of port (wine) cheese and I had trouble conveying this to the old man behind the counter.

Next to me was a little old woman farmer who understood some English. She tried to help me but to no avail. She did tell me to follow her to the better cheese place down the aisle.

I thought I was buying great cheese… it ended up being this aged dry goat cheese that really only the locals like. After we all bought our items we started shopping in this wonderful market that have everything from food to jewelry to hats to fake flowers.

Since I love hats, I tried on some including an authentic beret. Everyone else loved it but I thought it looked stupid. But I did settle with a great fisherman’s cap that has the best intricate lattice work around the brim. We then walked the main street to the supermarket and we were fooled by the look of it outside. Inside it was like a super center, with some of the best items. I bought 2 coffee bowls, so I can drink coffee at home the same way the French do here… from a bowl. All week we saw signs for Pizza so we decided to have pizza today and check it out. A delightful restaurant in a colorful square, we ordered 3 pizzas for 5 of us and they were terrific! They had super thin crusts, lots of cheese, and tasty toppings. Definitely a plus! Everyone in most of France closes down at noon for lunch and re opens at 2pm, so this village was no exception.

After lunch we went to the birthplace of Hector Berlioz.

This romantic composer from the 19th century is the founder of romantic French music. He became famous after his death for his works such as “La Symphonie fantastique” and “Romeo and Juliet”. This was also his birthplace and restored to period time.

Then we visited the Chocolate museum and tasting of the Jouvenal chocolates. Yum! We had a great tasting and spent more money.
Dinner was wonderful again tonight and we presented Jac and Valerie with a token of our appreciation on all the hard work they are doing for us..

2 nice bowls and some candles. I’m tired and tomorrow is a very strenuous day, we are going 12 thousand feet up in the air to the summit of Mont Blanc.

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