Saturday, November 03, 2012

Swedish invasion #2

ZZ Top with fans

Gustav’s parents arrived from Sweden last night for a four day visit. I generally prefer having guests at the end of the week as there are better options for visiting markets around the Gers. On a Friday if we’re pressed for time then we can go to the closer Vic-Fezensac market, otherwise we can circle through Condom towards Lectoure to sample the rolling countryside and enjoy the views of and from Lectoure itself. Today was one of the latter cases.

Last night’s pick-up from Toulouse airport was a long dark and wet journey, meaning no sight-seeing and rather too much road stress with too many drivers rashly overtaking  with little margin for error in front of oncoming traffic on the wet and poorly-marked road. If anything acts as a harsh counter-balance to the serene life in the south west, it’s the mad driving.

Thankfully today we had a quiet sunny trip to Lectoure, with its white hilltop profile  and belfry tower visible five kilometres in advance. For much of journey, the Pyrenées were visible along the southern horizon despite being fifteen Swedish miles (150km) away.

The street market was quite busy giving Gustav’s parents a chance to select from a variety of grapes, cheeses and other local foods. I followed them into the 12th-century cathedral but paused only a short time to admire the organ over the entrance. By chance, this week is the 100th anniversary of its designation as an official historic monument.
Munson awaits without Lectoure organ
Munson waited patiently for me on the other side of the entrance, and then we went to talk to a hat vendor parked close by. It turns out he has backpacked extensively in Australia and is keen to return. He was very impressed by Munson’s journey from being born in Queensland, thence to Sydney and then having spent half his life here.
sunset with Pyrenees
The weather stayed clear for the rest of the day, allowing us to keep our view of the Pyrenées from our less elevated position on the farm.

In the meantime it seems I’ve turned my guests into my coffee slaves. They’re not used to having a well-brewed espresso available for them, let alone on call. Actually I think it might be me that is the coffee slave.

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