It’s a pretty Saturday morning in Bourges.

I am leading a group of North American travelers around Paris and “the Heart of France.” The Heart of France. Bourges qualifies indeed. For one, it’s located in a region named “Centre-Val de Loire.”

It’s almost my neck of the woods. I enjoy visiting this historic town and celebrated a birthday here just a few weeks before the country shut down in March 2020.

My favorite part? Strolling through the narrow lanes of the historic district lined with boutiques and half-timbered homes. If I am in town at the right time, I shop at the covered food market. There I visit the old-fashioned “rémouleur” (who’s sharpened my Opinel picnic knife on a couple of occasions).

We arrived last night and toured the cathedral before sampling a hearty dinner at a local restaurant near place Gordaine. We slept well.

This morning travelers and their tour guide have a few hours to rest or explore before moving on to the next stop.

After breakfast, I head out of our comfortable hotel and walk down a long flight of stairs by le Palais Jacques Coeur, once a lavish residence, now a landmark managed by Le Centre des Monuments Nationaux.

In the 15th century, Jacques Coeur, a successful businessman and financier, paid a high price for showing off his wealth and overshadowing the King of France. Jacques Coeur, Gilles Berthelot, Jacques de Beaune-Semblançay, Fouquet: Don’t they ever learn, those powerful men?

“Pour vivre heureux, vivons caché” (to live happily let’s live in hiding) a favorite French saying that must have been coined after their time.

I don’t go straight to the market. It’s more fun to explore the peaceful streets first, and I savor the moment.

Sidewalks are narrow near the neighborhood church, Eglise Saint-Pierre.

I hear a sound behind me and step aside to look back.

A gentleman is walking towards me, a vision in white from his hair to his comfortable, slightly creased linen attire.

Summery vibes. It’s been a lovely week in June.

He nods at me and walks by slowly, slightly stooped. The years have taken a toll.

On his feet, sandals. He is ready to tackle Bourges’ cobbled streets.

Old school elegance… All his outfit needs is a bright flower in his jacket’s buttonhole.
Or does it?

He is pulling France’s favorite shopping accessory, “le caddie” also known as “le chariot” or “la poussette.”

Magenta. A welcome pop of color.

Off he goes, leading the way towards Bourges’ covered food market, la Halle au Blé.

My French life.

Véronique - France with Véro
Véronique of France with Véro

Véronique of France with Véro

Vero shares her homeland weekly on social media with virtual tours, photo essays, live events and other publications at France with Vero. Learn more.

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  1. Richard on November 26, 2023 at 11:59 am

    And of course the photo is very patriotique – bleu/blanc/rouge…

    • Véro on November 26, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      Bien sûr. 🙂

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