Thursday, 31 October 2013

Discovery of Mayenne

I'm a Southern "gal" born and bred in parts of the world where the heat can be extreme at times.

I've always longed for cooler climes and been attracted to Northern countries all my life without even knowing the reason why.

After Switzerland and Denmark, England soon became one of my favourite places on earth. Having spent the best part of my career in this country enjoying to the full the changing skies and green landscapes, now has come the time to spend a little more time in my homeland.

No matter how beautiful and bright my childhood Languedoc is I have become so accustomed to my adoptive country that I had to find a place in France that would combine the best of both worlds for me.   That's when I discovered the region of Mayenne. Tucked away in the northern part of the Pays de la Loire, south of Normandy just under one hour away from Gare Montparnasse that part of France is steeped in history, vibrant with cultural events both in rural and city surroundings. I like the tagline of Le Mans, the city famous for the 24 hours car race: “the place where history meets high speed". The place offers a wealth of interesting places to visit taking the visitor back in time and keeping up with all modern aspects of life. There are countless medieval towns, villages, châteaux of all sizes, beautiful pastoral landscapes, lakes and forests to enjoy. Sainte-Suzanne, elected one  of France's most beautiful villages in 2013 is a pure gem.

The  "Comices agricoles", annual agricultural fairs, gather the entire population in a festive celebration of old customs and traditions with villagers dressed in period costumes and medieval plays performed at street corners.  "La Nuit des Chimères" in Le Mans is a dazzling performance taking place every single night over July and August all over the old town combining light and music in the most mesmerizing fashion.

One mustn't forget to mention the gastronomy of the area which is truly remarkable.  The open air markets of Evron and Sillé-le-Guillaume are a delight to visit.

People are very open and welcoming to newcomers, at least they are to us and it is a pleasure to get to know them.

We even discovered along a public path along a field by a farm a number of poetic and mysterious quotes and messages installed there by a local farmer’s wife.Meeting her and her elderly mother was a memorable encounter.
There is a perfect organisation called Let’s Speak in Evron that will be happy to assist you in discovering this beautiful part of France.  I will from now on dedicate time to invite English friends or anyone interested to visit and stay there with French families to perfect their knowledge of French culture and language. 

Do not hesitate!  You may want to live there part of the year.  I do!

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