Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Lindre or L’Indre ?

On our way to Bérig-Vintrage (Moselle department – Lorraine region) and our Chambre d’hôtes for the night, we drove through the town of Dieuze. In and around it we noticed several signposts directing visitors to the ‘Etang de Lindre’ (nothing to do with the Indre River in the Loire Valley!).This vast lake seems to be a very popular Sunday outing destination for the local population. So we decided to go and look for ourselves what made this place so special.

It was late afternoon by the time we arrived at the lake. The parking lot was full and we drove around for a while without finding a place to park. Finally, we found a little spot to leave the car, and we joined the steady stream of people walking towards the lake.

An information board taught us that the lake was created in the Middle Ages (10th – 11th century). Its total surface is 620 km². Over the ages it successively belonged to the Dukes of Lorraine, the King of France and the French Empire. In 1976 the local council – Le Conseil Général de la Moselle – acquired the lake in order to preserve the quality of its natural and archaeological environment. Nationally as well as on a European level, it is renowned for the richness and diversity of its fauna and flora. The lake also hosts France’s largest piscicultural farm. The proceeds of this farm and those of the agricultural and sylvicultural activities are used for the upkeep and the preservation of this exceptional site.

A few people sat under a walnut tree enjoying the peace and quiet. Most, however, set out for a walk which would lead them halfway round the lake to the Maison du Pays des Etangs. Some passers-by told us that the ‘Maison’ hosts a permanent exhibition about the history of the lake and the local fauna and flora.

It was drawing late, and we didn’t have enough time to walk all the way to the ‘Maison’. So we shot some photos of the view and had a look at the basins of the piscicultural farm. The gates being closed, it was impossible to walk straight up to the edge of the basins to get a good look at the fish; which was a pity as I like to watch fish and the supple way they glide through the water.

Then it was time to move on to our final destination for the day: La Dame Blanche!


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