On Sunday I went with for a hike and pique-nique in the Beaujolais. We first went to the town of Oignt and then hiked over to Thiezé -- for the non-French speakers, we went from O-WAH to TAY-ZAY, bien sur. The day started cool and brumeux (foggy) but later the fog burned off and il faisait très beau. I have been to Oignt before; it is known for having buildings of golden stone, a.k.a les pierres dorées.
From Oignt, le brouillard.
Here I am with Farhad, his son Farzad, and Farideh.
Along the route. The vines are turning their fall colors.
These little stone houses are for the people who watch the sheep.
The castle we toured was the Chateau de Rochebonne, which was originally built in the 11th century; then destroyed in the 100 years war, and rebuilt between the 14th and 17th centuries. The site was a strategic one because it has a view east over the Rhone all the way to the Alps, and the land east of the river was not then part of France, but rather, part of the duchy of Savoy-- gotta keep an eye out for those Italians. Of course, we couldn't admire the view, due to the fog. Quel dommage!
These days the castle is owned by the town, which they seem to open for the random tour group and naturally for tastings of beaujolais nouveau. We were reminded several times to make room on our schedules for the arrival of the beaujolais nouveau, which va arrivé in a month. Before touring the castle we sat down for our pique-nique on the castle grounds.
The faded paint job in the castle.
In the town of Thiezé.
Here is Shu-Chun, squinting into the sun. It was a relaxing and beautiful day.