Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The French Countryside

Since we were having a long weekend because of the Monday holiday, my family and I decided to go to Aveyron, my hubby's home region, to meet with his friends for the village fiesta.

Lechon de leche, french style
They were cooking this for nine hours!
We managed to eat it at eleven in the evening!

Hubby playing pétanque, a summer sport, with buddies

The météo forecast was a cloudy, perhaps even rainy weather during the weekend, but it turned out to be all sunny since Friday up until now.  All the lovely flowers of spring are in full bloom by the roadside.

Spring blossoms basking in the sun


Orange flowers at our friend's garden
Dandelions scattering seeds up in the air everywhere

I have always been fascinated with the beauty of the South of France, especially the countryside. The people are always very warm and welcoming, even to foreigners like myself. My husband's friends are no exception. One of his friends offered his place for us to stay the night. It was a charming old stone house with a huge garden, filled with flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees. There was even a swimming pool for cooling down during the summer.

Our friend's charming stone house in the tiny ancient village of Cougousse, where we stayed the night. It was very lovely both inside and out. From our room, we have a lovely view of the vast garden and the surrounding hills. Makes me feel like I'm in Fairytale Land.


The huge garden with the swimming pool farther up in the frame
The house was situated in the tiny village of Cougousse, filled with charming stone houses, surrounded by the rolling hills. There was even a small river that cuts across the village, adding more charm to the scenery.  But I'm too lazy to post more pics.  :p

The day after the fiesta, we had some time to go around the town center of Marcillac for more photo-ops and to marvel at medieval French architecture.

Old house with medieval architecture, showing the beams jutting out,
with an obvious slant, almost giving in to gravity's pull with old age

Tiny chapel built with the characteristic reddish brown stone of the region

And of course, we wouldn't by any chance, neglect to sample the local offerings.

Gateau à la broche, Aveyron specialty

Bought some rosé wine from the region

It was a great refreshing mini-holiday break.  Not at all bad for my little baby's first out-of-town visit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Nudes of Europe

best viewed large, so go ahead and
click on the image for your viewing pleasure
i have always been fascinated with nudes.  i never really understood those who aren't.

i may be a bit inhibited when it comes to being naked, (being born in a country where people are so vain and had too many issues and insecurities about their physical appearance) but i have no qualms about appreciating a beautiful nude body.

and this is why i love europe.  i love those beautiful naked statues and nude paintings, nude photographs, uncensored nudity on movies, TV shows and advertisements... and sometimes, when you're lucky, people running around naked in the rugby field from across the street where you live! :)

crazy nude guy on the background
of some kids' clothing ad
i was quite surprised to wake up to a sunday morning seeing these crazy seemingly drunk people early in the morning, running around naked tackling each other in the rugby field from across the street, which can be viewed from our balcony.  usually, on calmer mornings, i only have the view of the icy peaks of the pyrénées.  but this morning, i was in for a surprise.

and sometimes, you even find them in even more unusual and unexpected places, like in an advertisement for kids' clothing. :D

surrounded with all this glorious nudity, really, how can it be more fun in the Philippines?  :p