Last Friday was Carnaval at school. Originally associated with Mardi Gras and to celebrate the start of Spring, the boys' school tends to hold it closer to the Easter holidays probably because of the slightly better weather.
The parade started from school about 2 o'clock and weaved its way through the little streets of the village. We made a stop for sweets at the centre for handicapped young people then we moved on down the hill to the centre for asylum seekers. There Monsieur Clown was unloaded from the trailer and set on fire. Whilst he burnt everyone tucked in to gouter, cakes, pancakes and more sweets!
It was a good afternoon with wonderful weather.
We were invited to my youngest's teacher's house on Sunday afternoon and to visit the small village of St Lizier. It was a lovely afternoon with so much hospitality and friendship being shown to us that I hope we can maintain the friendship and I can continue to practice my French by writing to her. We were served fois gras made by her mother-in-law. This was served with a bread that was called bear's paw and home grown preserved figs. Then we had the rest of the duck that had been preserved with salt and is called confit de canard. Then after the kids had run off some energy outside we set off for St Lizier just 5 minutes away where there is a gorgeous Roman Church with beautifully preserved murals and calm and inviting cloisters. Many years ago the bishops lived there and there is still a palace at the top of the hill.
The views from the top near the Bishop's Palace were stunning and that is despite the haze which veiled the Pyrenees preventing them from being in sharp focus. There were lots of little details on the houses that had no real purpose except to make you smile.