Saturday, 18 July 2009

Randonnée de Patrimoine

La Tuilerie Website

We’re on the map ! Well we always knew that in fact if you look at the IGN walking map of this area it clearly marks the location of La Tuilerie. We are also findable by GPS if you type in La Tuilerie for the road and Cormatin for the town, and you will end up in front of our gate. But that is not what I mean literally.

The local tourist information office organise walks from either St-Gengoux-le-National or Cormatin throughout the summer with different themes. The themes centre around the local architecture or nature and they are led by a guide who give information on the way. At or near then end of the walk there is a stop for a drink and a nibble. The walks last about 4 – 5 hours, but don’t cover much more than 5 kilometers, so there is plenty of stopping, looking, talking and time to enjoy the surroundings.

A couple of months ago, the tourist information office approached us to see if we would like to host the so called “vin d’amité” and we were delighted to show off La Tuilerie to a group of walkers. The wine, water, squash and buns arrived in the morning and the walkers duly arrived, almost on time, at half past four. We split the group of twenty walkers into two groups and I gave a guided tour. We do a tour for people who stay in the gites or on the campsite very regularly, so that is not a problem. We have researched how Tuileries worked when ours was in its prime and we know a lot on the subject so we can field most questions with confidence. Before the walkers arrived I was brushing up on my vocabulary and I did my best to give a good story and in the end I was quite pleased with how it went.

St Boil Tuilerie when it was still in productionIf I made a mistake of tense or conjugation of a verb, I was gently corrected but I was a bit thrown by the correction of a word I used. The heart of the tuilerie is the oven and this was filled with the bricks and tiles covered by a layer of lime which partially acted as insulation but it also needed to be “cooked” itself to be used in mortar. The whole oven was heated up to one thousand degrees Celsius. On the second tour around the tuilerie, when I was describing the layer of lime (chaux) I was corrected by one of the walkers and he told that the word I should use was “chaume”. La Tuilerie todayFair enough, they are French, they speak the language better than me. So for the rest of the tour there was a layer of chaume on top of these very hot bricks. We later looked up the words, because both Cees and I were a bit baffled by this correction. We then discovered that chaume is a rather obscure word for straw! So we now have a bunch of French people wandering around telling their friends that a layer of straw was used to top the oven working at one thousand degrees. What was in the guy’s head when he corrected me? Ah well, we’ll know better next time!

Having said all that, we were very happy that the walkers came here, it means we are on the map and in the system and who knows maybe we will have another group next year.

For Cees’ blog on how tuileries worked click here

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