Saturday, 28 January 2012

28th January 2012

Last Sunday we drove to the little village of Moussoulens in the Aude to sample a little bit of traditional French life. It was the annual truffle fete. There were many stalls serving food and local crafts, as well as wine tasting. But the main event, the sale of truffles, started at 2.30pm, and not a second before! The 'delicacies' themselves were carefully unwrapped about 5 minutes before the sale was allowed to begin. In the meantime the crowd had been gathering in anticipation with cash at the ready and cameras clicking frantically. When the sale was finally allowed to begin, it was a bit of an anti-climax, for us anyway. It was very calm and good-humoured - but huge amounts of cash changed hands. Being able to cultivate truffles here must be a sure way to get rich quick!
You can see some photos of the event in our album below

We have had some lovely weather again this week, but it's all changing this weekend, with snow forecast for tomorrow and temperatures dropping. However we made the most of the of the sun today and drove up to the little village of Larcat, between Tarascon and Ax. We followed a recommended 2 hour circular walk up to the little Chapel of St Barthelemy which is situated in the most wonderful spot. Apparently an outbreak of cholera in the area in 1854 provoked the decision to kill a local family infected by it to prevent it spreading. As atonement and in commemoration, this little chapel was built -so a tragic story, but such a tranquil place. There had been a dusting of snow overnight as well, which made the walk even more beautiful and atmospheric. When we reached the snow-line we went from warm sun into a snowy winter woodland -beautiful!
As a reminder of life as it used to be in this area when the villages were more highly populated and people had a much greater need even than now to live off the land, the agricultural terracing of the valley is still very evident. This can be seen in a couple of the photos in our album here

1 comment:

  1. But the truffles seem to be so small and lumpy, like misshapen potatoes! Isn't it strange. It was fun to see the snowy Plateau de Beille - it looked so different when we walked there in the summer. Enjoy the snow when it comes; we may well have some too, soon.