Between the 19th and 22nd of July 2013, when my parents were visiting Ireland, we guarded their house in Châteauvieux, the small village where they live. Diwann and Aurélie, Alice’s godfather and godmother, spent four days with us in the middle of the mountains I grew up with.
Picnic at La Coche
Aurélie and Diwann did not have any luck with the night train from Paris. There was a problem with the brakes and their train had to stop in Lyon, and then finally leave for Valence with a lot of delay, so they had to take a bus there to finish their journey to Gap. We went to get them at 12am, instead of 7am. Unfortunately, the indications from the staff were really limited and Aurélie and Erwann were not warned about the problem, and I waited for them at the railroad station in the morning.
But fortunately, their trip went well (inspite of the delay), and we were invited to a picnic at La Coche, with my Uncle Louis and Aunt Christine, who live in the former home of my grandparents, and great grandparents, and other ancestors if you start looking quite far in the past. We wanted to go for a picnic on the plateau, but the threatening weather advised us to stay in the house, and right after the grill just lighted up, it started raining!
A vegetable Tian
To accompany the sausages and Mexican pork breasts of the BBQ/picnic, we made a vegetable tian with Leeloo, the night before. This is a dish that we like to do, it is very easy, it is good and there’s lot of vegetables. The recipe could not be simpler, just put small bits of red peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and zucchinis with some cheese cubes (we add Comté, but cheddar can do it, I guess) about 100g of cheese for 500g of vegetables. You can complete the dish with herbs (we use Herbes de Provence), a few cloves of garlic, then sprinkle it all generously with olive oil, and bake for 1 hour at 150 degrees Celsius, and voila!
Montdauphin visit and summer luge at Montgenèvre
On Saturday 20 July, we left early (ahem) to Briançon. We drove slowly along the N94, through Gap and Chorges. We turned on the Serre Ponçon Lake, Embrun, and then we took a break in MontDauphin, declared World Heritage by UNESCO as a Member of the Network of Major Vauban Sites. We enjoyed the visit, the view was amazing and there was a small party in the village during lunch. It was very hot and the sun was bright, sun glasses were required for Alice!
Then, we took the road towards Briançon, also registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site as a Major Vauban Site, but the heat and the late afternoon discouraged us, and we went directly to Montgenevre, where we enjoyed a descent on the longest summer luge in France! After the thrill, we returned to Châteauvieux.
A good meal at the auberge du moulin and diving in the Serre-Ponçon Lake
Sunday morning, we slept in and then left again in the direction of Serre Ponçon, this time through the town of Tallard to see the huge dam that holds one of the largest artificial lake in Europe, the Serre-Ponçon Lake. We first stopped at Montgarin, at the Auberge du Moulin, it’s an excellent restaurant where we ate a succulent meal under the shade of a chestnut tree. This restaurant offers a unique menu, you can’t choose what you eat, so it’s always a bit of a surprise, we had the pleasure of eating a mille feuille of vegetables (from the garden!) and a rabbit with stuffed peppers and aubergines, fabulous!
Once we finished eating, we hit the road at 4pm towards the lake where Diwann showed his talents by performing trampoline-somersault dives in very blue water and he did pretty good. It’s fun to remember that a year ago, almost, we watched the lake from the top of Pic Morgon. We dined at Châteauvieux and we had the pleasure of attending the fireworks party, the fireworks were amazing this year!
Lazing in Châteauvieux
On Monday, the day Aurélie Diwann had to leave, we spent the day quietly in the house of my parents, it was rather nice, we ate good barbecue food and played a few games brung by Diwann, including Bohnanza, a small, nice and simple bean crop game. Later in the evening, I took Diwann and Aurelie to the train station to end these four wonderful days with them!