Nov 19, 2010

Images of Gers

Another private swap, this time with Anthony who was on vacations in France. He was visting his family in Gascogne Region in the South-West of France. As he writes me, Gascogne is famous for its gastronomy like foie-gras or armagnac wine. It is also, as he informs me, the birthplace of Mosquateer D'Artagnan.

Gascony was historically inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque. The name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque. From medieval times until the nineteenth century, the Gascon language was spoken, which is a regional variant of the Occitan Language. It is also home to the hero of the play Cyrano de Bergerac (though this character has little in common with the real Cyrano de Bergerac, who was a Parisian) and to Henry III of Navarre who later became king of France as Henry IV.
Gascony is also famed for its douceur de vivre ("sweetness of life"): its food, its medieval towns and villages locally called bastides nested amidst green rolling hills, its sunny weather, the beauty of its landscape, with the occasional distant views of the Pyrenees mountain range, all contribute to the popularity of Gascony as a tourist destination. Due to rural exodus, Gascony is one of the least populated areas of western Europe, and so it has recently become a haven for stressed urbanites of northern Europe (chiefly France, England, and the Benelux nations) who, in search of quiet and peace of mind, are increasingly buying second homes in Gascony. [wikipedia]

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