Life in the heart of France
12th January 2012
Poitiers Day Out
We wandered among the shopping streets, dived into the covered mall in a beautiful old building, where Polly bought some shoes... well the sales did start yesterday. If I hadn't just had a new bag for my birthday, I would've got one here.
We went to the Place du Maréchal Leclerc in front of the Hôtel de Ville, and posed for this:
With Polly and Colin we'd planned to go on the special ski-train up to the Auvergne, for a day out in the snow (though not skiing, too fragile for that!). But then we found these trains weren't running any more (why??) and, as we'd looked forward to it so much, we decided to have a train trip to Poitiers instead.
Leaving Le Dorat station at 9am, it's a pleasant hour's ride on a nice, clean train to the city. Heading out from the station, we climbed the massive steps (slowly, in view of the effect of cold and exercise on this asthmatic!) up to the centre, and into the indoor market next to the Notre Dame. The cathedral's facade is stunning, detailed in stone,
carved and weathered.
Inside the market hall, we bought spices and a kilo of pasta flour from the fabulous delicatessen, and wandered round the food stalls, marvelling at the quality and variety.
The last time Tony and I were here, the whole square was being renovated. Now it's finished, it is the most impressive open space - it's huge and expensively paved with what looks like marble. It makes you want to stand and stare, or in warmer weather sit on the built-in stone seating, admiring the impressive, ornate building of the Hôtel de Ville.
At one meat stall the butcher stood with a calf's head on the block, sawn in half, taking it apart.... didn't dally at that one! The French are not squeamish, they'll eat anything, and Tête de Veau is a seasonal speciality.
Gâteaux, works of art.