French Countryside – A Week in Pictures
Last week was quite an eventful week in our expat household in the French countryside. While I was completely swallowed up by the impenetrable IT side of my new creation (yep, you’ve guessed I’m taking about my mobile app), we received some transatlantic visitors (by which I of course I don’t mean the nasty campylobacter but our dear childhood friends).
They brought with them an exceptionally pleasant heat wave (I think I speak for all residents of France here – when I say it’s been a long time since we had a nice summer, even in France), as well as a luggage full of yummy fresh baked bagels and our favourite squeaky cheese.
That’s definitely the agreeable side of expat living – you receive family and friends (which their luggages full of delicious treats) only from time to time, without having to invest endless hours into socialising locally (although at the end of the week the cohabitation can get quite intense too).
Another pleasant aspect of receiving visitors is that you get to see the country you live in as a tourist. I mean, when you’re busy working or taking care of a large family, who’s got the time to visit the village of Camembert that’s 20 miles away or spend time on admiring the Château du Champ-de-Bataille which is only 15 minutes away?
So, every time we have somebody coming from overseas we get to play tourists and to like it too. It wasn’t different this time around, when we had a chance to go to the most beautiful beach in the North of France: Deauville, which is only 40 miles away. It’s not only the place where the annual American Film Festival is held, it’s the place of the longest sandy beach, a mini Paris if you like, right before you cross over on the ferry to the UK.
We’ve spent the most enjoyable weekend there with our friends, kids making sand castles in the sand and us adults getting beurré on cheap Champagne. But there was another surprise waiting for us on our way back, in a little village 10 minutes from home, there was a display of fireworks starting at 11 pm.
France and fireworks
The French have an interesting take on pyromaniac pleasures. Before you embark on your adventure in France, you should be aware that there are no fireworks on New Year’s Eve, not even in Paris! On that evening the whole country is as silent as Silent Valley in India, no fireworks are allowed, not even in your back yard (defined by strict rules of the municipal police – and beware of breaking these!).
But then again, the whole country lightens up on the 14th of July, when it’s Bastille Day, to commemorate the beginning of French Revolution and setting up beautiful displays of fireworks everywhere. Not to mention that the Gardens of Château de Versailles have their own right to display pyrotechnic illuminations every Saturday in summer for the chosen (or booking early online) crowd.
Being accustomed to having no pyromaniac pleasures (France still tops in most other categories when it comes to pleasure, so that’s ok), the village fireworks display came as a real surprise – which is why I devoted a whole 2 minutes of my iPhone memory to film this rare event without any hesitation (have a look below). My guess is that either the village’s mayor had high end connections somewhere, or that France is finally opening up to the captivating allure of pyrotechnic celebrations.
Back to us
While our visiting friends are busy exploring beautiful capital of France on their own, we here in the expat household of the French countryside are back to business as usual. I’m writing posts on my updated blog, practicing yoga with Kitty the cat in the living room, and the kids are at school until the end of the week – hurray!
Not bad for village entertainment! What do you say?