Day 3-4: Heux, France

I am sitting here with everyone still asleep listening to the light rain over of the fields and a red squirrel rocking in the hammock. The fields are a perfect Monet with fog playing through the lines of the vineyard. Yesterday was another glorious day in Gascony.

We began with taking the kids to the ancient market at Mezin. It is a small market with fresh vegetables, bread, paella, duck, and other items. Everyone turns out to buy for the week. We ate bread right out of the ovens and incredible plums.

Church in Nezar (Courtesy of Benjamin Turley, photographer)
We then went to Nérac, the former home of Henri IV (famous for his opportune conversion to Catholicism and statement that “Paris is well worth a Mass”). This church dominates the small town with a lovely winding green river running through it. We went to the annual Vide-Greniers — a type of giant garage sale held once a year in French towns and cities. Everyone brings out stuff that they want to sale and then buy the stuff their neighbors want to sell. We bought from tins from the eighteenth century from a tin dealer. We then went to the small castle of Henri IV, a fascinating character (and extraordinary womanizer for the pre-Viagra period). Walking along the river with all of the tables of junk and antiques, we came across a beautiful hidden fountain of Fleurette. I had to look up the story but it is found in a poem from the day. It concerns Henry IV who was known to seduce women by the gross. He fell in love one day with a beautiful peasant girl name Fleurette and pledged his ever-lasting love. However, when he was called to be the (unlikely) heir of France, he left her in despair. When he finally returned and begged to see her, he found at their rendezvous a simple rose. Fleurette had drowned herself in the river.

We then returned for lunch to have an assortment of local dishes from couscous to veal. We then returned to the tiny fortified village of Larressingle for wonderful crepes. I have the flambe crepe with Armagnac with some of their (alcohol-laden) apple cider. It was divine. After the kids had a running battle in the drained moat with their wooden swords and shields, we came home to sit outside and, yes, drink more wine. For dinner, we had long two-foot strings of fresh sausage and duck breast with wine from the region next door.

I fear that you are increasingly unlikely to ever see your humble host again.

Here are a few pictures:

Bad picture of fountain at Nerac

Market in Mezin

11 thoughts on “Day 3-4: Heux, France”

  1. yum yum yum!

    You have inspired me to pull out my own trip pictures….there is nothing like France…………..

  2. Great food, great scenery and the Vide-Greniers, I wouldn’t begrudge your defection one bit. A nationwide flea market, my ghod man! how could that not close the deal? 🙂

    Thanks again for the pictures and the ongoing journal of your vacation. Benjamin is doing an excellent job with the photography.

  3. “I fear that you are increasingly unlikely to ever see your humble host again.”


    Ok JT. Let’s not get carried away, mon ami. We need you relaxed and refreshed upon your RETURN. No one gets to stay in France living off the fat of the land forever. Stroll the lush vineyards, eat the haute cusine, indulge your senses, and take in the sights, knowing full well that we guest bloogers are at the oar and pushing the blog of state perilously close to the rocks. You’ll have your three week sabbatical, but Mike S and I are even now preparing the affidavit for the international warrant to compel your return at the appointed hour. This being witty, erudite, and informative is tough and takes all of our efforts. By the way, we’re unionizing and we need a break already. How are we going to make another two weeks Sacredieu! 😀

  4. What a beautiful locale to relax in! I’d like to remind your readers that, here in the US, many hundreds of thousands of law-abiding adults are prevented from obtaining a passport due to the fact they were adopted and, since 9/11, their ammended birth certificate does not satisfy the Dept. of Homeland Security’s requirement of true identity. Not because they’re a convicted felon or a terrorist, just adopted.
    It’s sad how the US lags so far behind the rest of the industrialized world in so many ways.

  5. Funny. I didn’t used to want to go to France.

    Keep enjoying, and keep giving us those drool-worthy pictures.

  6. The pictures are great and the stories are better. This is a vacation to be cherished. Color me green with envy. :mrgreen:

  7. Kudos to Benjamin Turley for his great shot of the Church in Nezar … picture postcard perfect.

  8. What seems to be interesting is houses that they are building in this (my) neighborhood…seem to resemble what I have seen of European cities…

  9. Thanks for passing this along. Sounds llke you’re fully enjoying the trip. Visiting France is at the top of my bucket list. Your blog for today has certainly whetted my appetite!

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