I remember seeing the renovation work that was being done to the old troglodyte dwellings when we were in Turquant in 2008. At the time however nothing indicated that a revival of the artisan village was imminent.
After finishing lunch we walked back to the car and drove down the road, following the restaurant’s owner directions. Before long we saw the intriguing and oddly shaped caves of the artisan village. We parked the car in a large empty car park that apparently was part of the premises of a ‘Pommes tapées’ producer. We assumed that it was only meant for his customers, but as there were no other people around we took the risk. When I looked up to the cave that was located high up in the flank of the cliff, I saw a man with a black hat staring at us. I attracted J.L. attention to it and suggested we’d move the car. We were about to do so when I noticed that the man was rather motionless. Either he was very angry about us parking there or it was a dummy. It turned out to be the latter!
A very angry ... dummy!
It was warm and sunny and the walk down the road to the woodworker’s workshop, called ‘Le Gîte’, was very pleasant. When we got there, we found the place deserted. The door to the little shop was closed and nothing was moving behind the windows of the house. We therefore decided to try our luck at the main cave where most of the artisans’ work was on display.
The entrance into Alladin's cave.
The spacious, high-vaulted troglodyte room could have been a copy of Aladdin’s cave. There was handmade jewellery, mirrors with intricate handmade frames, pottery, paintings, cutlery, ... I immediately fell in love with a 50cm x 50cm mirror, which would have looked great in my mother’s newly decorated kitchen. The price was bit steep though, especially as I wasn’t sure that she was going to like it as much as I did.
While I went outside to ring her on my mobile phone and describe the mirror to her – reception being poor inside the cave – my friends asked the saleslady about the woodworker’s shop. By the time I got back, the woman had called the artisan to announce our visit.
(to be continued)