Saturday, 10 April 2010

Burgundy Awakes

primulasBurgundy hibernates in the winter. Even though you can still have tee-shirt weather into mid-November, Burgundy effectively grinds to a halt towards the end of October. The museums, the Château in Cormatin, the caves in Azé and Blanot and other attractions all shut down, the bicycle renter closes his doors and the tourists stay away. That is why our gites are not open after the end of October, very few visitors come and so we drain down the water and tuck up the little houses putting them to bed for the winter.

But just as suddenly as winter arrives, so it ends. This last couple of weeks have seen almost everything in nature coming into action. The forsythia is in full flower, the daffodils, the primulas, the wood anenomies, blossoms of all sorts, even the tulips are flowering, the birds are singing their hearts out and the frogs are almost deafening, everything seems to be bursting with all that energy that has been pent up over the winter months. The Easter week sees Taizé literally explode with people, whereas two weeks ago I had the pick of anywhere I wanted to sit, if you are not in at least half and hour before the start of the Easter Sunday service, you won’t even find a square centimetre of floor area to park your bottom on. Talking of parking, Taizé is sheer lunacy at this time of year, I prefer a leisurely walk over the anarchy of fighting your way through the buses and people with a car.

cockrel at LouhansBut on Easter Monday Burgundy is really shaken alive. It is the first Louhans small animal market of the year. The whole area becomes one great big party. The normally sleepy little town is turned into an enormous market place for the whole day and the fair arrives as well. Literally hundreds of thousands of people flock to enjoy this unique day of the year, which always seems to be blessed with beautiful weather. Don’t even think about trying to get a place in a restaurant for lunch, everywhere is booked up, even the kebab shop has a queue that goes half way down the main road. Just buy something off the market and set up your own little picnic. As you arrive and walk into the town centre, you will be met by hundreds of people coming the other way, carrying twittering cardboard boxes tied up with string in which they are carrying their point-of-lay chickens, taking them home to the newly prepared hen-house. The cycle of life has started again. Chickens are bought at this time of year to give eggs, then they are killed in the Autumn to provide meat, when they start their moult and stop laying. The cycle is then complete.

ducks at LouhansEverything is opening up, Burgundy is bursting with life again, the roads seem to be full of foreign number plates, a sight rarely seen in winter. We are looking forward to a fresh season, meeting new people and welcoming back old friends, sharing stories of the past year and swapping news. The gites are painted up and ready to roll, all the winter maintenance has been done and now life speeds up to a leisurely amble as we stretch our legs and shake off the winter cobwebs.

La Tuilerie Website

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...