Tag: french pottery

Pottery at San Quentin La Poterie France

Oh La La! San Quentin la Poterie, France

Imagine a little village in the south of France where the main industries are farming and pottery. Can you think of a place that is more “down to earth?” (Pun intended!)

Friday is market day in San Quentin la Poterie. It’s only a few miles down the road from Uzes and it’s getting to be one of my favorite places to shop. There’s the farmers’ market with all the local foods and vendors …

… but even better than the farmers’ market, through the winding village streets, there are dozens of pottery shops. Many stores have the artist’s workshop attached. Most if the artists are there, busy at work on their new creations.

When they say San Quentin is world famous for pottery, they mean pottery of the finest kind. Not to discount our fabulous potters from western North Carolina, but I have never seen so much magnificent pottery. Each shop I visited was better than the last.

View a San Quentin la Poterie artist at work.

It’s Time for “La Tournée du Père Noël” in San Quentin la Poterie

A bonus to living in Uzes is Christmas in San Quentin la Poterie just down the road. The small town is filled with dozens of pottery shops and other sorts of magical places.   On this day it was La Tournée du Père Noël, the annual holiday market.

Follow me along as I wander through the streets and into the shops ….

 

 

Christmas in San Quentin la Poterie

 

 

 

The whole town of San Quentin la Poterie seemed to be out this day. If they weren’t joining shoppers, they were doing their favorite things — bingo 

… and Pétanque

Christmas in San Quentin la Poterie

Playing Pétanque in San Quentin la Poterie

 

 

Christmas in San Quentin la Poterie

 

What a glorious way to start the holiday!

Christmas in San Quentin la Poterie

 

 

Expat Moving Tips for France

Uzes France: Off the Beaten Track, Part Two

Traveling abroad solo means you can stop whenever, wherever you like. Sightseeing while riding on a bicycle makes it even easier.

It’s a wonder I made any progress on the backroads journey to San Quentin la Poterie and back to Uzes. The scenery is amazing. Everything around is a subject for a picture. When I’d stop my bike to take a photo, I’d have to remind myself to turn around and look back, too.

Like life, some things appear to be better when we look “back” than “through”.

Before starting out on my day’s bike riding adventure, I stopped by the Wednesday Market in the main square, Place aux Herbes. I picked up vegetables and other items to prepare meals for myself the rest of the week. Saturday I’ll shop “fresh” again. More strawberries, cherries, cheeses, and vegetables, plus locally made mustard, beer and Madeline cookies were my stash for the day.

Off to San Quentin la Poterie
It was not difficult to get started on the bike trail to “la Poterie”. I had ridden past the entrance on my way back from the bike rental shop on Tuesday. However, “started” is the operative word above. The path that seemed so clear at the “start” soon dumped me onto a four-way intersection. None of the intersecting roads looked like a bike path. Fortunately there were two men standing in a driveway who could possibly give me directions. Of course neither of them could speak a word of English. Nevertheless, using my map and the universal language –hand waving– they gave me enough information to go on my way.

And oh! What a view!

Another advantage of traveling by bike is that you can take off onto side roads you would miss by car. Who could resist checking out this road with no gates, no signs? Not me. Just look what awaited me!

A hidden path… And just a few feet farther…

Then.. braving it down a well-maintained, tree-lined road, I rode slowing, hoping no one would come after me with dogs or a gun — or both. Soon, in the distance, I could hear chattering voices. Instead of turning around and hightailing it back to the main road, I headed closer to the voices. I would excuse my invasion by saying, “I’m lost.”

By this time I was off the bike and I was pushing it beside me. Taking a few steps ahead, I saw a small stone house to the right of the roadway. The chattering was coming from three or four people sitting around a table on the patio. I could also see a second stone building and the entrance to a large, stately mansion that was surrounded by a stone wall.

Apparently the people sitting around the table enjoying their lunch were house and grounds keepers for the estate. They certainly weren’t guards. They were so heavily engaged in conversation that no one noticed me.

Traveling abroad solo Announcing myself by shouting “bonjour” in my best French, I saw the older woman in the group look my way. She then walked to the road to greet me. As she approached, I held up my iPhone and motioned with my hands that I’d like to take a picture. Seeing that I was neither a threat, nor a professional photographer (a photo journalist with an iPhone?), she said “Ok” in English.

I asked then if I could take pictures of the big house from inside the courtyard. Replying In broken English, she said “someone lives there.”

In other words, “no.”

Not to be dismissed so easily, yet trying to be as polite as possible, I asked if I could take her picture and photograph other sights around the estate. She said “oui”. Viola! My persistence paid off!

Pays de la ceramics
Practically “around the bend” from my off-road venture to the French chateau was the famed village of art pottery: San Quentin la Poterie.

San Quentin la Poterie
With a tradition in pottery since the fourteenth century, the village has maintained it’s reputation for world-class ceramics.

The purpose of my trip here today was to take in the scenery.

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And of course, the food. Salad Nicoise.

Traveling abroad solo

 

Traveling abroad solo

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