What do the two have in common? The answer is at the end of this post 🙂 ! Each year in mid September France along with most of Europe celebrates its heritage; museums are open free of charge, there are guided visits, and often buildings which are not accessible to the public offer visits. In honour of the occasion the village of Olargues put on a Fete Medievale this year, and I just couldn’t resist to see what it was all about! Olargues is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and when you approach from the direction of St Pons the view from across the river is just gorgeous.
On this picture you don’t quite get the full effect, the branch is obscuring the tower at the top of the hill, the only remainder of the château which once stood there. Anyhow, Olargues has plenty to remind us of its medieval past, such as the small narrow streets, and the remains of the gates into the village.
All along the “main street” through the old village, market stalls had been set up, selling all manner of things.
I was particularly taken by the nougat – can you tell? It’s made with lavender honey and almonds and there were all kinds of flavours: pistachio, fig and date, cinnamon and orange, chestnut, caramel….
The chapel in the former headquarters of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (there must be a better name for them in English?) was open and in the courtyard one of the associations of the village had set up tables selling spiced wine and cider.
Eventually I came to the square where the MEDIO EVO group had set up camp. Beautiful tents, and just opposite a spit roast – in readiness for the communal meal.
The communal dinner looked great, but I’d already made other plans. As I arrived there sat a knight waiting for his adversary.
Soon enough someone showed up, and they went for it – very good fighting with swords…
After all that excitement there was still time for a little more walking around Olargues, and more to discover of course.
On the drive back home I caught the most stunning view of Caroux, fabulous blue skies!
And then on along the way I took a little detour via New York!
There she stands, Lady Liberty in all her splendour! And in the village of Lugne! A plaque on the pedestal explains that this scale copy of th statue of Liberty graced the bow on the Maxim’s des Mers in 1987 (perhaps on a voyage to New York?), and that the captain of the ship, Albert Abelanet is a native of the village. From the meager info I could find on the net, the Maxim’s des Mers was a small luxury cruise ship designed by Pierre Cardin. And there you have it all!