Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trois Cent Soixante Jours a Sceaux (old post in draft I thought I would go ahead and publish)

I ran this morning, to the south of the hotel. I ran 4.03 miles, 9:28 pace-my fastest since I began
running, and certainly my fastest 4 miles pace ever (in the mid-80's, Jimmy "If it can be fried, my mama can cook it" Addison (he is from Gulfport) and I did 7:30 for three miles). This was my first run of 4 miles or more when every mile was under 10 minutes: 9:59, 9:12, 9:16, 9:21 -- the first mile was slow in part to trying to figure out where the trail went...a good start for the day...

Because of the November visit with Pam, Collioure had a very familiar feel to it. It was prettier, as all the trees had leaved, and all businesses were open. Though it was obvious they were not at the peak of tourism on this Friday morning in May, it was clear everyone was readying themselves for a busy summer.The drive to Colborne was beautiful-as expected. I had to park by the train station; rather, on the street to the train station. Note to self: next time, park at the train station.

I found the pitchers for which I had been searching in Collioure. six generations of handmade creations, and I bought two for wine and one for water. One of the wine pitchers is brown -- the traditional pitcher, and the other is blue, a newer model -- near as in only 45 years old. The
artisan of these pitchers, now in his early 80s, apparently sculpted as well, and I am told that his work be seen along the Port d' Orlean metro stations.

The drive from Collioure to Terrats was picture-perfect. I drove, with the help of Tom-Tom, all two lane roads. I do not think there were many options anyway.

Finding Domain Ferrer Ribiere (DFR) was difficult, as these are really working enterprises, for people who know toil and soil. after walking around town for awhile, one can see nothing from a car and this is a small village, a lady asked if she could help. she explained where I could find DFR, ironically, I had turned the car around in their "driveway" on my initial pass through town.

The place is a concrete barn, and an old one. No signs to tell you this is DFR, no client reception area, either. I walked right through the steel double-doors, past the vats, came upon some barrels, and immediately happened upon a bearded man in a t-shirt having lunch at a workbench/table. We exchanged pleasantries, and I agreed to let him finish lunch and we would meet up later to discuss business.

I then found myself sitting in what seems to be the only restaurant in town. after lunch, I will make the 200 yard trip back to DFR and the vineyards rolling behind it.

Another note of interest: for every French flag I have seen, I have seen two dozen Catalan flags or sheilds.-the yellow with red stripes colors of Catalonia dominate the area. This area falls within the sovereignty of France, but it is not French --it is Catalan in culture and pride.

Had a very satisfying lunch of ham and pasta, baked with a layer of cheese upon it. The restaurant is a very "local" kind of place. It was interesting, listening to the chatter ("chatter" because I do not understand, not that their talk was frivolous) of everyday people, not tourists, everyone seemed to know everyone else, except for that guy by himself at the big table, the one in the black t-shirt and khaki pants, who speaks French with a bad accent, and who is writing in a black book with a large, odd-looking pen...

I returned to DFR, and found that Bruno Ribiere was ready and waiting. I found out he was an advertising executive at one time, but a desperate hospital event made him change his career to
agriculture. Like I said, these places, especially when they are called "Domain", are not fanciful or highbrow in anyway. If you are comfortable in a machine shop or an automobile garage, you would be right at home at DFR. Oh yeah, their products are among the best I have known in France.