Medieval French Village



This post continues my travelogue of our spring trip to France.

We took the train north to Compiegne where I’d signed up to rent a car and drive to Saint Jean. I was not confident about driving a car tinier than a Mini Cooper, with a stick shift, on skinny cobblestone roads, directed by signs in a foreign language. I was right to be nervous because it was hard. Again looking very sitcom-like, I white-knuckled the wheel and talked too fast, begging Annabelle to try and help me read the signs and not miss our turns. I arrived in Saint Jean most pleased to get out the car, and would, over the next the next few days find as many reasons and ways to stay out of the car as possible.


Saint Jean aux Boix is a very small medieval village with mostly gray stone houses with shutters, a very old and beautiful cathedral, and a couple restaurants. There were no new buildings to mar its preciousness. The town is one stop on a driving tour around that area of France, so during our stay there we witnessed many tourists walking around. It seemed the favorite attractions were the medieval cathedral (next door to our home) and the neighbor’s chicken coop (across the street from our home.) Our friends’ home was elegant and simple, and we applauded ourselves and our friends for the idea of resting there after Paris before returning to America. We had a couple days to play peasant folk.


We walked leisurely around the village, ate a Salade Nicoise at the local café, and slept the rest of the day away. The days in Saint Jean were the only part of our trip in which we were incommunicado. No Scott Skypes to end our days. 

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