After all the eating and drinking and dancing, we were worn out, and happily took the first opportunity of sneaking away (wolf-like walking), and going to the Prrnz treehouse. And we were so tired that we only stretched out on the bed and immediately went to sleep. I woke up at least once (I do not know what time it was) and heard music, and realized that the party was still going on.
In fact, the party was still going on in the morning. A few people were sitting near the fire, and singing something in a tired, drunk fashion. A few others were lying on the ground snoring.
We had decided to honeymoon in France, because BabyJane had never visited there. In detail, we were going to Auvergne, a mountainous section in the middle of France, because I had lived there a long time, and it is very beautiful and interesting.
We travelled by bus from Grasic, and by train to France from Loglandia, through several intervening countries. Even though the trip was long, it was both comfortable and interesting. We travelled first class, in a compartment equipped with a bed, a shower, and a toilet. The adjoining car was the restaurant of the train, and its food was delicious and plentiful. And there was also a combination bar and observation car, with two levels. You, Esteemed Reader, are sufficiently expert in geography, and know that the several countries between Loglandia and France (for example Switzerland), have beautiful landscapes.
We arrived in Lyon, the second largest city in France, about noon. In Lyon, two large rivers, the Saone and the Rhone, combine to become the Rhone. The Rhone, after that, flows southward into the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the junction of the two rivers, the centre of the city is situated on a peninsula. One cannot walk far without seeing at least one of the rivers, and several beautiful bridges. Lyon, in my opinion, is approximately equal in beauty to Grasic. In the evening we walked down a small street, all of whose buildings are restaurants. BabyJane and I looked at the their menus, and tried to choose a restaurant to eat in. Hoover smelled the French food that he was not accustomed to, and found small pieces of the food near the tables outside the restaurants on the sidewalk.
There were no vehicles there.
The next day, we boarded a small train that goes to a city called Lepuy, situated in the south part of Auvergne. The trip to Lepuy from Lyon lasts two hours. The small train went slowly, along the Loire river. The river there was in a gorge between steep walls, and there was a castle in ruins above a large rockpile. The valley occasionally widened, and had fertile fields and many white cattle peacefully grazing. There are many hills here in the shape of breasts. After that, the valley again narrowed, and the two walls were vertical rock faces.
LePuy (the name means 'The Peak') is located in a region of ancient volcanos. Like many French cities, the central part is located on a small steep mountain, with the modern buildings encircling it. On its peak is a statue, representing the Virgin and Jesus as a child. It is a large statue, and one can go inside it, climb the stairs, and look over the entire city from the eye of the Virgin. The statue is red, and made from iron produced by melting down the cannon from an historical war. The first time I saw that statue, I thought that it was very ugly, and hated it. However, despite that I still think it is ugly, I am strangely fond of it. It's a distinctive part of the city, and I certainly like the city.
In fact, in the central part of Lepuy, there are two mountains. The second mountain is as high as the mountain of the Virgin, and very steep. Its rock sides are almost vertical. This mountain is called the Needle. On the peak of the Needle is a small church. There is no road from the bottom to the peak, but there is a long staircase. I cannot imagine building a church at the top of a staircase of 350 steps.
BabyJane and I climbed the Needle, but Hoover shook either his head or his tail, I don't know, informing us that the church did not interest him, and there were too many steps. He stayed in the small park situated at the bottom of the Needle, and chatted with the other dogs, and begged sandwiches from the several people that ate there at noon.
We remained in Lepuy two days, and looked at all the interesting things. For example, we visited the cathedral, which is located on the mountain of the Virgin, but below the statue. The cathedral contains a famous status of the Virgin, that is black. In the middle ages, Lepuy was on the pilgrimage route of many devout, on the way to Spain from many countries. In fact, the devout then and now made pilgrimage visits from all countries to Lepuy, carrying scallop shells, because their pilgrimage was to the tomb of St. James, in Compostela.
BabyJane likes lace, and as Lepuy is famous for its many lace products, she wanted to purchace many such as lace tablecloths etc. I thought I would please Mrs. Snorrydin, by giving her a lace tablecloth, although I certainly do not like lace tablecloths.
We left Lepuy, and went in a rented car to the house of one of my friends that had invited us.
Patrick is a baron, and lives in an old castle. It is located on the very steep side of a valley. The back part of the building, in fact, is built in a cave. In the vicinity of the castle, are several other caves which prehistoric peoples lived in long ago.
Patrick is a baron, and his ancestors had a large estate, and were rich and powerful. However, his grandfather was crazy about gambling, and lost their estate. Consequently Patrick is now poor, despite living in a castle. He is a potter, and sells his pots to the tourists that visit the castle.
We drove to the castle on the steep and narrow road. We stopped in the courtyard in front of the castle. An army of dogs poured barking down the wide staircase leading to the castle door. Hoover also barked, and introduced himself to the dogs. Much anal smelling exploration took place. Patrick had heard much barking, and came down the steps and greeted us. His clothing, and even his hair were strewn with clay. He had a long scruffy beard, and his pants were torn.
He spoke to me in French "Finally!, It seems I haven't seen your ugly face in a hundred years, Old Friend. And what a surprise! Why did this beautiful woman marry you? I am sad to say that I do not speak Loglan. I will teach French to your wife. And if she will strip naked, I will sculpt her."
I replied to him in French "You devil, you haven't changed a bit. Fortunately BabyJane doesn't understand French."
I then said to her in Loglan "Patrick complimented you on your beauty. He often talks like a madman, but is kind and shy, nevertheless.
We entered the castle by climbing a helical rock staircase. The suite where Patrick was living was located in the highest tower of the castle. However, his workplace was located on the ground floor. His wine cellar was in the basement.
It was his one valuable possession.
In Patrick's suite, BabyJane and I met Madame Lefèbvre, an old nanny of his. I believe that she had been his father's nanny also. Anyway, she was very old, and walked with a cane. Her eyes were full of life, and saw everything that was going on. She was suspicious, and suspected everything that could hurt Patrick. However, she had known me ever since I was a boy, and was secretly fond of me. She said "Mr. Alex, you won't drink all of Mr. Patrick's wine, I hope.
All his friends drink too much, to my sorrow and annoyance. Hello, Mrs. Alex. You must not let Mr. Alex drink too much. Drunk husbands often beat their wives, so watch out. You are too thin. You should eat more. Come with me".
Madame Lefèbvre beckoned to BabyJane and went to the door. BabyJane looked at me, shrugged her shoulders, and followed her. Patrick said "She thinks that all young women are too thin.The average Auvergne woman is fat. They eat lentils every day".
The Auvergne farmers grow many dark green lentils, that are a specialty of the region. A big plateful of lentils along with a large pork sausage is the normal meal of a typical farmer. So the Auvergne people are spherical. Their width is equal to their height.
The room where BabyJane and I were to sleep is the secondmost impressive bedroom in the castle. The ceiling is very high, and completely decorated with sculptured flowers and fruit. On the wall hang several large dusky tapestries, seemingly very old. One of them has a picture of many fat naked women playing with sheep. The other one has a picture of a man on horseback with a long wig. Behind the man, there is a battle. However, he is not watching it, but looking at the camera, so to speak, with a small smile. The bed is a four-poster, roofed by an old dusty canopy. Underneath the bed is a large chamberpot, because the toilet is distant. There is no washbasin with a tap, but a large jug with cold water, and a bowl. However, the view of the valley from the window is astonishing, like flying.
Patrick guided us through the several caves near the castle, which were inhabited by prehistoric people. He showed us a hole in the floor and told us that the prehistoric women had crushed seeds in it. Hoover sniffed it and was disappointed by it, expecting the odour of prehistoric food. BabyJane took several samples of fungi and algae that she found in the cave. We hoped that Frederf would be able to study the prehistoric people fom them.
While we were visiting Patrick, we took long walks in the forest, and swam in the stream that flowed from the mountain to the Loire at the bottom of the valley. The water there was completely clean and clear, and very cold.
One evening we watched the television news. The newsreader was talking about Rockwell. Seemingly, Rockwell had published that, with the help of a new very powerful computer, they would soon complete the development of a new form of energy, that would permit it to use a superconductor that did not need refrigeration. BabyJane and I looked at each other and said 'Professor Smith'.
I discussed the significance of the news with BabyJane, and we decided to return to Loglandia, and consult Frederf about it. We had enjoyed traveling in France, however both of us, to be honest, were impatient and wanted to be again occupied with the instruction of Frederf. To let you in on a secret, we are both workaholics.
We invited Patrick to dine on the tastiest food in the best restaurant of Lepuy, and the next day, boarded the train and left France for Loglandia.