Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Truffles and Wine

Cahors is famous for both truffles and wine--both available at the local market. While those are consumable products, the historical sites are more permanent.
The Pont Valentre, which spans the Lot River, was built between 1308 and 1360.  You can't eat it, but the view is stunning.

On the road to Compostela de Santiago in Spain, we found many pilgrims from whose backpacks hung an identifying cockle shell
and whose hands gripped walking sticks--a pretty important accoutrement when walking over 1000 kilometers (638 miles) in the name of faith.

While on the bridge, we watched a pleasure boat in the canal.  Six people on the boat took turns at the locks.

One peed off the back, two turned the cranks to let the water out.  Another two turned the cranks to open the lock once the water level had stabilized.  One held the rope the entire time to keep the boat from bumping around and so others could get back on the boat.  One steered when the time to move arrived.

All but one person had a purpose.  The one purposeless participant simply enjoyed the entire circus.  On they went down the river to the next lock.  I wish them some automated locks from time to time.  Those cranks did not look easy to turn.

At the end of the bridge is a "secret vineyard" where wine grapes are planted.  It appears to be a "token" vineyard, not the real thing, which is not found in the same profusion as I remember.
Corn, as I've mentioned before, has overtaken the production of wine grapes.  And judging by the paucity of wine in the supermarket, I'd say the corn producers have won.  We are accustomed to three and four solid aisles of wine.  Now there is one in all the supermarkets we have visited.  What the h***?  We are crossing our fingers for vineyards in the most southern areas.  I will report.     

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