by Brenda W. Clough
Ah, the medieval villages of France! We are staying in Severac-le-Chateau, in the central Averyon district on the central massif. It is almost unbelievably picturesque — the only American equivalent may be found (I regret to say) at Disney World. Behold, the portcullis over the portal in the ancient walls — we are staying in a gite (a modestly-price hostel) just around the corner inside this gate.
We have a front terrace, and here is a view from it. The other photo is of my husband opening the door into our impossibly period suite. Many steep crazy steps, nothing is square or on the level, and some of the windows let into the eighteen-inch thick stone walls are but a foot square. I will see if I can get enough daylight to take a picture of the steps, which are original to the building and surely over 500 years old. But there is the WiFi of the gods, and a bathroom that could have been designed in Switzerland yesterday. Also a wood stove! Which (it is late September) we will need tonight. It’s not going to freeze but it’ll get pretty chilly.
It is rural here, nothing like the big cities. We are so high up it is utterly quiet. A few cars can trundle through these streets (believe it or not they can get through that gate — French cars have a button so that you can flip your side mirrors in, to squeeze through tight places) but there is no traffic really. And the main tourist season is over. It is (except for that magnificent shower) almost like it was in the 1400s. Well, and the WiFi.