2017 Day Twelve

The morning brings treats.  Chris, going for brownie point gold, wakes me bearing  gifts. Coffee (of course – nothing happens without coffee), croissants fresh from the boulangerie, every bit as good as yesterday’s baugette and best of all, news of an unusual neighbour.  A camping cat, a tortie who I must say, looks not best pleased, despite her interest in the butterflies that flit about.

 Breakfast devoured we set off around the harbour for a second pass at Belfleur, this time in search of something more prosaic, a supermarket. Given the distinctly cooler weather, Chris has in mind to make an Italian stew he’s lifted from Gennaro Contaldo, possibly the most entertaining chef on YouTube. It’s impossible to watch him cook and not smile at his exuberance and passion for his craft.

It’s one of the few times Google lets me down. The alleged supermarket is nowhere to be found, but this proves a boon later.  A light drizzle sets in: we take this as a sign to get on the road, to our next village, Beuvron-en-Auge in the heart of Normandy farmland, Pays d’Auge.

Our way is paved by farmland.    Corn of course, wheat crops and the occasional sprinkling of shuttered stone cottages, white cows and apple orchards.  The rain makes photos tricky.  But the best bit of the drive has to be our first taste of a French supermarket. Even the average supermarket here is has a pretty good selection of goods, but this Intermarche is enormous, a literal orgy of fresh produce, cheese and charcuterie.  It’s an exercise in self restraint to minimise our goodie basket. Still, we walk away somewhat more heavily laden than before.  It’s always a fresh and pleasing surprise, the quality and range of produce and even more so, how incredibly inexpensive everything is.  

The drizzle sets into serious rain for our arrival to Beuvron-en-Auge.  It’s stunning, a storybook village of half-timbered houses, that beg to be explored.   

The rain however, has us trapped.  Chris makes his stew with Gennaro chatting by his side, exhalting the virtues of home cooking.  I read and whimper at the door occasionally. 

It’s not until early evening  that the rain lets up and we walk into the village.  

It’s a perfect time for photos as there’s not a soul out.  Beuvron-en-Auge had four centuries of glory days, right up to the French Revolution.  A Norman family, the Harcourts, who had ties to the royal family, led the town’s commercial activities and the prosperity they generated is still clear today. 

Time had stood still here.  The cottages, once thatched, now tiles are decoratively finished in rendered plaster or pink brick with vertical or diagonal timbers.    In the centre square sits a covered market, which despite its appearance, is relatively new.  It’s was built from recycled materials and looks as if it’s stood for centuries.  If the few cars were removed you could easily think you head stepped into the Middle Ages.  Gorgeous.

My favourite has to be the house with a squirrely totem on it’s roof.  I’m not the only squirrel nut in town it seems…🐿️

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