Thursday, 31 January 2013

A Journey of Contrasts

We drive to the Chasseneuil du Poitou area fairly frequently and the journey is nothing if not one of contrasts.

From Braye we are able to cut through and take the D757, which is an altogether quieter route than going via Chatellerault.

Not far from home we pass the property of the local saffron producer, Annie Godard-Devyver. A little further, and out in the middle of nowhere, is the Titan discotheque we mentioned in a post some time ago. Last weekend it was advertising a "Sleep Over" (Don't ask!)

Through Faye-le-Vineuse, with its twelfth century église Saint-Pierre de Marnay and the église paroissiale de Saint-Georges-de-Faye-la-Vineuse.and on to the place which must take the prize for the most unusual name in the area....

It takes longer to read its name than it does to drive through, but where its name comes from we don't know. If you've any ideas please tell us.

Nearby is a major melon producing area of Val de Serigny. The region employs an army of pickers when the melons are ripe.

This section of the journey is blissfully devoid of traffic and a real treat to drive. It does, however, attract an surprising number of gendarme armed with speed traps, so BEWARE.

We always look out for the small-holding with the unusual combination of alpacas and peacocks... Not what you usually see round here!

The largest settlement we pass through is Lencloitre, with its colourful monthly market where you can buy anything and everything....
From here the road passes a camp for "les gens du voyages", through woodland, small settlements,  and vineyards; a landscape of gently undulating hills and valleys, before opening out onto the plain as we approach the outskirts of Chasseneuil du Poitou

Here the scenery changes dramatically. At present there is significant disturbance with the construction of the new LGV line, which we posted about here and here...

And finally on to Chasseneuil du Poitou with the outstanding architecture of the Futurescope complex,and the neighbouring economic developments of Les Temps Modernes, Les Portes du Futur and La Technopole. These create an almost alien landscape, but all the more fascinating for that.
Of all the journeys we do pretty regularly, I don't think there is one with greater contrasts...

1 comment:

Susan said...

Like you, I am intrigued by the name La Belle Indienne. I once tried to find out where the name came from, but didn't get very far. My best guess, based on my reading, is that it is a reference to Josephine, who was sometimes referred to as la Belle Indienne -- but both the town name and the references to Josephine may come from a much older tradition -- I don't know.