This posting, complete with music, may seem too enthusiastic. Ah, but you weren’t there.
To get down from the Aubrac Plateau I just needed, and wanted, to follow the road. Looked a little wild out there:
This is as high as one gets, till the Pyrenees:
Yet to leave the snowline is a matter of five minutes. And the end of that easy downhill brought me to this old converted tower in the village of Saint-Chély. It was built by a religious order, but its defensive design was made necessary by that period. Bloody routiers.
There I had a room to myself, with all its ancient charm preserved amongst every modern facility. For dinner I descended the fifteenth century steps…
…to an ancient hearth place…
…where Jean-Claude, a man born to renovate and to entertain, presented a meal of paupiettes de veau and tian for myself and two German pilgrims. All the work of Christine, Jean-Claude’s wife. No aligot tonight, guys. One of the German ladies was moved to utter the old German saying: Wie Gott in Frankreich! Like God in France.
A Cantal cheese, though only six months old, rates among the best cow’s milk cheeses I’ve tasted. Jean-Claude told me it was possible to get a similar cheese with much more age, but the cost was as stupendous as the quality. Mind you, the single best thing I tasted there was the quince confiture at breakfast: perfume made solid!
There’s something else to say about Jean-Claude, which makes his efforts for heritage and pilgrims so much more remarkable. But I’ll leave that till later, rather than break the mood.
Let Charles Trenet have the last word: