More thoughts from Majella

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How lucky are we to have this experience. The past two weeks at Trébry have been delightful and have gone so quickly I’m sure that by the time we blink, the final week will have also disappeared. We are so far off the beaten track here, there are no crowds, and no hustle and bustle. Pauline commented that it is like someone coming to Australia and staying at Allora. We have had the luxury of doing things at our own pace and of our own choosing. But it is not Allora. All the clichés of France are coming to life around us. People with berets ride by on bicycles, baguettes are a daily menu item and almost a fashion accessory, and as we are in Bretagne, the favoured costume is the blue and white striped shirt. I have yet to see someone in a striped shirt and beret riding a bicycle and carrying a baguette, but we still have a week to go!

Living in the country has enabled us to see the amazing fertility of the region. Maize, wheat, and buckwheat are the most common crops, as well as silage for the many very well fed cattle that provide the milk, butter and of course the cheese of the region. The bread here is wonderful. Each day we buy our small fresh loaf and enjoy it with the cold jambon cru (dried ham) or saussison (sausage). The bread is light and preservative free.  Anything remaining is virtually inedible the following day, although that has rarely been a problem. The cheeses are also a treat. The different tastes, textures, and smells keep us searching for more. I’m sure I haven’t found my favourite yet, so we will just have to keep trying.

Finally having the opportunity to visit Mont St Michel has definitely been a highlight of the past week. It was with some trepidation that I set out last Tuesday. This place has been in my heart and mind for so long, I was fearful that it might not live up to my expectations. As a 15 year old girl sitting in my classroom in Corinda, I had gazed at the photo of that magical place and determined then and there that I would go there one day. And there I was! This place that had been in my heart and mind was there in my eyes.  We were so lucky that we arrived early. We were on one of the first shuttles for the day that carry the many thousands of visitors across the causeway.  It was high tide when we arrived and we had to enter by the upper walkway. We were able to stroll around the cafes and little shops at the base of the mountain before making the climb up the many steps leading to the cathedral and the monastery. I luxuriated in every moment, taking in the extraordinary architecture, imagining what life might have been like in earlier times. By the time we started back down the hill, the crowd numbers had swelled. The lanes that we had wandered through were almost impenetrable. It was time for us to leave. The tide had receded to such a degree, it had disappeared beyond the horizon.  More magic! I loved the whole thing.

I’m glad Peter has recorded all our other adventures. There is almost too much already to keep in my head. And we are only one quarter of our way through.