11th of September, 2018
There was a time, that I was a member of five housesitter websites. That was before I settled down in the Netherlands. The time I was still kind of ‘homeless’. I kept the membership of one of the most popular and best working websites, as there are always moments I can skip daily life. Definitely, since I am without a job again. Flipping through one wonderful housesit after the other, my eye catches this cute house in Southern France and I already start packing, when reading the description. Immediately I apply, without even having looked in my diary. Normally, there are several people applying at the same time and chances are small you get chosen. Though until now, I have always been pretty lucky and also this time I get a positive response more or less right away. Oh dear, I was not ready for this! Now I really have to do some serious thinking. My children encourage me to go (‘you deserve it, mum’; really?). Do I go by car or plane? Is renting a car an option? What are the costs of flying? After some calculations the conclusion is made that driving myself is best and cheapest. I have a look at the map and notice I need to go via Paris. Last time I drove through Paris is around 25 years ago, on our way to Spain and that was in the middle of the night. This time it will be daytime! Do I book a hotel for the night or just see where I will end up? I have to arrive the second day at lunch time, on time for the introduction and instructions. The night before I leave I barely sleep. Paris is hunting me……..but cheerful I drive away in the dark at 6.00 a.m. My adrenaline is flowing and keeps me awake until 4.00 p.m. For sure the strong coffee along the route keeps me awake too! (1.80 euro for a big cup; different prices than Switzerland!)
I passed Paris with ‘sweating hands and drops on my forehead’, while trucks were trying to push my little Twingo at the side in the tunnels. At that moment I started to feel like the lady I am now; a senior! In Vierzon I stopped at the first hotel I noticed. I got their last room. Coincidentally, it was one of the budget hotels from my list. I slept like a baby and arrived fresh and cheerful at my house- and catsit on time. Pfffffffff…………..
Frayssinet-Le-Gélat is a very tiny village, about half an hour from Cahors, in the Lot department. There are roughly 300 inhabitants, a bakery and a tiny pizza place.
One of those villages you drive through and not many people realize that on the 21st of May 1944, a massacre took place right in this village, by the Nazi’s. It happened that an SS Rifle company of the second Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’ stopped for a refreshment break. Believing that one of their officers had been shot by members of the French underground, fifteen hostages were taken and executed. Ten young males from one child families and five young women. This was to prevent any further family line of descent. A memorial remembers the victims.
The surroundings of Frayssinet-Le-Gélat are green, authentic and also very quiet. There are several interesting towns to discover, musea and castles, so I will not be bored! Every day there is somewhere a market. On Friday mornings it is Prayssac, on Sunday morning Cazals and on Tuesday Puy L’Évêque. During the first days I visit the two markets, both with a totally different atmosphere. I prefer the market in Prayssac, a typical french market and barely any foreigners. Here you can find lot’s of treats and local produce; truffles, confits, lamb, grapes, foie gras, prunes, walnut cake, goat cheeses, ready-made chicken, teas, olives and of course Cahors wines! My next market will be in Cahors!