Our last days in France in January 2020 seem like a very, very long time ago. In retrospect, having to leave France early turned out to be the silver lining to the dark cloud of family medical issues. Instead of being marooned in France when the pandemic struck, we were at home (and, as an added bonus, our travel insurance paid for our disrupted trip).
Now we’ve returned for three months to visit some new places and some old favorites. We’re beginning our trip in Lézargol in Brittany, at the very same gîte we spent two months in last time – definitely a favorite!
It hasn’t changed much, though brown is a much more dominant color in the landscape. There have been repeated heat waves and no rain here for a very long time. So, we’re trying not to be too bummed that our very first morning was rainy and the forecast for the coming week is mostly rain – it’s desperately needed. At least the rain brought cooler temperatures with it. On most of our drive from Paris, the temperature was 36°C (97°F). Ugh. On Sunday it was much more pleasant – a mere 24°C (75°F).
Speaking of the rain, thunderstorms were rumbling off in the distance when we went to bed Saturday night. They seemed to have died down… until a huge sizzle followed immediately by a BOOM caused us to leap out of bed. M ran downstairs and unplugged all our electronics. They were thankfully ok, but we found in the morning that the wifi had been knocked out. A small price to pay – the lightning could easily have set some of the dry brush on fire.
Despite the drought, the gardens surrounding the gîte are even more beautiful than last time. The roses are in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous.
Another thing that has only improved with time is the warm welcome! Flowers from the garden brightened the rooms and Breton delicacies awaited us in the kitchen – a box of local cookies, a bottle of J’s favorite cider was cooling in the fridge along with a far breton made by the mother of the proprietor. She was even kind enough to share fresh vegetables from her garden with us. Our first meal here was all the more special with these great additions. Quel bonheur!