French for beginners

Dear Bloggers,

Today is one of these days that you think "I wish it was summertime again". Outside the rain is drizzling down mixed with snow. A nasty combination of cold and wet is forcing me to stay indoors. It makes me dream away about better days that the sun was out, and it makes me realize that it is the perfect time to make plans for the coming holidays.

As an old sailor I have travelled the world and I saw many beautiful places on my journey's. I have a lot of ideas of where to go and also where not to go. My memories are flashing back to a few years ago. I was in a not to good position financially and we had a hard time to survive. A good friend of mine Erik suggested to visit his farmhouse in France.

I answered that it was a nice idea and tried to crawl back with the fact that my French was not to good. No problem he said, the younger generation will speak some English. I expressed the idea to my wife and after a discussion about the costs she agreed with me and we should not turn down this offer. We saved some money for fuel and started on this new challenge, in the early morning we drove off to “la douce France”. When we prepaired ourself for the trip my not very detailed map could not find the village of Reithouse.(pronounce as Rétouzje) I picked up the phone and called Erik to give me some more detailed directions and now the adventure could begin. A GPS system was still extremely expensive at least it was for us. As soon as we had crossed the borders of Belgium and Luxembourg and ended up on the highway in France.

We drove Southbound and past the cities of Metz, Nancy and Dijon from this point we had to follow the signs towards Lons le Saunier. Especially the last part we were stunned by the picturesk scenes where we drove through. The beautiful mountain scenery of the French Jura is impressive, and this is where Reithouse is situated. My wife and I had something were have we seen this before? Just a couple of kilomtres later we realized that the tour the France is passing through this area. I must admit that the picturesk scenes are live even better. When we arrived in Reithouse the sun had hidden itself behind the mountains and it was getting dark and we were all pretty tired of the long journey.

We entered the house and fired up the stove in the kitchen, the nice smell of burning wood was filling the room. We shoved the kids into bed and sat down at the kitchen table. In a few minutes it was nice and warm, it was time to enjoy the holiday and I opened a bottle of wine. Now it was time to relax. Eventhough it is very quiet in the small village of Reithouse our kids got up at six o'clock in the morning, I stumbled to the kitchen to make some tea and coffee.

After having some coffee and some crackers, we drove to the town of Orgelet to buy some fresh baked bread and of course croissants at the boulangerie. We also bought some other basic things at the local shops. Back at the house we had a great breakfast. (you should call it a breakslow as we really enjoyed it.) I the entrance hall of the house we found some leaflets about the surroundings and after breakfast we drove to Lac de Vouglans a huge lake with a dam that is providing most of the area with electrical power. We had a late lunch at one of the lovely beaches of this lake and this is only 15 minutes away from the house.

The scenery is overwhelming the mountains are covered with pinetrees and there are some beautiful waterfalls on extreme heights. On the lake you can also do a lot of watersports as they thought about safety they have divided the lake in sections for speedlevels. Far in the afternoon we got back to the house and my wife started preparing our diner. Together with the kids I explored the garden and they started playing with a ball, I layed back in a lawnchair with a book.

Before I realized it I had a conversation with Claude the neighbour that keeps an eye on the house and keeps the garden in shape. This conversation was brilliant as Claude does not speak much English and my French is as poor as his English. We were both surprised how well we understood eachother. We talked about all kinds of things the weather and of course this lovely little village. Eventhough we talked with hands and feet we had a nice chitchat and a good laugh. As one of the other neighbors joined in who did speak English I did get some nice tips about the wine and cheese of the Franche Comté in the area. And who know better than the locals about the area if you have a look on the website you will find also some nice tips.

We have done to many things to mention but we really enjoyed our stay. The house is as picturesk as the surroundings and I felt like living in a fairytalebook. Although our budget was not that big but this was one of the best holidays we had. We will absolutely go again as we only explored half of what we wanted to see. And believe me when I say that it is a small peace of paradise if you live in this stressfull world.

The Old Sailor,


  1. Goedenavond Old Sailor.

    Woww, ziet er idd allemaal erg mooi en gezellig uit,
    mooie natuur, neem aan dat dat foto's van het huis zijn, ziet er ook heel erg lief uit,
    dit zijn vaak de mooiste vakanties,
    het hoeft niet altijd duur te zijn om te genieten,toch.

    fijne avond nog,
    groetjes que.

  2. Geachte vrouwe Que,
    Het zijn inderdaad foto's van het huis, het ligt echt midden in de natuur en als je 's morgens uit het raam kijkt heb je een redelijk kans om herten langs de bosrand te zien grazen. En een verhuurprijs tijdens schoolvakanties van €450,- per week is niet gek als je buiten deze periodes gaat betaal je €100,- minder. Dat vind ik nou het leuke eraan dat het nog redelijk betaalbaar is.
    The Old Sailor

  3. Goedenavond Old Sailor,
    Dat is idd niet duur voor zo'n mooi huis in 'n mooie omgeving,
    denk dat je voor 'n caravan of 'n zomer huisje meer betaald,
    en dan zit je vaak op 'n drukke camping,
    dat als de buren gaan koken, heb je zelf al gegeten en gedronken,
    (wel goedkoop natuurlijk;-)).)
    dat hoeft voor mij dus niet,
    denk dat dat voor u ook niets is toch.

    Fijne avond nog,
    groetjes que.

  4. Goedemorgen vrouwe Que,
    Ik heb echt genoten en aangezien mijn hele familie ofwel computer of tv aanhanger is. We hebben het daar dan ook echt geen moment gemist. In de avond steek je lekker de houtkachel aan en hierdoor kreeg je echt zo'n nostalgisch gevoel. En als wat geld hebt te spenderen kun je ook lekker uit eten in de directe omgeving.

    The Old Sailor,

  5. Goedenavond Old Sailor,

    Zelf kijk ik niet veel tv,
    het nieuws kijk ik wel elke dag,
    vraag me soms wel af waarom, maar ja,
    computeren doe ik de laatste tijd best wel vaak,
    m'n zoon is zeventien ,die kijkt ook weinig tv,
    maar zit wel vaak op de comp,
    ook vanwegen zijn studie,
    maar ik denk idd als ik daar zou zijn het ook niet zou missen,
    en met vakantie moet je idd soms lekker uit eten gaan toch,
    Hier ligt er vandaag weer veel sneeuw, dus we zouden er zo zin in krijgen om heen te gaan,

    Hele fijne avond nog,
    groetjes que,

  6. Geachte vrouwe Que,

    Ik zou zeggen neem eens een kijkje op de website
    Het is gewoon een leuk plekje om je vakantie door te brengen, en de Fransen in deze streek zijn erg gemoedelijk.

    The Old Sailor,


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