St. Pardoux & Souvigny, France 8/13

August 17, 2013

Bart Schiks had been following our adventures for years and had been inviting us for over a year  to stop at his home in St. Pardoux on our way through France in route to Spain and Portugal. He and his partner, Nathalie, were delightful people. An Overland traveler and an avid four-wheel drive enthusiast, he had moved to the little village of St. Pardoux from Holland for the peace and tranquility.

Our visit coincided with the annual Medieval Festival in the nearby town of Souvigny. In 916 Aimard, the first known ancestor of the Bourbons, donated his Souvigny “villa” and the church devoted to Saint Peter to the abbot, Bernon of Cluny. Its priory church became a centre of pilgrimage popular in the Middle Ages and the spiritual capital of the Bourbons.

In case you wondered, the House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have Bourbon monarchs.

The festival attracts entertainers, craftsmen and tourists from all over Southern France. There are interesting food stalls including crêpes and boiling pots of tantalizing stews. Troubadours perform in the streets and artists create their specialty for all to watch.

We ended the day in a more traditional way with a great pizza at the little restaurant Tsara where Nathalie works. The next morning Bart gave us a tour of the area and his collection of 4X4 including a Unimog camper that he drove down from Holland. It has the 2.5L double carbureted 6- cylinder engine, sits and sleeps four, and it might be a steal for $7800 if you’re interested. It has both Dutch & French documents. (Bart Schiks bart.schiks@orange.fr)

The beautiful church in Souvigny became a centre of pilgrimage popular in the Middle Ages and the spiritual capital of the Bourbons.

The beautiful church in Souvigny became a centre of pilgrimage popular in the Middle Ages and the spiritual capital of the Bourbons.

Troubadours perform in the streets and the town takes on an aire of its Medieval history.

Troubadours perform in the streets and the town takes on an air of its Medieval history.

St. Pardoux & Souvigny013

Tantalizing kettles of stew bubble over open fires waiting for hungry visitors.

Tantalizing kettles of stew bubble over open fires waiting for hungry visitors.

What would a French festival be without crêpes?

What would a French festival be without crêpes?

Artists create their specialty for all to watch.

Artists create their specialty for all to watch.

We ended the day in a more traditional way with a great pizza at the little restaurant where Nathalie works, the Tsara (c’est très bonne).

We ended the day in a more traditional way with a great pizza at the little restaurant where Nathalie works, the Tsara (c’est très bonne).

This Unimog is for sale. Contact Bart at  bart.schiks@orange.fr

This Unimog is for sale. Contact Bart at bart.schiks@orange.fr

Before departing, we all posed for a souvenir photo.

Before departing, we all posed for a souvenir photo.

 

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