In between all the hard work of sampling French food and wine, and watching dressage, we were on vacation. Even Axel took a couple of days off to enjoy the French countryside. Today I’ve posted some photos of what we saw between dressage shows.
But click here for a gallery of all my favorites…. (Including lots of dressage!)
For instance, the little medieval town of Segur-la-Chateau, about 20 minutes from Pompadour. It is designated as “one of the most beautiful villages of France.” We arrived there on a quiet, foggy morning, and had the place to ourselves, except for a watercolor class that was set up by the Auvezere river.
This is the interior of a little church in Pompadour. Here, even the altar is a place for horses. Especially fitting, since we gathered all weekend just outside at “Our Lady of Perpetual Half Halts”.
We visited the 12th century Eglise de Saint Robert. Religion is a physical thing in this area: small towns were built 900 years ago around the churches, and the churches are still the focal points today. Some have been expanded and renewed, with many layers of architecture and style. Others were bombed or burned in one war or another, and rebuilt when peace returned. We happened upon a small church on a hill in the middle of almost nothing. Inside is a plaque commemorating the dozens of men who died in Word War I. Below it, a smaller plaque for the 6 men who died in World War II…. The population of the town had perished in the First war, I conjectured, and there was almost no town left for the next one.
The sense of history and spirit of the churches is palpable: there are countless generations that have passed through these towns.
Apples are big business in the Limousin region. Orchards are netted like this to insure against storm damage. Having grown up with big, gnarled apple trees in the back yard, I was surprised to see just how small they keep their trees – I’m sure there’s a better yield this way, but not nearly as good a climbing tree as I had. But oh, the local apples are just yummy!