View from a Viaduct and Saint-Germain-de-Confolens

Following our usual procedure, we arrived at Auntie J. and Uncle G.’s after a brief detour down their neighbor’s driveway/farm track. During our stay we enjoyed many convivial glasses of wine, delicious meals prepared by Auntie J., and forays to see the sites of the area, during which we tried to walk off some of the calories.

We walked across this viaduct. Since I don’t have the best head for heights, so I stayed right in the middle. The view was lovely, but I find I didn’t take any pictures, probably because I was concentrating too hard on crossing without freezing in place!

The next day, we visited the ruins of the castle at Saint-Germaine-de-Confolens. Local lore says there has been a castle on this site for over a thousand years.

The castle was cordoned off, so we weren’t able to take a closer look, but we enjoyed looking just the same. The town and river are beautiful.

Whenever we visit the UK and France, as an American, I find it hard to imagine living in buildings that have been there for centuries. At home, a structure is old if it survives fifty years!

French graves often have these little plaques, which Uncle G. explained are given by family, friends, and/or organizations the deceased may have belonged to. He learned this while riding with his local cycling club when the group stopped to place one such memorial for a member who had died.

I noticed this tree, the likes of which I’d not seen before, and was told it’s a mimosa. Now, when I enjoy a champagne and orange juice with brunch, I’ll know what the drink is named after (although the English call this drink “Buck’s Fizz”)

One afternoon, we walked into Pleuville. The commune (area), which is also called Pleuville, was divided by the occupying Germans during the second world war. From the time of the occupation until 11 November 1942, the village of Pleuville was in “Vichy France” (the so-called “free” zone), but the its nearest neighbor, La Courcelle, was occupied. As a result, Pleuville (the village) was a hotbed of resistance, with messages, and even people, regularly smuggled across the line.

Google Translation: “In memory of the maquisards: Tombs 3 August 1944 for the liberation of France with the passage of a German column, Jarrassier Clement, Mandinaud Ernest, Quiring Joseph, Bourgoin (Canadian)”
One memorial, two wars
Google translation: “For the children of Pleuville who died for France, 1914-1918”

“In Memory of all those who fought, who suffered and died for the homeland and for freedom”

“Deported: Pautrot, Alche; Thromas, Marcel, F.F.I.; Jarassier, Clement; Jaud, Henri; Mandinaud, Ernest; Quiring, Joseph; Sauzet, Jean; Polet, Raymond
Soldiers: Petit, Pierre; Thomas, Marcel; Bourgoin, Louis, Canadian, P.G.; Buissonneau, Alphonse; Nadeau, Emil; In occupation: Michelet, Denis”
I found F.F.I. listed as meaning the French Forces of the Interior, but didn’t find “P.G.” or “EN A.F.N.”

We also passed this grave marker in the back of someone’s garden. Auntie J. knew, or at least knew of, the people who own the house, and I think she said the deceased wasn’t related to them. It’s nice they are maintaining the grave though, isn’t it?

Back at Auntie J. and Uncle G.’s I was taken by the sight of this old gate, which I thought was picturesque.

On our last day, we went to dinner at this restaurant. Of course, I can’t remember its name or where it was, but the setting was beautiful, and the food phenomenal.

We had one more outing with J. and G., but it requires its own post, so you’ll have to wait.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to report our stay with them was all travel magic and no mayhem!

4 thoughts on “View from a Viaduct and Saint-Germain-de-Confolens

  1. I’ve found the French are very serious about maintaining memorials to their dead of all categories, whether civilian or military, and the wording is often more moving and emotional than the more Anglo-Saxon among us find comfortable. I have no problem with sniffling a bit when I read stuff like that, because the sacrifice and sadness is no less real because it was long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother and father-in-law had a mimosa tree in their backyard in Mentor. The house was sold in 2017 after Mom passed, but the tree was gone before that. Disease or weather-related damage. Don’t remember which. I think it had orange flowers. I would have been stuck on the viaduct, as it looks too high and narrow for me to cross, unless I could do so on my hands and knees!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s