Text/Photos © 2012 Sean M. Madden. All Rights Reserved.
This past Sunday, Mufidah and I decided to drive somewhere outside of Vichy for the afternoon.We had a look at a map of Allier, named after the river which runs through the Auvergne region of central France, and decided to head to Gannat as our first stop.
We then planned to carry on from there to Saint-Pourçain. But at the suggestion of Nazih, the proprietor of Restaurant Anisse — where we enjoyed the best kebab sandwich (and frites) we've ever had as well as two on-the-house glasses of mint tea (one each during lunch, and another upon our return trip to Gannat later that evening to thank Nazih for his recommendation) — we decided, instead, to visit Charroux, known as one of the most beautiful villages in all of France.
Charroux is also known for its mustard, considered the best in the world by many top chefs. Unfortunately, we didn't know this at the time of our visit and, so, haven't yet had an opportunity to try moutarde de Charroux. We don't intend to let this gastronomic opportunity pass us by, though, so stay tuned!
Photo taken from the road leading into Charroux
(click image to enlarge)
Collectively, Mufidah and I took nearly 600 photographs Sunday afternoon — a few in Gannat, and quite a few more while stopped alongside the road just outside of Charroux which overlooks wide-ranging views of the surrounding countryside. But most of the pictures we took were of the village itself, a village which is indeed beautiful. In fact, it's almost too beautiful for its own good, sometimes having the feel of a toy village, where many of the houses and other buildings are signposted like museum specimens.
But the beautifully kept and signposted feel of Charroux is offset by a fair number of dilapidated rustic buildings (oftentimes posted for sale or rent) which, for both Mufidah and me, made the village all the more appealing, bringing the more fairy tale aspects of Charroux down to earth.
(click image to enlarge)
On Monday, Mufidah and I were both shattered for some reason, and so spent much of the day napping, going for swims, and otherwise relaxing.
And yesterday, Tuesday — after cooking a scrumptious potato and leek frittata for lunch in our Cobb — we spent the afternoon working in the Parc Napoléon III which runs alongside the River Allier in the center of Vichy, a few minutes' walk from the Hall des Sources and the opera house. The fruits of the work we were doing shall be forthcoming as things progress.
So make sure you've subscribed to receive the MLG blog posts to be kept apprised of soon-to-come announcements.
For now, we send you our blessings from our campsite just outside of Vichy, where we're just about to prepare a late afternoon lunch before going for a swim.