A reflection on the stories told by holiday guests over the years here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne.
This month we share with you The Cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen. Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaine.
But first breaking news …… Since early September 2019 the cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen has been the talk of the town. Why?
Well, it all started with the discovery of an ancient sarcophagus on September 3rd 2019 and then to top that they discovered 5 skeletons on 13th November 2019 . Pictures courtesy Sud Ouest paper.
The five skeletons lying on their back with one being a child and as expected by now the bones so brittle. All of this is openly displayed to passers by hence the talk of the town. When we have further details I will add to this article and update.
Built in the twelfth century, this cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen was ransacked so many times.
An eventful past and surprisingly there are still some treasures left, and it is not the only building worth seeing in the vicinity
The Cathedral was consecrated in 1802, Saint-Caprais and is classified in the world inheritance of Unesco under the heading “the roads of Saint Jacques de Compostela”.
Its architecture, predominantly Romanesque, is a reflection of its history and that of the city of Agen
Established 15 centuries ago as a basilica, then destroyed by the Normans in 853.
Again rebuilt, this time enlarged from the twelfth century, Then destroyed again by the Albigensians !
Again rebuilt, by the Protestants, then when the Revolution arrived even more destruction but only not to recover until the nineteenth century. Absolutely amazing history.
So much more history can be unearthed with more research.
The Cathedral Organ at Saint CapraisAgen
In 1855, restoration began on the organ at Saint Caprais , to be able to show off it had to be big so as to create prestige in the city. The houseStoltz and Schaff makes an advantageous proposal: They would deliver the organ they had built after they had unveiled it at World Fair held in Paris the same year. The Empress Eugenie , seduced by the idea, she then buys the organ and gives it to the parish.
In 1859, the organ is installed. With its three keyboards, and 45 games pedals, it is the largest in Lot-et-Garonne and hosts a festival every summer.
Richly decorated walls
In 1845 the painter Jean-Louis Bézard, Prix de Rome, was chosen to create the murals of the cathedral.
This took 14 years, he painted all the decor that affirms the character of the building largely inspired Sicilian churches and Byzantine art.
The French Revolution is over, religious art returns and all is normal.
The figures of the Bible, the iconography of Mary, are themes used by the painter is admired by all .
But there is much more to this story as it also presents the martyrdom of the saints Agenais , while revealing, in its way, the Catholic history of the Agenais.
We will next visit Marmande Notre Dame with our next guests … see you soon
This Beautiful and picturesque area known as the Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaineis a flight path for the grue also known as the common crane .A moment in time enjoyed by bird watchers.
They are seen and enjoyed by birdwatchers that watch with fascination their migration overhead ,recently there has been thousands of these majestic birds actually flying over our home here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne.
La Grue ( common crane) are flying on their annual migration from Scandinavia and Germany to Africa to avoid colder months.
They remind me of Canada geesemigrating to the states with their trumpets sounds whilst flying.
There are many flocks, dozens at the time , flying overhead this the past week or so but today here at Gone Fishin in the Lot et Garonne it seemed like a red letter day as we saw so many mostly in the long V formation, but sometimes when they encounter a thermal it seems they all take a break to swirl around in the air current like a giant bird circus, then floating in a spiral before coming out of the thermal and it continuing on their way .
There are many reports in the newspaper of this spectacular sight and sound.
You hear them before they emerge through the clouds, it seems so natural to look up and wish them a safe journey.
Drivers stop at will regardless so they can be at the side of the road looking up to the sky to watch them and of course many enthusiast Bird Watchers have actually been following their flight path .
When you look at the migration maps it appears they take a diagonal to a central route from the north-eastern France, through the Central regions to the south-west and in a similar trajectorythrough Spain.
Apparently they do most of their flying at night, it takes less energy. An interesting bird much to be admired.
Sometimes when passing over the centre of France they are seen resting up for the day and eating and drinking.
Crane Grus grus – Grue Cendrée
What is the wing span of the Grue (Common Crane) ?
The Common Crane is one of the largest birds in Europe with a wingspan of 2 meters and a weight of 4 – 6 kg.
Overall plumage is a nearly uniform grey with long legs and neck. Adults are distinguished by the black and white contrast to the neck and head, marked with a bright red spot and young Cranes have a brownish plumage that they keep for a year that gradually changes to adult plumage.
On the ground they appear to have a fluffy puffed up tail that is actually formed by the last wing feathers that are very elongated.
Cranes are very sociable and gregarious during their migration and wintering when they can form very large groups, especially on the ground which can be many tens of thousands. They are however extremely territorial when nesting.
Breeding grounds are situated principally in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries where large solitary nests using dry grass are constructed on the ground situated in large areas of marsh or swamp forests that can occupy up to several hundred hectares.
Usually a couple will produce one or two eggs in May that take about 4 weeks to hatch.
Shortly after hatching, the chicks are able to follow their parents and sneak into the swamp in search of insects, molluscs and small vertebrates which then make up the bulk of their food.
Thereafter, they consume more plants: tender herbs, aquatic plants and berries.
The young start to take to the air at around two months between mid July and August when they have to prepare for their first migration when they will stay with their parents until their return in the spring. Sexual maturity isn’t actually achieved for between 3 and 5 years when, assuming they find a partner, they pair for life. Bless!
In August and September thousands of cranes gather on the Swedish island of Oland from here they can cross the Baltic sea to the Island of Rügen where around 30000 birds gather in October with about another 15,000 on the German mainland with the birds moving through in groups, arrivals and departures staying perhaps two or three days, possibly longer.
As with all things natural nothing is precise and much is determined by weather and temperature. It is access to food on the ground that is most important both during their migration and where they over winter. What we can say is that the main migration is October to December with small movements from September and possibly continuing sporadically until early Spring and that therefore the “migration” is both gradual and partial, spread out over several months with them wintering at various locations stretching from north-eastern France (Lorraine and especially Champagne) to Morocco with various locations in between, however the majority will end up in Spain with most of them in the large wintering areas of Extremadura Spain.
hey have been a protected species in France since 1967 further details about the Grue here and much more about protected species here in France
Speed of flight: 40 to 80 km / h on average. If the winds are strong and powerful, the crane moves at over 100 km / h. The crane can therefore cross France in one day.
Flight altitude: from 200 to 1,500m.
Population transiting through France: approximately 360,000 individuals
Population wintering in France: approximately 100,000 / 120,000 individuals
Cranes transiting through France nest mainly in Sweden, Finland, northern Germany and Poland.
Why read about them in Bird Watching Magazinwhen you can see the real thing here at Gone Fishin the beautiful Lot et Garonne. For those that love fishing as a hobby we are here at Gonefishin-holiday4two and a reminder this is not a fishing holiday its just a bonus and its free. You can also find out more here at 2france4two.com and oodles more with videos here at france4two.uk Enjoy a good read you will need a cup of tea and a scrumptious piece of cake.
A flavour of Romance at Willeric , this quirky restaurant inClairac .
A small restaurant named Willeric about 8 minutes from your holiday home here at Gone Fishin’ hidden away in this little old fashioned village Clairac.
The history of this now famous quirky restaurant … 29 rue Gambetta was an old bar-hotel-restaurant, owned by Mme Dieuzaide, from 1963 to 2000. Closed for eighteen years, it is now completely transformed into a new restaurant, retro style of the late nineteenth century.
Fantastic that you can book online by choosing the calendar on their website enjoy there wonderful website here.. https://willeric.fr/ Open Friday to Monday, lunch and dinner.
Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Full contact details on their site.
Where you can see there full menu .
From Starters Duo of trout in ceviche and smoked salmon
Not too sure about the translation here ..Snail slipper with Mediterranean flavorsRoyale of tomato and its velouté “gobi ka” again translation makes a smile.
A choice of Main dishes .Tray of 3 curries (scallops and wild shrimp, fish and lamb)
Guinea fowl in red and black
Matured beef 40 days, cooking on individual stone
180 g →OR 270 g
Profiteroles and its ice cream flavored with Moka from Ethiopia
Waffle, Chantilly cream with Tahitian vanilla
All pictures courtesy of Willeric. Just 8 minutes fron your holiday home here at Gone Fishin in the Sunny Lot et Garonne. A should in the morning you feel like enjoying some carp fishing the its simpy in your garden … enjoy https://gonefishin-holiday4two.com/
Pancake Day we missed it! February 2nd. In France its called la Chandeleur yet another excuse for a French feast!
The 2nd of February is la Chandeleur. This marks the end of exactly 40 days after the Christmas period coming exactly 40 days after Christmas and traditionally a catholic holiday Candlemas. … Chandeleur is celebrated throughout France (Crepes originated in Brittany) as la fête des crêpes.
Enjoyed very much in this region Lot et Garonne Aquitaine, so much so that in some of the traditional markets a taster we being given out and enjoyed by all.
Built in the 13th century then modified and extended in the late 15th and early 16th centuries by Baron Bérenger de Roquefeuil, this fortress never came under any military attack, thanks to its impressive defence system.
A perfect illustration of the use of military architecture and techniques from the Middle Ages via the Renaissance to the early days of the Vauban fortifications.
Special organised Tours ( or simply stroll around) around Bonaguil Castle, you will be transported on a journey back to the time of the knights. Explore the towers and turrets, barbican, gunpowder store, casemates with embrasures, drawbridge and moats.
The top of the Fort boasts a panoramic terrace with a wonderful view over the whole fortress and spectacular surrounding scenery.
Theatre festival are held at the Bonaguil castle every first week of August and is certainly popular with guests.
Whilst touring Bonaguil Castle you can wander around the Fortress, the caves, walk drawbridges and take yourself into its life of medieval history.
In 1976, whilst exploring Bonaguil Castle the archaeologists Gilles SERAPHIN, Daniel FRUGIER and Michel EGRETAUD discovered under the Barbican, a low chamber under a broken cradle which served in the XVI and XVII centuries a storage place, and found important archaeological furniture . This discovery, associated with the discovery a few years earlier a set of graffiti on the internal walls of the Big Tower, comes to remind us that Bonaguil was indeed a place where people actually lived.
The storage place where they disposed of broken pottery they found simple clay cups and eating utensils, remains of beautiful stemmed glasses .
Their analysis is still to be done but they decided to put them in front of the public in 2013.
A lovely day out indeed and ant Bonaguil there is a lovely restaurant. Importantly there are car parks adjacent to the restaurant and also at the entrance of the Castle.
France 2019. How Much For A Taxi – Stamps – Whats New In French Currency.
Taxis: New Fares for 2019
What you need to know when booking a taxi in France.
What is the minimum price you will be charged?
What is the price to go to an airport?
Taxi fares for 2019 are set by official decree in December 2018.
In 2019, the minimum fare for a journey is set at € 7.10 for all taxis (Parisians and non-Parisians).
In addition, taxi fares are capped at:
1,10 € for the kilometer traveled
36,73 € for the hourly price concerning the waiting period when reserved by the customer).
For Parisian taxis, booking supplements are, as in 2018, to:
4 € in case of immediate reservation;
7 € if booking in advance.
Moreover, for all races of Parisian taxis, only extra ” passenger ” of 4 € may be applied from a 5 th person carried.
There is a flat rates set for the Paris taxis between Paris and the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports (in both directions) remain unchanged compared to those in 2018:
€ 50 between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive droite;
55 € between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive gauche;
35 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris rive droite;
30 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris left bank.
There are also flat rates for shopping related to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport:
32 € between Nice airport and Nice-center.
€ 80 between Nice airport and Cannes;
90 € between Nice airport and Monaco;
Finally, for travelling for example to Toulouse Blagnac airport, these flat rates vary between € 15 and € 45 (depending on the area of the city). Please check on booking.
How Much For Stamps In France 2019
Stamp price: new increase on January 1, 2019
Priority letter (red stamp) or green letter (green stamp):
Rates for stamps for individuals increased by an average of about 10% from 1 st January 2019.
This is indicated by a statement of the Regulatory authority for electronic communications and postal services (Arcep) on 2019 universal postal service tariffs.
For individuals, the price of green stamp (distributed within 48 hours in France) will increase from 0.80 € to 0.88 € , the red stamp (priority mail delivered within 24 hours in France) will now be priced at 1.05 € (against 0.95 € today).
The ” Ecopli ,” the most economical way (sending in 4 days on average), will go from 0.78 € to 0.86 € .
For parcel post called Colissimo, the public rate Colissimo France metropolitan less
than 250 grams will remain at the same price as in 2018 ( 4.95 € ).
Whats New In French Currency 2019
New Currency Notes of 100 and 200 Euros Arriving May 2019
The new € 100 and € 200 notes are due to enter the euro zone from May 28, 2019, as part of the gradual renewal of the European currency denominations. They were presented by the European Central Bank (ECB) on 17 September 2018.
These new notes are part of a series called ” Europe ” because two of the security signs used include a portrait of Princess Europe, a character of Greek mythology that gave its name to the continent. Tickets of 5 € , 10 € , 20 € and 50 € are already part of this series.
The security markings in this series are perfected to allow better protection against counterfeiting. These new notes will be easier to verify the authenticity through feel, scrutinisingand tilting to the light .
The new € 100 note retains green as the dominant colour while taking inspiration from the Baroque and Rococo architectural style.
The new note 200 € shows secure gates , the yellow colour and the glass and steel architectural style of the XIX th century.
These two new notes will have the same height as the € 50 note, but they will have the same length as the €100and
€200 notes currently in circulation (the longer the note, the higher their face value).
Enjoy The Experience Of Virtually Tasting The Buzet Wine Taste The Flavours With Andreas Larsson .
When you order a dish in the restaurant, you like to know with what garnish it is served and what the sauce is made of. When you book accommodation for a getaway, you precisely study the location, access … in short you do not leave anything to chance. You do not like being disappointed you wont be either with your accommodation here at Gone Fishin in the sunny Lot et Garonne.
Rozet by Buzet , rosé wine.
This cooperative at Buzet has conquered the exclusively feminine jury of the Féminalise 2018 : it wins the Gold, among wines from around the world!
A nice success for this fruity and gourmet rosé wine, flagship of Buzet cooperative, ( only 15 mins from your holiday hole here at Gone Fishin Aiguillon in the sunny Lot et Garonne ) . They have committed themselves for more than 10 years in the viticulture way reconciling the best of technology, respect for all and the environment!
Especially since in addition to competing wines from all continents, the jury (all female) contest is composed of more than 600 women – exclusively – professionals and connoisseurs .
Rozet by Buzet , a rosé wine of quality is the mixture of a subtle selection and a meticulous breeding. Fruity and gourmet, generous and elegant, Rozet by Buzet will be the partner of your refined moments.
Domaine de Michelet .
This is a red wine labeled organic and vegan (no application of animal protein, sometimes used to filter certain wines, replaced by vegetable protein). It is a wine without added sulphites.
Fruity & Light
Vintage : 2017
T ° C of tasting : 16
No added sulphites
The Baron d’Ardeuil.
The flagship red wine of the cooperative, could suit you! Its woody notes and roundness on the palate made it famous.
The Baron d’Ardeuil claims its share of tradition in its name, which draws its origins in the historical figures of France. It has nevertheless been able to adapt to cross the decades and remains today a classic of our cellar. Do not be mistaken! Tradition does not mean boring!
This red wine has also evolved to cross decades and adapt to current tastes. It is a red wine whose aromas of toast and coffee are preferential for red meats and sauces, but which is very suitable for grilled dishes and even vegetable dishes a little spiced up.
Les Vignerons de Buzet announced recently they have bought les Château de Buzet.
They invisage total renovation so the Chatea can hold events with much wine sampling, seen through the show “La vie de château” presented by Michel Cardoze for TV7 Bordeaux! A piece of Albret history is here!
Fishing For Carp, Black Bass just 1hr from Bordeaux
“Not for the fish do I go fishing”.
My view ( Tony Farrar) on fishing can be summed up by the grandfather in “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” (by Jung Chang) when he says “Not for the fish do I go fishing”. The sense of that is that you don’t need to catch fish to enjoy the experience, because there is always a lot going on around you.
The lake at Gone Fishin’ is one of those places – but with the added bonus that you WILL catch fish be it carp, black bass and more. You’ll see kingfishers, pond skaters by the thousand, dragonflies in all colours, shapes and sizes, ducks, coots, a pair of hares and even – on my last morning – a coypu nonchalantly swimming past, not 6 feet away. And all that before I get to the fishing!
Take a walk round the lake in early morning, or at dusk, and you will appreciate just how many fish there are. From the dimples of small fish on the surface through to large carp leaping out and belly flopping back in to the water, and in between those two extremes the starbursts of small fish leaping away as predators (probably black bass) attack them. Probably my favourite sight, though, was when several carp poked their heads more or less vertically out of the water, choreographed as if to make a picture of a Cornish stargazey pie (Google it to see what I mean!). And if you tread carefully you’ll see a few carp rooting around in the margins, slurping up morsels of food. Magical!
So, how did my fishing go at Gone Fishin in the sunny Lot et Garonne?
Well, I only fished short sessions, mainly early and late, and managed to catch 19.5 carp (I will explain shortly).
The only time I didn’t hook a fish was when I tried lure fishing for black bass. I’d never caught one before – and I still haven’t! My research told me that fishing an imitation floating frog was a good summer bait for bass so I bought one to bring along. It really did a fine impression of the live amphibian as I jerked it back across the surface, its legs flexing gracefully like the real McCoy. I really thought it demanded, nay shouted for, attention, but sadly the black bass thought otherwise.
In 5 other sessions I caught 5, 6, 3, 1 and 4 carp by both straight legering and waggler fishing. The best weighed 5.1kg (11lb 4oz) and they were all in fine condition – fit enough to pull my string! I only fished 3 spots – both picnic table spots and where the steps and red sign are along the roadside bank. Hemp and corn on the waggler produced fish, but mainly the smaller ones (2 to 5lb). The bigger fish fell to hair rigged boilies and carp pellets. If I were to fish again I think I would concentrate on the red sign swim – there were plenty of carp about, because of the tree cover, I think. So there you have it – 19 carp.
But what about the half a carp, you may ask?
When we first arrived Alan and Jen said the carp were very lively and a few people had had their rods pulled in. Cockily, and supremely full of confidence, I proclaimed that that had never happened to me and that I had a fool proof system attached to my fishing chair – never let me down, I said. And that was how it was during the week – the rod end would whack round before I casually picked up the rod to play and land my fish.
Then on Friday morning …………
The front part of my system broke. No problem, I thought, as I went for my final two hours fishing in the afternoon. I was waggler fishing and just held the rod all the time – for an hour and quarter without any indication of interest from a fish. Inevitably, I decided to make a change to my set-up and put the rod down just for a second while I sorted out the stuff to change. Whoosh! The rod was pulled straight in to the water. I was about to jump in after it, but realised I had my phone in my pocket. My most serious concern was how to explain the situation to Alan and Jen! That carp took the mickey out of me mercilessly. It zoomed to all three corners of the lake, before deciding to cruise slowly past in front of me, rod in tow, from right to left and back again – and several times!
Eventually it seemed to settle near the left corner and only 20 yards from the bank. So I started to change in to my swimming shorts and, just at the most revealing moment, my wife walked up and demanded to know why I was in flagrante delicto!! Nevertheless, I slid serpent-like into the water near the rod, skilfully putting my right leg through a loop of tree root. Once extricated, I slowly – stealthily – swam towards the static rod. Six inches away and the carp knew I was there – the rod butt moved about a foot before shooting off at high speed across the lake. That was enough for the night – or at least it was when I finally got back up the bank!