Rain, rain, go away. If only. It’s set to rain today and tomorrow and whilst I’m sure the endless corn fields we drive through are welcoming it…enough already.
Village hopping doesn’t have quite the same charm under an umbrella with the locals taking refuge indoors leaving a ghost town.
Our next village, Sainte-Suzanne has a history dating back centuries: it was fortified in the 11th century and its defence wall is still largely intact.
The wall initially served the village well, holding off William the Conqueror, but it fell in the 100 year war.
I clearly need to improve my knowledge of French history – I thought William’s efforts were only directed at England. We lap the wall, our companions a group of primary school children, excitedly chattering about all they see. It’s certainly an impressive sight, easily ten feet wide in most parts.
Sainte-Suzanne is perched on a rocky outcrop with scenic views through the valleys that surround it. A mediaeval garden sits below us, no doubt serving the Renaissance chateau that anchors the village.
I would love to get a photo looking back at the village with the chateau perched on the edge of the rocks, but it’s a hike away and not feasible in the rain.
In the village walls, the streets are virtually empty. The locals are tucked away in their pretty stone cottages, or judging by the noise coming from the bars, seizing the excuse of a rainy day to drink the afternoon away. It’s not bad option, but we need to be on our way. Pastries from the local patisserier will have to suffice. One thing is sure about being in France, it’s very hard to resist the food.
We drive through the Parc naturel regional Normandie-Maine in the late afternoon, beautiful forested greenery with tantilsing signs warning of wild deer. We’ve seen three so far: two pretending to be sheep, given away by their height and pretty tufted tails, and another, peaking from the forest. Gorgeous, shy, lovely creatures. None this afternoon, but I live in hope.