Visiting Blandine at Blanzay was part of the plan, but we also visited the area around in our search of a place to live, who knew; it might have been here!
The Charente department is mainly a rural area with Angoulême and Cognac as the main cities. Back in time the area was known for its industry and production of cognac. Then, like most of the rural areas, it has been deserted, and today (from what we could see), it is inhabited mostly by retired people, both French and English. Even if the dynamic is not for us the landscape is still very beautiful and two of the villages here are too charming not to share with you:
A small medieval village which is an alternative pilgrimage route for Camino de Santiago when you start from Tours. A very small and cosy green village, with lots of flowers, nice old stone houses and – of course – a cute church. For a (non-Christian) Norwegian it’s fascinating to see all the signs of living Catholicism in this country, when in Norway it’s more people saying they don’t believe in God than those who do.
This village is located in the north of the department and has been built on both sides of the Charente river. The village is well known for its castle Le Château de Verteuil and the water mill that is still running. It gives to the place a sense of calm and peace, especially around the river. Here you can find a café and restaurant that probably offers many nice things but of course nothing vegan, so we stayed outside and enjoyed the view. Have a look yourself.