Quaint and Quiet: Part Deux

June 2, 2010 at 10:32 PM 2 comments

I don’t know if this is one of those had-to-be-there-moments or if anyone will find this amusing, but as we were driving into Mont-Saint-Jean, we noted that they had a tennis court. That seemed like a big thing for such a small town, so after John pointed it out, I responded with a “haaaaay.” Now, it’s not often that when you respond in that manner the next thing you pass in your car are 23 bales of hay, but that’s what happened next. We bought thought that was rather silly.

This is Mont-Saint-Jean. Bienvenue!

Anyway, once we got settled in our room, we went to explore the town on foot. As we came to the one fork in the road, we saw the restaurant – as in the only one in the town. There were a few arrow-shaped signs on the road through town with the word “restaurant” painted on them. Well, we found the restaurant. Thanks, signs!

Across from the restaurant was a small plaza of sorts, which contained a memorial to all the men from the town who had died in World War I. It was a long list – maybe 20-25 names – for such a small town. Next to the monument was a well. There were two wells in the town, one of which was completely open, so I could see all the way to the bottom. All the other wells I’d seen in my life had either been filled in or covered, so seeing down a real well was exciting for me.  Nearby, there was also an archway that served as the official entrance to the city, and in the old days, there were guards that stood at this archway to keep lepers out. Apparently the town just down the way from Mont-Saint-Jean was full of lepers and the town’s name even warned of the sickness there. It was known as Malades, which means diseased.

The WWI Memorial in Mont-Saint-Jean

Gotta love the wells!

The old gate to Mont-Saint-Jean

Further down the road (and up a hill), was a château/castle, which is in private ownership. And by private ownership, I don’t mean that it’s a privately owned museum or restaurant. It’s someone’s private residence! Wowzers. Next door to the château was the town’s church. A placard by the very short door notes that the crypt below the church dates from about 900 AD.

After reaching this part of town, we were on the outskirts already, so we headed back. We got to the fork in the road and headed up another uphill road, where we came upon a medieval hospital. Only the chapel and women’s ward are still standing, but it was amazing to explore what remains of the building and be able to imagine what it would have been like to have been in the hospital there. I could almost hear the horses stopping outside the street as if a visitor came to call.

Walking back to the bed and breakfast, we passed some roosters that John called out to. They must have thought he was a cute little hen because they all came pouring out of the coop and looked rather miffed when they saw two humans staring back at them. I loved hearing all the animals while walking through the town – there were also cows and donkeys in fields directly next to the road.

Little town it’s a quiet village.
Everyday like the one before.
Little town full of little people, waking up to say.


Entry filed under: Our Goings On, Travel. Tags: , , , , .

Quaint and Quiet Quaint and Quiet: Part Trois

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela  |  June 3, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    Mont-Saint-Jean is so charming! I think I could give up city life and live in a small town if it looked like that!

    • 2. osarah  |  June 3, 2010 at 2:41 PM

      Me too. It was so incredibly relaxing.

      You’d have the added bonus of actually speaking the language, too! I only took a semester of French in college. And though I loved it, I didn’t continue. Now, I really wish I had!


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