On Saturday Ralph and Sue took us to see some of the local goings on in the region starting at 11.00am with the grand opening of ‘La Moulin à vent du Chêne’.
The windmill dating back to the 17th Century has taken three years to restore with the help of donations from public funds and private individuals.
It will now be used as an educational facility and will also be open to the public. The grand opening attracted a fairly large number of people and it was really good to see the local people out in force supporting their heritage.
We were able to see the windmill in action producing three different types of flour. Well that’s what I think he was trying to tell me in French!
Of course with anything done by the French everyone had an aperitif of Rosé to celebrate in style!
After the windmill we went to ‘Le Nombril du Monde’ at Pougne-Herisson. Roughly translated it means ‘Navel of the World’.
It’s a garden now open to the public which was created by the village blacksmith. I can honestly say it was one of the most bizarre, surreal but interesting and enjoyable places we have been to in a long time.
On the day we visited I couldn’t really get my head around what it was about and having scanned the internet since then I’m not sure I’m any the wiser now!
Google translate is all very well but it gives a direct translation of what is written which makes the text even more confusing I think, or maybe that’s just me!
All I have gleaned is that ‘Le Nombril du Monde’ is a garden that was created by …. Jarry, who was , at one time, the village blacksmith and compulsive inventor who died in 1976.
He created the garden using recycled materials and a wacky imagination. Hopefully the pictures might make sense more than I can but I doubt it.
Going round the garden I didn’t quite understand what it was getting at and I still don’t!
It was free to wander round though and we wiled away a happy hour there!
The garden is also used for story telling, poetry, theatre, umm, err, mmm and other stuff!
They even have a Biennial Navel Festival! I think we’ll probably give that one a miss though!
If you’re interested (highly unlikely) and want to find out more about it for yourself, Google it and get back to me with what you think it all means!
The finale to our day out on Saturday was the Grande Prix Historique de Bressuire.
This was a brilliant evening’s entertainment….. and free! The Grand Prix Historique de Bressuire re-enacts the original Grand Prix race which was held in the small town of Bressuire in the early 1950’s.
Hundreds of vintage cars descend on the town for two days of demonstrations and racing around the town’s tight streets.
The racing goes on well into late evening with the last race finishing at 11.30pm. The pictures hopefully give a flavour of what it was like but unfortunately I can’t upload any video footage to the blog.
WARNING: What follows are many pictures of old cars – if you are not the least bit interested in cars then I suggest you look away now!! And don’t ask me to name the types of cars as I haven’t a clue!
So, a jolly good time was had by all on our Grand day out which all had a Wallace and Gromit kind of feel to it! Cracking!!