I frequently find myself on the TER to and from Toulouse. Along that line, about half an hour from Auch, is a stop called “Gimont-Cahuzac.” There’s a small old church nestled against the tracks and if you crane your neck while pulling in or out of the station you can see in the distance a small village rising up on a hill.
The name “Gimont-Cahuzac” is also ridiculously fun to say, especially when you imitate the French train conductor’s accent and intonation.
My bubbling excitement each time we passed by quickly led to a running joke about my obsessed desire to visit this podunk French town. It was similar to joking about liking a boy so your middle school peers wouldn’t think you actually liked him. But I really did like Will Hollingsworth. And I really did want to visit Gimont-Cahuzac.
So when Tuesday dawned blue-skied and sunny—and each of my classes at each of my schools was unexpectedly cancelled (the teachers all went en grève against proposed changes to the weekly school schedule)—I decided it was time.
I had a lovely morning poking around the dilapidated old town center.
And tiptoeing through the 14th-century Eglise Notre Dame du Gimontois.
And creeping through the local cemetery to ogle some of those miniature shrines so characteristic of French graveyards.
Then, since I was in the midst of a veritable gersois adventure, I couldn’t pass up a foie gras* sandwich at the Ducs de Gascogne boutique (after visiting its itty bitty museum and learning that the domestication and gavage of geese and ducks goes all the way back to the Egyptians).
And after lunch, I took a stroll down a country lane through the flooded campagne to check out the ruins of a 12th-century abbey.
My last stop was the aforementioned church along the tracks, the 16th-century Chapelle Notre Dame de Cahuzac—apparently one of the oldest places of pilgrimage in Gascony.
As one of my simplest and most favorite day trips, Gimont-Cahuzac proved itself worthy of my schoolgirl crush.
*Fun fact: Gimont has a bi-weekly marché au gras (“fat market”) Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Mom, should we go?
Click here for more photos from Gimont-Cahuzac.