An American Expat in
the South of France

(30 October 2005)

Espezel is the largest town on the Plateau de Sault about 20 miles south of Chalabre towards the Pyrénées. (another site here).

On 29-30 October, Espezel hosted its
28th Foire de l'Elevage et de l'Agriculture, basically a giant County Fair / Market place that took over the town, its old streets and the adjacent commons.

En route to Espezel

To go to Espezel, we traveled south to Puivert,then took a small, winding road that cut through the foothills, still dressed in their beautiful Autumnal colors.

The road from Puivert to Espezel (north)

The hamlet of
nestled in the foothills

The Pyrénées foothills,
above L'Escale

The road (south); JM to the right, looking at Beanie (left)

The foothills
of the Pyrénées.

The road (north);
autumn has arrived

The road tunnels
through the mountain


The foothills
of the Pyrénées


Up on the
Plateau de Sault

The streets of Espezel

The Church

The Calvary


The Town Hall

Going to the Market...

The "Farmers' Market"
is open!

The market stretches from the village's entrance...

...to the narrow city streets by the Town Hall

Join us in our promenade...

Stop at the cheese-maker...

...the baker...

...And its delicious breads!

The Star-Spangled Banner is there

The man sells sausages

Another cheese-maker
(with a mustache!)

Let's buy flowers...

...fresh produce...


...Fritters made with Stinging Nettles...

...Local wines and
pain d'épices...

...some of the delicious local potatoes!


Randy buys a liquor made with local herbs; Maggie prefers the hams

Bring on the ranchers...

Another section of the Fair, held on the local commons, featured a large selection of cattle, horses, etc.

A (small) portion of the commons (the sheep pen); behind it, a display of farm machinery

Baa... baa...

Donkey rides for kids...


More horses...


Another sheep pen

More horses