My adventures in southern France travel blog

Wonderful strawberries ripened by the Mediterranean sun at the Anduze weekly market

A variety of cured sausages at Anduze weekly market

Vegetables to die for at Anduze weekly market

peas and pink and white beans at Anduze weekly market

It's not the Grand Bazaar at Istanbul but more spices than I...

Fishes from the Mediterranean and the Rhone River

Local crabs look thornier than American blue crab

Chateaux du Castellas

The rounded turrets of Chateaux du Castellas were probably added after the...

Small turrets with arrow slits for defending Chateaux du Castellas

Private drive up to Chateaux du Castellas

What? No scratch between the ears??

Irises spill over an embankment in southern France

Today we went to market day at nearby Anduze. Anduze is a small medieval town about 20 miles away and it was fun to walk around and look at everything. I saw a man sharpening knives with a very old stropping machine but he had a sign that said no photography so I didn't take a portrait of him as much as I would have liked to. There were stalls selling mostly teenage clothing, jewelry, ceramics and household items. The heart of the market was, of course, the produce, meat and fresh fish stalls. I didn't even recognize some of the vegetables. They had what appeared to be beans or peas with pink and white pods and the crab in the fish market were about the size of east coast blue crab but with a thornier looking carapace.

I looked for some Santos figures but their prices were even higher than the tourist shops so I didn't get any yet. We stopped at a bakery and I got a real French eclair. I selected one that had icing that looked like maple but was coffee flavored. The interior custard was coffee flavored as well and I was surprised by how much I liked it since I really don't like to drink coffee.

We left Anduze and drove through the mountains looking for a castle Richard thought he had seen mentioned on the map. When we found it, it was a composite of early Norman square towers and later construction. It is now apparently a private home though so we photographed the outside only. On the walk back to the car I spotted two little donkeys that came right over to the fence but the car park also had a fence between us so I couldn't give them a scratch between their ears as the meadow they were in was lush with grass so I doubted that they were hungry.

When we got back I had a lunch of sliced salami-like meat, ham and cheese along with a couple of slices of fresh bread. Richard brought some white cheddar from Scotland that I like really well. But so far, the French cheese I have tried has the texture of Velveeta so I'm not particularly fond of it. I prefer my cheese more crumbly - like Latvian Janis cheese!

This afternoon I took a nap and slept surprisingly well. When I woke up Cecelia offered me a slice of her bread pudding she had made with our left over croissants topped with thick fresh cream (straight not whipped). It was really good. I'm glad the slice was small, though, as we are going out to dinner about 8 p.m. to the little restaurant just up the lane from us. We'll walk over so Richard doesn't have to worry about indulging himself with some of the local wine in celebration of his 56th birthday. The menu is a bit limited offering only perch or duck so I am planning to try the duck. Jane and I had wonderful duck with plum sauce at a Chinese restaurant in London when we were there in 2006 so I am hopeful tonight's French version will be just as good!

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