Ever since I visited Pérouges in April I had it on my list of things for Mom to see when she visited France. As one of the official "most beautiful villages in France" it shouldn't be missed - the preservation of the medieval buildings, with almost no modern intrusions, is utterly unlike anything in Canada. My only concern was getting there - the train takes you only to the nearby town of Meximieux, and it's a fairly long 25-minute walk uphill without shade. But then I had the bright idea to contact the local tourism office to ask how I could book a taxi to take us there and back. It was all pre-arranged, and our taxi driver, a lovely older woman, found us at the station and took us up to the village, all for only 6 Euros.
We enjoyed a leisurely walk around the quiet village. There were fewer busloads of visitors than when I had been there before, but there were some interesting new people - painters! Around every corner they were set up with their stools, easels and paints. It looked like they'd all come as part of some kind of Japanes painting trip. We also stopped in at a gallery with an exhibition by a local woman with paintings of some familiar scenes of Lyon - I was able to discuss (in French) the unusually hot and dry weather in France.
For lunch we went to the same restaurant I ate at before - Auberge du Coc. This time I had the house speciality - rooster (coq). And, as before, we had the medieval aperitif, hypocras, and the town speciality desert, galette.
After Pérouges we were on our way to Grenoble. We changed trains in Lyon (where Mom, an experienced French train traveler after only two journeys, helpfully reminded me to validate our tickets) and enjoyed a fantastic window view of the scenery as it changed from farmland to the Alps.
I had hoped to have a picnic up at the Bastille, but the weather was threatening thunderstorms. So instead we had mom over for dinner at our apartment - pizzas from the deli section of Monoprix, a salad of arugula, buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, and a bottle of Lambrusco (which, unfortunately, turned out to be a bit flat). Then we went for a walk through the nearby Caserne de Bonne development to see the fish ponds and fountains before returning mom to her hotel in the heart of old Grenoble.
Welcome to Pérouges, through the main gate (one of only two) of the walled village
A walk-up window for servings of the famous galettes
Our lunchtime restaurant, with painters down the street
Inside the church
Such a lively expression on this little carving
Mom pointed out the old original doors guarding the gate
The view over the surrounding countryside
Mom at the town well
Two lonely dogs wanted to come out to play
A house with a lovely little garden
The town square - still beautiful, even though the wisteria is no longer in bloom
A memorial to town residents who fought in various wars
Mom has a home-cooked meal chez nous, at Privilodges Grenoble