With deference to Charles Dickens
Gare d’Lyons and picked it up at Hertz where a very nice lady served us. From the station we began the tale. It was the best of times and the worst of times.
Getting out of town is a mixture of uncertainty, fear and hope. Peggy has nicknamed the Periphique the “Circle of Doom.” After a few lessons in compass points, we did get out of Paris and headed off to our first Village northwest of the City, LaRoche Guyon . From there we have the entire day to drive to the other two; Lyons-La-Foret and Gerberoy which are in fairly close proximity to each other.
We finally made it to LaRoche Guyon after several leg stretching stops and I must say the Village is well worth the visit. As you drive into the center of the village you are presented with what, in my mind, is typically French. Now understand I have no experience in what a typical French Village is but this is it.
Oh. My. God.
A banana sliced length wise inside a perfect crepe. This doused in shaved cocoa and chocolate. Topped off with rosettes of whipped cream. These are to die for.
The coffee was the best we have had so far in France.
As we strolled through the main square, we made a detour to the back of one building where two men were renovating a home that is (we later found out) about 400 years old.
After quick introductions, the gentleman asked if we wanted to see his home. Up three flights of windy stairs, we arrived in an obviously gutted out room with a view of the square. Diana remarked about the tiles and he gave her one as a souvenir. She prizes this little piece of 17th Century France.
“Is the D123 alright?”
“Someone look for a sign.”
“Let’s pull over.”
“Let’s look at the map…again.”
It took most of the daylight to find de Foret. But, Diana being slightly obsessive determined we would get to Gerberoy and after a “few” “anyone see a sign?” we entered another quiet little town.
I should mention that the reason Diana chose these Villages is it seems a writer from the early 20th Century (Les plus beaux villages de France…the most beautiful villages in France) wrote about what he considered the “must see” villages of France and the 3 Diana chose were on his list with La Roche Guyon was his top pick.
As the light died around 6 p.m. we had to head back to Paris.
“Do we want the A1 or A6?”
“I think we should get off here.”
Diana asked an attendant for directions. He tried to explain (in French) how to do it and finally he said for us to wait. The man actually got in his car and led us out of the Avis garage into the Hertz garage. No one I know is the States would have done this but here we are being led to our parking return by a Parisian. What an incredible gesture!
We went back to Le Petit Pont for dinner (lamb chops pour la Femme and lamb tangine pour mois). We were absolutely worn out. Peggy remarked that we should have buns of steel by now. Mais oui!
We are soooo ready to crash for tomorrow.