After New York we hopped a Delta flight to Madrid Spain, where we will be doing another language school, more about that later. As we had a few days before the start of the school we organized a house sit across the border in Southern France.
With a rental car organized in Madrid, we drove 8.5 hours northwast to Cordes Su Ciel, France. The drive was a lovely mix of mountains (the Pyrenees), fields and tunnels. Huge fields of sun flowers were everywhere. We also noticed an amazing amount of hay being grown and harvested; but a surprising lack of farm animals to consume it. If anyone has clues to this mystery, please let us know.
On our first night in Cordes (as the locals call it) we met with the family were we sitting for and then proceeded to beautiful guest house called La Maison au Puits. Despite out late arrival, the owner Nico organized a glass of wine and some amazing local ham and fruits for us to enjoy while we visited until well past midnight. Later in the week Bonnie and I returned to the hotel when Nico and his wife Christiane prepared a three-course dinner for us that would impress any gourmet chef.
About an hour from Toulouse, the village of Cordes-su-ciel is a bastide. To say that the village is charming would be an understatement. Around every corner of the hilly cobble stone paved streets was another surprise. We shopped in the local Saturday market. We dined on fresh bread, fois gras and local wine (they specialize in rosé). We lingered over coffee at the café in town square.
We found we had much in common with Eve and Tom, the couple we sat for. Like us, they sold their home and possessions in California and set off for international adventure. In their case, this meant purchasing and renovating a delightful home set into the hillside of Cordes with an amazing view. Together with their dog and cat (Mocha and Ella), these two really seem to be enjoying their retirement in France.
The week flew by and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to France and our new friends and head back to Madrid. More adventures await us there!