Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vianne and Nérac

    On Wednesday morning we decided to take one of the marked walks out from the village. It was a 3.5 mile walk down towards the Garonne River, over the small “Roman” bridge (old, but apparently not quite that old), up into the hills and past farms, and back into Auvillar on the opposite side from which we left. Just enough to get an appetite for lunch.

    After lunch we drove to a couple of towns we had visited last year and planned to return to – Vianne and Nérac. Vianne is a small bastide town with an arched gate at each of the 4 entrances to the village. We had returned principally to stop at the Faience de Remparts shop, a small store selling beautiful pottery that is made and hand painted in the back of the shop. We had bought a couple of small dishes last year, and this time we bought several more. As a bonus, the owner gave us a bottle of wine from the nearby Buzet AOC, an appellation that I hadn't planned on having on this trip (Buzet is a fairly small appellation that makes wines from the same principal red and white grapes as Bordeaux).  On our walk through the village we also made friends with a black cat who showed us to the river outside one of the town gates.

       After Vianne we drove to nearby Nérac on the Baise River, one of the larger towns in the area with a population of around 7,000. We had spent some time there last year, walking through the old part of town and through the park that runs along the river out from the center of town. That walk was so beautiful that we decided to take it again. Although Nérac is a good-sized town, there are farms right outside the center along the river. Unlike many US towns, Nérac obviously doesn't have a prohibition on raising livestock in the center of town, as we passed several fields with sheep and chickens. We also passed a black cat that was quite afraid of us, but who was just too curious to disappear altogether.

Bridges Over Baise River

Cathedral in Nérac

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