Pérouges & Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac, ‘On the Road’

 

I‘ve always liked the feeling of the road, the last-minute plan to take a trip anywhere just to get out of the same four walls and breathe a different air, pack bags with just the bare necessities – there’s something exciting about it, something refreshing and vivifying. So when I’m asked if I’m up for a two-day trip an hour-drive south of home, I cannot not be up for it!  

The day after visiting the Bird Park in Villars-les-Dombes, that bank holiday weekend at the end of May was the perfect moment to take quite a detour and go wander in the surroundings. First thing on the list – right after a properly French breakfast with jam on slices of freshly-baked baguette – thus was to hit the road towards Pérouges, a medieval walled village that dominates a small hill overlooking the plain of the Ain River. After walking up and down the tiny, cobblestoned streets of the ancient town, where houses are covered with bright red roses and where all bistros serve the unmissable local specialty, namely the galette of Pérouge, it was (as always) still way too early to head back home, so a short car-ride later, a door opened to another medieval French village, Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne.

Apart from the only open restaurant, the rest of the town was as quiet as a mouse, which left the streets free to walk through and the landscapes clear to view. Although less traces of the Middle Age were left there than in Pérouges, Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne is nevertheless an extremely charming little town painted in many different pastel colours, all coexisting in perfect harmony. The morning and early afternoon flew by and the next thing to do was obviously refuel with some food before driving back and ending that lovely escape at the foot of the Rock of Solutré… 

Pérouges

Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne 

Nearby Villars-les-Dombes 

Back to the Rock of Solutré 

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