Jan and Ian

Ten years later… (#2)


Ten years ago we drove from Spain to France and were wondering where we would stay for the night. As we drove we were puzzled by how quiet it was. There were closed doors everywhere, no one was on the streets and not a shop was open. It was like being in a Stephen King novel. For one hundred kilometres there was no one. This posed three major problems for us: food, fuel and accommodation. Finally we spied a lone figure in the street. We stopped to ask, “Where is everyone?”He looked at us in surprise and said, “Monsieur, Madame, it is Whit Monday!”So, it was Whit Monday- but why no one? Another 100 km passed by and, joy of joys, we found an open service station which alleviated two of our problems, fuel and food, as such, in the form of a tinned salad nicois and Prima pack of wine. We also learned that Whit Monday is a very important family holiday and virtually no one works, spending time instead with their family. We drove another 100 km and from the trees in the distance we saw a group of white tents. We followed the side road to the tents and saw the remains of a carnival, presumably to celebrate Whit Monday, but more importantly, we saw Brantome- a fairy tale village which had appeared from the mists (actually is was quite sunny, but magic rarely seems to appear from sunshine). We soon had found a hotel, restaurants and a memorable overnight stop. With the wedding only 40 km away we had to return to our own special Brigadoon, so when Lyne asked if we wanted to go for a drive the response was easy. Happily, Brantome was still a delight!


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