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Now THAT Was A Weekend!

June 23, 2013

In looking back at our weekend, all I can say is, “Wow, now THAT is what a weekend is supposed to look like!”  The perfect balance of spending time with friends but having time to yourself, being busy and being able to lay on the sofa.

Our weekend started early by having friends over on Thursday evening for dinner.  They ended up inviting us over to “prendre un verre” (have a drink) with them before we all headed out to enjoy “La Fête de la Musique” (The Music Party), an event started in the 80s whereby cities around the world sponsor musicians to play in the street.  But in addition to the sponsored musicians, there are many, many more music lovers who set up their bands, instruments or even their speakers on a street corner and entertain passersby.

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It was drizzling for most of the evening, but that didn’t stop private entertainers from setting up wherever they could find a dry spot to play their music!  This group set up under the awning of a bookstore!

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Despite the drizzle and cool temperatures, the streets of the “centre ville” (downtown) were jam-packed.  This is a panoramic shot of Place de la Republic with their stage (in the center of the photo) and the crowd the government-sponsored act drew.

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As we wound our way around the city, we heard it all: French music, world music, American music (all genres), classical music, rap, pop, and even country music, complete with country line dancing!

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And of course there were food vendors.  Oliver’s favorite was the “barbe á papa” (Papa’s beard, or cotton candy as we know of it!)

Then Saturday was “La Fête des Ponts” (The Party of the Bridges).  I can’t really find out the purpose of the “fête” other than to celebrate two medieval bridges in the city, Le Pont St Etienne and Le Pont St Martial.  The former was rebuilt in the XIII century over the foundations of a Roman bridge built in the 1st century!  (It always amazes to find out the age of things here!  In the US something built in the 1800s is old!)  The former bridge has a similar history, except that it was destroyed in the 11th century Henry II, Kind of England and the lord of Limoges had the original Greco-Roman bridge destroyed to punish the city of Limoges for it’s infidelity.

The weekend of “La Fête des Ponts” is traditionally considered the start of summer for the area (although Oliver still has two weeks of school left!).

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Along one side of the Vienne (the river running through the city) a carnival was set up with the carnival games and some smaller rides for the kids to enjoy.

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UntitledOliver had a blast in the plastic bubbles (which were a little too close to the riverbank for my comfort!).

The other side of the river had a music stage, food stands, and plenty of space for us to sit and wait for the fireworks (which didn’t start until 11pm because it doesn’t get dark until then!)

UntitledSo we entertained ourselves while waiting… 😉

UntitledThe fireworks were definitely worth the wait and wet feet (while we were waiting they had a “spectacle” which consisted of a couple of boats going up and down the river, which in turn caused waves and doused my sneaker-wearing feet!).

UntitledThen finally, Sunday it was back down to the river to check out the “vide greniers” (empty attic, basically a community rummage sale).  We found a pair of framed prints that Hubby liked, and of course Oliver wanted every toy he saw.

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Then it was home to take care of the 5 kilos of strawberries we got at the farmers market in Panazol that morning.  I ended up freezing three 4-cup batches, and then making this and this, which turned out like this:

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Definitely a great weekend!

What did you do this weekend?

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From → Day to day

One Comment
  1. sharon permalink

    Splendid Frank. So many European cities have festivals and seasonal events the roots of which stretch back for centuries. I’m sure many more will appear in your social life as you find your feet in your new home country.

    One of the things I miss about Europe is the antiquity factor. As in the USA, here in Western Australia precious little predates the late 1800s. We are lucky enough to live in one of the few remaining early settlements. Much of our High Street dates back to 1896 and there are a couple of older buildings too but, compared with the UK and.its plethora of ancient monuments, it almost seems modern. Still, the Tour de France starts at the end of this week and we will spend many happy hours watching the coverage on TV – getting an ‘old’ fix vicariously. One of the highlights of our Winters here 🙂

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