We did visit old haunts from when we were here two years ago but didn't think you'd appreciate reading a revised version of the "same old, same old". We made it to Parthenay and nothing had changed. We made it to Niort and everything had changed! The roads, the buildings, the parking lots - all under construction. (If you want to review any of those places, they're still posted at: http://france-encore.blogspot.com ) It seems the government is spending like mad to desperately prop up the local economy. While this is going on, we see more stores shuttered and permanently closed...
|Écuries du Château|
Yesterday we visited a museum that is now housed in the Stables of the Thouars Château. These stables have served as a workshop, school for young ladies, a prison, a station during WWII, then a college for boys. Parts of it burned down, were rebuilt, and today it houses on the first floor the Regional Centre for the Resistance and Freedom fighters of WWII, and on the second floor, a Geology Museum.
|Site of Resistance|
The upstairs museum was bland at first glance - just a lot of rocks. But then as you read a bit more, you started to notice the different quarries in this area and what they produce. The "tuffault" is what the Troglodytes dug up to make their homes within the ground. The museum also had these short videos that covered the soil in relation to how they affect the wines, their influence on the type of buildings that are found in the area, even how these materials influence sculpture.
While we were in the museum, a great storm was building outside that rattled the shutters and whistled through the halls. We walked home just before the deluge arrived.