The best and the worst in France

My parents in law invited the whole family for a weekend to Crest in the department of Drome. A town I wouldn’t put on the list of the 100 must see towns in the world, but everything holds surprises. As always, family outings are mostly about good food and good wine. The first evening we ate reasonably well. The next day we visited Crest with the highest dungeon of France. In the evening, we went to the Pizzaria Di Angelo … If you ever happen to be in Crest, avoid this „restaurant“ at all cost. We were greeted with the information, that only half of the guests were allowed to eat a pizza, the others had to eat something else, otherwise we would no be served. Woha (brain to blood preassure – rise)! Finally we ordered only two pizzas. Me and my parents in law ordered Raviol – a local speciality, basically small raviolis – which came clearly from the micro wave. It was disgusting. What happened to the pride of France, the kitchen. I would be ashamed to serve food like that. The pizzas would be a reason for Italy to declare war. They put french Emmentaler (which is an insult to the Swiss) on it instead of mozzarella. Yucks.

The next day we went to Saoû. Now that was something else. We enjoied local specialities under the trees on the central square (if you need soft drinks, you are out of luck here, no Coke or anything like that … but the wine was incredible). Since every meal starts late and takes at least two to three hours, we skipped supper and went to a vocal jazz festival in Crest.

Monday was the absolute highlight for me. The town of Cliousclat is almost to nice to be true. If you like pottery, that would be haven. My haven was La Fontaine – It’s about as close you can get to the perfect french restaurant. I don’t mean the expensive places with Pierre as your waiter (who wants to know the first name of the waiter anyway). No, sitting in the street in the shade, talk to other guests, kids running around and everybody is just extremely friendly, because they like what they do. Regional and seasonal food (mostly), perfect wine. That’s life. If I ever happen to have a big company and need a new headquarter, I would go to a small french town like Cliousclat, just to get lunch every day in small restaurants. Who cares about free fruits, massage, gym or meeting rooms, designed to the latest scientific findings in face-to-face collaboration, if you just could meet somewhere in the shades of a nut tree to discuss the next project? Customers would always come back to me, just because of the food they get during meetings (and I truly hate this new mode of standing during lunch, „Stehlunch“ they call it in German. Horrible. Where will it end).

The only setback was the nuclear power station a few kilometers down the valley. That really spoiled the view. That should be reason enough for France to get out of nuclear power.

I think we should do the same thing somewhere in Italy. Could be fun, too.

I even had time (while driving the sleeping family back to the hotel – don’t volunteer to drive and do a good job) to muse about Notes. Where is that Beta for Vulcan? There aren’t any news since LS11. It’s Q3 already! I am really curious about it. It is a crossroad for me. Either it has the Wow factor or it’s time to move on. We are looking into Zimbra, too, which looks promising as a Domino replacement.

PS: Notice to IBM Suisse Romand or SNOUG SR. Where is the Connections Account you promised at Givaudan? I am waiting to get more into this social stuff.