My blog about travel adventures and a lot more.

In The French Countryside

What are we going to do today ? That was the question we asked ourselves after waking up into a sunny Saturday morning. After looking at the map of the region, we   found the answer. The French countryside. “La Dombes“. A region of thousand ponds between Burgundy and Lyon.

I prepared tomato-mozarella sandwiches, took some biscuits for dessert, a large bottle of water and was ready to go. First stop. Villars-les-Dombes. A small village in the heart of the “pond kingdom”. A short walk across the town’s square and some wandering around the streets with few medieval houses … There is also an Ornitologic park but we didn’t go (a lack of time but mainly because of its price).

We didn’t have a precise plan, we just knew that we would like to visit Bourg-en-Bresse at the end of the day. By looking at the map, we had 2 choices. We could go there directly or we could take a longer road and stop in some villages we liked on the way. So we opted for the second (no)plan. Direction Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne. After only few minutes in the car, I saw a sign “Route des Etangs” on my right. There it was. A road designed for one car and not really in a great shape but we followed it anyway. We were probably the only car that decided to do so that afternoon. We were alone. On the road that was living her life by curving between the ponds. Very peacefully. And we found some peace and calm as well. A pause from a big city rush. We heard birds singing (didn’t see them though). And there were also few other inhabitants here and there …

Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne. Nice surprise. A small medieval village or town (not sure) with rich and passionate history. Its architectural patrimony is there to prove it. However, it is a shame that we arrived a bit late for the weekly market. We didn’t know but it is reputed as the most beautiful market of the region. We could easily believe it only by looking at the market place – we got transported few centuries back in a fraction of a second. At least, we could see what happens after the last client is gone. All farmers of the region coming with their lorries and loading what was not sold in the morning : fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, eggs, meat, other typical regional products and even live poultry.

Arrival to Bourg-en Bresse around 3 pm. As we had no idea where to start and what to see, we stopped at the tourist information office at first. A really nice girl handed us a map of the city centre with a description of recommended itinerary to follow. We did as she said (it took us about an hour) … however we  couldn’t stay much longer. There was a magnificent monastery to be discovered just outside the town and we didn’t have a lot of time before its closing time 😦

We were standing in front of the monastery few minutes later, bought our tickets and the visit could start.

We made it. Everything went according to our (no)plan.

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2012 by in Europe and tagged , , , , .
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