Monday, September 21, 2009


After parking in the town's lot, we walked into Tournemire. It's a very common setup at these small towns in France: there are one or more parking lots, depending on the size of the tourist crowd, around the edges of the town to keep the traffic off the often narrow, one-way streets. This keeps the streets open and makes parking available for the people who live and work inside.

Walking through Tournemire.

The little lots often have a signboard with a map and sometimes they even have rest rooms. In Tournemire, there is only one lot, and the tourist office is there along with a little picnic area. It's all very civilized. Of course, we were not there in high season, and I'll bet there can be issues with crowding and lack of parking spaces.

The view from town into the valley below.

The town is quite picturesque, as many of these little towns are. All the buildings seem to be very well restored and/or maintained, with beautiful shutters, manicured flower beds, and the perfect cats and dogs lounging on the porches.

Someone spends a lot of time making this look nice.

It's not quite Disneyfied, because it's all real and people live and work in these buildings. But they do know how lucrative the tourist trade can be and they obviously try to make the town as attractive as they can. I'll bet it costs a small fortune to buy into one of these places, even though they're quite remote.

Typical window dressing.

We walked along the main street, with Callie, taking our time and taking pictures. The château is on the western end of town while the parking lot is on the eastern end. About halfway through, we noticed the small hotel/restaurant, l'Auberge de Tournemire, and made reservations to eat lunch there in about an hour's time.

A chimney cap to keep out snow and a finial.

By the time we reached the château, we had split into two groups: me and Lewis had Callie, and Ken, Evelyn, and Linda spent some time looking inside the town church, so they were lagging a bit behind.


  1. Walt - re: apples. I bought two cooking apples (very sour, called Bramleys) for a pie this weekend and they cost me the equivalent of one euro.
    A couple of years ago I passed a farm gate when walking the dog and the farmer had left a wheelbarrow full of apples with a notice saying "help yourself". I went back with bags and bit by bit had the lot. Nobody else seemed to want them. They freeze well if you slice and part-cook them. He died last year so I might not be so lucky again.

  2. I love the accessibility of European towns to foot accessibility. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself here. (I am in Germany at the moment.)

  3. There is no lack of fruit trees in your neck of the woods. I wish we had a couple of those yellow plum trees in our neighborhood.

    Tournemire was a good walking town.

  4. It looks like a lovely place, Walt. Looking forward to learning more about it.


  5. jean, that's pretty expensive for apples. My dad would say, "what, do you think they grow on trees?"

    elizabeth, me too!

    evelyn, we're lucky to have them all, but it can feel overwhelming at times, like we need to use all the fruit we can while it lasts.

    bettyann, I'm afraid I don't know too much more about this place...

    urspo, he's hiding in there somewhere.


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