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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 11, Part 1 - Pérouges

"Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States." - W.E.B. Du Bois

***

You might also want to check out: Balderdash: Europe CNY 2012 - Day 10 - Lyon (posted 4 hours ago)

Europe CNY 2012
Day 11, Part 1 - 29th January - Pérouges


This day I went to Pérouges, a preserved medieval village.

I woke up at 6:55am but decided to go back to sleep and wake up at 8:30am (there was a 8:12am train, a 8:38am with transfer and a 10:12am - if there'd been a 9:12am I'd have taken it). One bonus was I got

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Lyon

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Road I had to take down to get out of the hostel. Which was also, in reverse, the road I had to take up to get to the hostel.

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Montée de Chemin Neuf

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Lyon (from a bit lower but still elevated)

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Anarchy sticker: "the only good system is a sound system"

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Cathedral

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Bad pun: "Life in yellow. Life in youthfulness"

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The fine print on the train ticket: "All travellers have to be on board, at the latest, 2 minutes before the time of departure"
Ahh, efficiency! Maybe for German trains it's 1 minute.

As usual I had problems with my credit cards and SNCF (the national train company) machines. Luckily I had brought other cards, as usual. UOB Visa was alright but POSB Debit Mastercard and Citibank Dividend Mastercard didn't work. I think the problem was because Mastercard in Europe is in the form of Eurocard (it wasn't even a question of chips or PINs).

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Interesting irrigation syystem: wheeled supports hold up a very long pipe

From the Pérouges train station I had to walk to the village.

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"Road of Pérouges"

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Memorial to 2 war deaths

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"Road under Grace"

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"The abuse of catalogs is dangerous for my planet... THANK YOU for sparing my letterbox"
Nice try, appealing to conscience. I wonder if it's legally actionable if you spam one of these boxes.

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"One of the most beautiful villages in France"
I'm quite sure this list is a marketing gimmick

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Map of Pérouges

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Lower Gate

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"Rue des Rondes"
Except for the lamps and flower pots, this could be a scene from a medieval village (which is why several movies were filmed here)

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Poem: "Pérouges l'antique,
Pérouges la merveilleuse,
Enchassée en tes murs
Comme une pierre précieuse
En ta simple beauté
A mon regard ravi
Ne saurai oublier
Même en fin de ma vie.
Pérouges
Robert Breban"

Translation: "Ancient Pérouges
Pérouges the marvelous
Entrench in your walls
Like a precious stone
In your simple beauty
In my enraptured look
Never will I forget
Even at the end of my life
Pérouges"

This was quite dramatic. I really liked the place, but not to this extent.

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Window pots

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Rue des Rondes

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Church

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War Memorial

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Upper Gate

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"The most beautiful view of Pérouges"
This place was closed

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Church-Fortress

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I was amused at this manifestation, in English, of car theft culture.

Arriving at the tourism office, I was shocked to discover that it was closed. Evidently The Rough Guide as well as the Tourist Office (and many of the other establishments in the village) did not expect anyone to come in winter. This was very weird, because Sunday is tourism day in all countries that I know of, where all tourist-oriented places are open - for domestic tourists, if nothing else. In fact this was why I had chosen to come on Sunday - The Rough Guide said it was closed on Monday. Grr. Instead the office was closed on weekends and public holidays.

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Strange opening schedule:
May-August - Every day, 10-17h

March, April, October - Tuesday-Friday 10-12h/14h-17h
Saturdays, Sundays - 14h-17h
Except March (closed on Sundays)
Closed Mondays

September - Monday to Friday 10h-12h/14h-17h
Saturdays, Sundays - 14h-17h

November to February: Monday to Friday 10h30-12h/14h-16h30
Closed weekends

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How to prevent car theft: "[You] are strongly recommended not to leave valuables inside of vehicles"

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Fortified Church

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Barbican

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Upper Gate

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Hand-written Message to Visitors: "To the Christians - perform a prayer of adoration before starting a visit
To non-Christians - to put out your cigarette, to cover yourself, to not eat inside (!) and to keep respectful attire
To all - to wear dignified and correct garb, to touch nothing and to only speak in hushed tones"

Presumably Christians get to smoke, prance around in skimpy clothing and eat inside.

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"[We hope] that the discovery of this place be for you a peaceful break for your body and your serene for your spirit"

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"Church under video surveillance"

"He sees you when you're praying,
He knows when you're asleep."

The security guard, that is.

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Chapel of the Virgin

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Nave

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Overview of church, built in 1440.

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On the pillars

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On the vault

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Vault

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Altar

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On the aisles

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Chapel for prayer - Chapel of the Holy Sacrament

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Stained Glass, Detail

There's supposed to be St Andrew, La Vierge au Manteau (the Virgin with Mantle) and St Anne somewhere.

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"St George, Patron of Pérouges"

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Memorial for Sons of Pérouges lost to World Wars
For some reason WWII didn't hit them hard. Maybe it was due to the Vichy regime.

Exiting the church, I continued my promenade.

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Window to takeaway galette (cake slices). Their recipe dates from 1912.

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Village square. I helped those 3 men to take a video, freezing my fingers off in the process. 1 was from Spain, 1 France and 1 from Brazil so the video was narrated in 3 languages. They gave me their cards but didn't reply to my email hah.

I decided to go into the Galette place for some warmth and to sit down.

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Menu. Sitting down inside increased the price for a piece of galette from €1,2 to €1,4. The accompaniments for the galette cost multiples of the galette itself.

The galette was liberally sprinkled with sugar, and like a thin sugar pie. It wasn't flaky, and was like a dry cake. My evaluation of the crumb was complicated by the sugar.

Strangely I was told that having the galette with food would raise the price to €6, with "le tupin de crème" (a pot of cream, in the Lyonnais dialect - tsk they used dialect on me).

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Fireplace. It was a bit scary sitting next to it, with the explosions.

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Galette slice and a quaint medieval goblet of Ypocras, their apéritif to warm the blood. And some tea to warm up. Coke or Orangina were €5 for 25cl, but this apéritif was €6,5 for 10cl.

Ypocras was supposedly the apéritif of Charles VII. It was a bit bitter, like a stronger red wine with herbs. The description on the menu: "Ypocras unites marvelously the strength of wine, the sweetness of honey and the aroma of spices".

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Atmosphere

I think the first time I saw a French Maid outfit in France was in this place, Ostellerie du Vieux-Pérouges.

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A trace of modernity. But you never know who's used the towel before you...

Fortified by the tea, alcohol and snack, I headed out... and within 5 minutes was as cold as ever. People say alcohol is to warm oneself and for health, but really it's just an excuse to drink, I tell ya.

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Prince's House

Unfortunately it was closed.

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Peeking in

I then went to the Place de la Halle to look for a place to eat.

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Corn cobs hanging

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Place de la Halle

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Rue des Contreforts

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Rue du Tambour

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Cock Sundial. It's not very useful since it only marks time from 10-14h. It's also marked: "I only will mark the time on days with fine weather"

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Le Relais de la Tour Menu
It was recommended by Petit Futé but after last night's dinner (which was recommended by them...)

Strangely one of the set menus lists as a first course a buffet (one plate, one round only: raw vegetables, warm tarts and cold cuts) but the second round is exactly the same thing, but with unlimited servings. I checked both languages and they say the same thing...

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Maison Cazin

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Rue des Rondes

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Map of the Crusades

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Ad for a labyrinth made of hedges

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Place endorsed by Le Club des Bons Vivants (The Club of People Who Live Well). Which was closed till 15th February. Even those who live well must go on holiday...

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Barrels in Alley

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Car in Lane

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"No parking" (medieval font)

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Crest

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Door

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Window

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Creepers
Not all houses were occupied

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Cat, car

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Beautiful house. This was made even more beautiful by the scent of cooking bacon. They forgot to close the door so the first shot is a nice contrast between modernity and the old house. Then they saw me taking a shot.

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Google News and Google Play are tied to the SIM, so without rooting I was able to get access to apps not available to the Singaporean market.
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