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Showing posts from September, 2017

LES BARRALETS, ASSIGNAN: 6.5KM WALK WITH PICS

Roger, Quarante's Walk Meister, will be headed back home to the UK soon. Truth be told, as summer gives way to fall and winter approaches, walks to the tops of local ridges can become quite windy and cold. Not yet, though. Yes, there's a chill in the air and the breeze can be a bit more biting than refreshing. But there are still plenty of days when a good stretching of the legs while taking in a panoramic view is proper exercise.

We've walked a loop around Assignan before. This route differs. Shorter. Rockier. And a bit closed in. But the view opens up nicely at the top. You can learn more about this walk HERE. Enjoy the pics.

AUBERGE DE MADALE, COLOMBIERES-SUR-ORB: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Just go there. There's nothing that I can say, nothing that I can show you with pictures, that can sufficiently explain why you should go there. Just go. You will understand.

Oh, there are those who will quibble. This plate had too many flavors. That plate was not properly seasoned. Our server wasn't cheerful. Phooey! If you are looking for something to complain about, you will find something to complain about. If you are that sort of person, then don't go. Stay home. Eat a sandwich in front of the television.

Enough of that.

The driveway leading to the Auberge de Madale is just west of Poujol-sur-Orb off the road to Orlagues. Not well marked. Not well paved. Madale closes after lunch on Sunday and doesn't reopen until lunch on Wednesday. Lunch at noon. Dinner at 20h00. One seating for each meal. Reservations only. (Seriously. RESERVATIONS ONLY.) Cash or check, no plastic. Set menu that changes every two weeks. If you don't like surprises, it's posted on the we…

CROIX DE JUILLET: WALK WITH PICS SEPTEMBER 2017

I walk. I sit in my den for way too many hours doing such things as writing this blog. So I walk. When I'm by myself, I take a simple, 5 kilometer walk around the village. Downhill on the way out. A steep return at the very end.

Friend Roger is a Brit with a holiday house down the hill from us in Quarante. He walks. In England, he organizes walks. Walks to and from favorite pubs. Multi-day walks. He has all the equipment - good shoes, a little backpack gadget with a bladder that holds water (he says) and a hose that snakes over his shoulder for hydration, a little GPS into which he downloads directions for each walk. Roger has become Quarante's official Walk Meister.

The first time that I walked with Roger, my short, relatively flat walks hadn't put me in proper shape. After three or four miles, I began to cramp up. I learned later that there were thoughts of getting the car for me. But I persevered and have since shaped up.

This is our second walk along the trail known a…

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT HOUSTON

The major disaster that was Hurricane Harvey has catapulted Houston into the forefront of the news of both the US and the world. Of course. If it bleeds. it leads. And right now, Houston is a bloody mess.

Let's begin with what you do know, might know, or should know about Houston.

Houston's 2.3 million souls makes it the fourth most populous city in the US. Houston is named after Sam Houston who, believe it or not, had nothing to do with the Alamo. Houston wasn't there. But because Santana decided to take the Alamo rather than bypass it and go for Sam Houston's throat, Houston was able to backpedal, gather his forces, and eventually win Texas its independence by attacking Santana during his mid-day siesta. That's the short version. It will have to do for now.

Houston is an oil town. Like any other city of its size, there's other stuff going on. But the basic fact is that as the oil business goes, so goes Houston. While that can make for a roller coaster of an …

ENSEMBLE LUNARIS AT CHAPEL SAINT-GERMAIN, CESSERAS: CONCERT REVIEW

Every once in a while, I have the pleasant experience of learning that someone actually reads these musings. I had that pleasure just the other night. A friend had come along to the Chapel Saint-Germain with us to attend the last concert of the season. Ensemble Lunaris had just gifted us with a wonderful evening of early music. As we left, my friend said,"I was reminded that you say that the most beautiful musical instrument is the voice of a woman." 

It is. And it was that evening.

Anaïs Bertrand and Eva Zaïcik are the principle singers. Mélusine de Pas both plays the viole de gambe and joined in song at the beginning and end of the program to create stirring trios. And Myrrha Principiano contributed to each and every number on the clavecin. The ancient chapel seemed to have been configured just for this type of music. Without amplification and with a dais only an inch or two higher than floor level, every note traveled to the audience of 100 cleanly and clearly.

I know. This…