Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Worth a detour?

The least interesting tourist attractions are normally indicated in the Michelin Green Guide as being “worth a detour”. However, it does not mean automatically, that when certain attractions are not mentioned in the Green Guide, they are NOT worth a visit. Yesterday it was time again for a bit of analysis and investigation, in order to test the following equation: “Not being mentioned ïn a travel guide = Not worth a visit”.
In the nearby village Ameugny there is a tiny little shop selling “elf” related stuff, such as postcards with elves on them, plastic elves, terracotta elves, bakelite elves, etc. Look at the website
Behind the shop, called “Pays des Fées” lies, completely invisible from the road, a garden, the “Jardin des Fées”. Entrance fee € 2.50. After having made some overtime in order to afford this extravaganza, we plucked up the courage and bought tickets. The lady, who did the guided tour, was acting a bit strange to say the least. But, when you have been living where she does, at a stone throw away from a spiritual centre of a slightly different order (Taizé), obviously getting hardly any clientele from there, one can imagine that she has been getting a bit strange throughout the years. Once we had passed the barrier, it became clear how gigantic the garden was. Arab countries used to issue stamps bigger than her piece of land… But maybe the attractions in the garden were worth a visit. The pièce de résistance was a grotto, which entrance was supposed to look like the mouth of a dragon, including fearfully real-looking teeths. Not much less attractive was a little pond, fed from the mouth of a giant.
She (or her father, who had started this wonderful fairyland before he passed away) had been hiding all sorts of noise making gadgets in the grass, on tree trunks, in trees, such as bellowing cows, squeaking frogs, tinkling elves, all hidden in secret places, and activated by the innocent visitor. To give the whole experience an even more interesting aura, she was telling about the wonderful healing capacity of such well known plants as Busy Lizzies, Forget Me Nots, buttercups, etc. A new world opened itself to me…
I think the above is sufficient empirical proof for the thesis : “Not being mentioned ïn a travel guide = Not worth a visit”. I would advise anyone, who is passing by here, that the € 2.50 are far better spent on a cold beer on the terrace of L’Annexe on the Voie Verte, or La Terrace, Les Blés d’Or or Café de la Poste in Cormatin….
The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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