Wednesday, September 19, 2012
On to Limoges
It is so easy to fall behind in posting and for that I apologize. Hey, we want this blog for ourselves as much as it is something for everyone else to read. That’s because some day months from now, we will read one of these posts and “remember” all that we did that day, including the thousand and one things that were never written about. We all need our memory “jogged” at times and that is what these posts do for us.
Note the time the first train departs, that’s not evening, that’s morning, meaning we were up early this morning. Linda had the alarm set for 5:45, which is definitely too early when you are on vacation, but an early departure means an early arrival so it evens out in the end. We were actually on the 8:16, but Linda wanted to be sure we were at the station early.
We were on a ter, which is a smaller regional train. We had to change trains at Vierzon, with a layover of about 45 minutes. That gave me time to take a quick walk around the neighborhood near the train station, while Linda gladly stayed in the station with our bags. All I got was a little exercise as the area near the station was devoid of anything interesting. There was a cool train museum but this early in the morning it was closed and I didn’t have enough time to see it even if it had been open.
Once our next train left the station I found that Linda must have had a really stressful time watching our bags. Or was it watching the clock to make sure I came back on time. I do my walking thing every time we have a little time between trains, and I usually make it back with at least five minutes to spare, so she shouldn’t be upset with me. That’s why I don’t understand why I usually get a glare when I return instead of a smile. I haven’t gotten lost on one of these little jaunts yet, though I have been puzzled as to exactly where the station was a time or two. That’s probably because of the fact I never return to the station by the same streets that I walked away from it on. If I took the same streets I wouldn’t see anything new.
The train station in Limoges is beyond description, and looking at the way the tower leans in the photo I took, it is also beyond my ability to take pictures. Inside that massive main room, the windows are all stained glass. Didn’t see much porcelain, but that is what the next couple of days are about. Interestingly enough I’ll bet there are some Americans that would say the French don’t even know how to properly pronounce Limoges. The French say La mage. Just try pronouncing it the way Americans do, but nasally, and it comes right out the French way, or at least it does for me.
One of the specialties of this area is confit de canard and pommes de terre sarladaises. Think duck preserved and cooked in duck fat, as well as small pieces of potato fried in duck fat. If my wife, who never allows animal fat to enter her mouth, talks about how good this meal was, you know it was absolutely wonderful. And that is one of the great joys of travel, experiencing new things. Sitting outside at a small brassiere while enjoying the Plat du Jour, I think it’s what we miss most when we return to the States.
One of my favorite things, gargoyles. They come in many shapes, and are often so high up on the buildings, usually churches, that they are very hard to see. I’ve tried to photograph them, but because they are usually against the sky, my photos are usually really bad, though sometimes they are not really bad, but merely just bad. It sure is an ingenious way of combining art, symbolism and the practical. The practical being keeping the water off the sides of the buildings and a little further from the foundation.