Wednesday, May 16th — Off to Uzès…the return of “Karen”

We awoke to howling winds. Actually, the winds were screaming all night long and woke us up several times. I thought the temp would be too cold to do anything, but, to our surprise, it wasn’t all that bad as long as you layered and donned a wind breaker.

So we hopped into the car, plugged in “Karen,” our GPS, and it was off to off to Uzès for market day. Being an hour drive away we trusted “Karen” to navigate us there quickly, but soon found she had other ideas. Apparently, she was annoyed that we hadn’t used her for a year but had made many jokes at her expense during that time, so decided to pay us back.

After checking for road construction and closings, and traffic jams, she picked the slowest route possible. We could almost hear her laughing when we said “she must know what she’s doing…” An hour and a half and one detour to the “Musée BonBon” later, we arrived in Uzès. So much for technology.

Uzès is one of the oldest cities in the area, and boasts of being “the first Duchy” in France. The old central area is crammed with magnificent old buildings, winding narrow streets, and shops of every sort. It has several markets each week, featuring local products, art, and food. It’s also near the famous Pont du Gard, a Roman three-level bridge/aqueduct that still stands and functions today. Well worth a trip.

We headed down the beautiful, tree-lined main boulevard and meandered to the central square, where the market is held. Wednesday’s market is only food, so we made the rounds of the stalls, checking out cheeses, the fishmongers, poultry, oil and vinegar, olives, and the like. While the poultry was fabulous, given that we wouldn’t be home for several hours, we decided it best not to buy any. We did, however, buy some pork sausage with Roquefort – sinfully delicious, and guaranteed to be good when we got it home.

After browsing the booths and some of the shops nearby, we decided to have lunch in Terroir, a little restaurant and food shop with tables on the square that we had heard good reports about. The winds had died a bit, and when the sun shone full force, it was warm and pleasant at our table. We tried the kir maison, which was made with a local blood peach and a rosé wine, and it turned out to be a real treat. The small pot of local tapenade served was also excellent, whetting our appetites. The small menu concentrated on local specialties, especially vegetables, so we focused on those.  I started with a puree of eggplant, which was terrific, and followed it with a Panini with eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, all on a crusty local bread spread with pesto. David had the beef tartare, made with Charolais beef and seasoned with Provencal flavors – peppers, pesto, and capers. Both our dishes were served with a garden salad, which was crisp and fresh. All in all, a very enjoyable meal, made better with a bottle of Pic St. Loup rosé.

Following lunch, we wandered around through the streets looking for something appealing to buy, but didn’t find anything that caught our eye, so we walked back to the car, hooked up Karen, and headed home.

While Karen blathered on with wrong directions and slaughtered not only French names, but numbers as well, e.g., “turn on route nineteen ah (19A),” we reverted to the good old days with what David calls “the Bevigator.” In due course we whizzed back through Tarescon to Maussane, where we wanted to stop to pick up some stuff for the house. I hit the Spar mini-market to grab what we needed, while David grabbed some jambon, a baguette, and a pastry for breakfast. Despite the wind, the square in Maussane was warm and sunny, so we sat down for a cup of coffee. After chatting with a few folks and relaxing for a bit, we headed home to the mas in Eygalieres.

As it was now well after six, we opted not to hit the Cafe du Centre, but instead grab a light dinner at home. We then turned on the tube for a bit to watch an old Murder She Wrote. We both wondered why folks weren’t concerned when Jessica Fletcher showed up, as someone always was murdered within hours. If she arrived at our house we’d head out the door screaming and not stop until we got to Alabama.

On that note of intellectual astuteness, we headed off to bed, as tomorrow is a dialysis day.

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2 Responses to Wednesday, May 16th — Off to Uzès…the return of “Karen”

  1. I love Uzes and the mistral was blowing like crazy when i was there too!

  2. David and Beverly Gideon says:

    We’ve been to Uzes twice and both times the mini-Mistral was blowing full force.

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