A Short Rendezvous in Magny - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

May 27, 2022 to May 28, 2022

A Short Rendezvous in Magny

I came to Magny to visit Christine, whom I've known for almost forty years, since I was a postdoctoral fellow with her former husband Marc at an NIH laboratory in Montana. Christine and Marc both have a great joie de vivre and they were the first to expose me to a French passion for food, art, discourse, and life. Although Christine and I became good friends, I lost touch with her, the result of my poor record of communicating with distant friends and extended family. I reconnected with her in 2015 when I came to Paris for my sabbatical, and since then we've managed to see each other one or two times whenever I'm in France. In fact, Christine is the person who really encouraged me to take my first solo extended bicycle tour, so you all should thank her for my current obsession with touring and journaling. Or not.

Friday, May 27

My stay in Magny was short but busy (not counting my extended nap time yesterday!). I spent the morning working on the journal while waiting for the first big event of today - food! Christine and her husband Christian were treating me to lunch at one of the best restaurants in the area, J'MCA, which is pronounced like j'aime ça -I love this. It was about a twenty minute drive along the small roads of rural France to Coulanges-la-Vineuse, a commune of about 900 and a designated City of Character. I found it to be a bit odd riding in a car and I kept imagining myself cycling the route. The food was both delicious and interesting, traditional and modern, from the gazpacho amuse bouche to the rhubarb tart with strawberry ice cream. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area.

The afternoon task was distributing flyers to all the mailboxes in Magny announcing the upcoming concert by Christine’s choral group. It was a huge task as there are almost twenty houses in Magny! Seriously though, it was an interesting look beyond the street facade into backyards and alleyways of a typical French hamlet. Afterwards, Christine left for choral rehearsal while I hung out with Christian, working on the journal and watching the French Open.

Church in Coulanges-la-Vineuse
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Christian and Christine in J'MCA
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My dessert of cream-filled chou pastry with sticky caramel
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Christine's rhubarb tart with homemade strawberry sorbet was the winner of the dessert taste-off
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Digging in
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More poppies
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Distributing concert flyers in Magny
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Main street Magny
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A rear view of Christine and Christian's house - an expanse not fully appreciated from the street
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Two more Magny houses view from the backyard
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Sunday, May 28

I had originally planned to take the train back to Paris today, but tomorrow is Mother’s Day in France and Christine was driving to Paris to visit her mother and two of her sisters. She offered to give me a ride, provided Vivien George could fit in her car – which she did. We left Magny a little past ten, traveling the back roads to Auxerre where we could pick up the autoroute to Paris. We had an unexpected stop at a farm stand selling cherries – they’re just coming into season and the early varieties are Christine’s favorite. Once in Paris, we enjoyed burgers at one of my neighborhood cafés and then Christine was off to her mother’s, laden with four kilos cherries for her mother and sisters.

Stop the car!
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The early cherry varieties are just coming into season
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Cherries with a smile
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Four kilos and a big smile
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After leaving Christine, I dropped Vivien George off at the local bike shop for a “security check” and light tune-up.  Then it was back to my Paris apartment where I’ll spend the next ten days getting ready for my trip to Slovenia. Oh, and there’s a couple of touring vagabonds due in town on Tuesday that I promised to show around Paris. Signing off until then.

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