Awaken to Ornans, France

Bonjour my friends,

There’s a little village nestled not far from the German border in the Franche Compte region of France known as “the Little Venice of France”. It’s ‘Ornans’- home of the artist Gustave Courbet. When I stand on its footbridge over the River Loue which snakes through this very pretty village which Courbet celebrated, I can’t help but think that her inhabitants remind me of the river dwellers in Kenneth Graham’s children’s book  ‘ The Wind in The Willows’ living on or near the river and deriving so much pleasure from it.


But then again this could be YOU on your journey through blessed France, soaking up the sun in Ornans beside the river as you catch a drip of escaping ice cream with your tongue or maybe watch a babbling procession of the best stories in the world with locals fishing for trout further upstream lashing their lines to a rhythm of life second to none.

‘The Wind in the Willows’ reads:

…”He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before–this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver–glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated….”

My French Awakening was and you will be too.

Go. Experience Ornans.


Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@ 2012 Therese Waddell


10 Responses to “Awaken to Ornans, France”

  1. I love Wind in the Willows and hope the inhabitants of Ornan are more rats than toads.

    • I’m sure that there would be quite a few wise badgers and humble moles lurking near the river as well. So nice to know you like ‘The Wind in The Willows’ as much as I do! Best Wishes, therese

  2. Ornan, Little Venice of France, it is already on my calendar as one of the many things to see when I will go to France next Spring.

    • Do tell me how you got on in beautiful Ornans! Where did you end up staying? Kind regards, Therese

    • I haven’t yet, but after reading your post, I put Ornan in the list of places to visit it when I will be in France next Spring. Do you have any suggestions?

      • Hi Valentina,
        Happy New Year to you. Just to let you know I have a couple of places that you might like in Ornans. If it’s the right time of year and you’re a camping girl, the Camping Le Domaine de Chanet is very popular.If I were to go to Ornans again, I’d give La Table de Gustave a go. It looked really lovely when we were there and so convenient. You might be able to get some great deals if you book early. Let me know how you get on. Happy 2013. Therese

  3. Therese, thank you so much for these indications. I will try La Table de Gustave for sure. Happy New Year.

  4. Pauline Says:

    My husband, a Canadian and I, born in Paris but living in Camore Alberta, Canada drove through the Valley de la Loue… And fell instantly in love with the town of Ornans. It took us 12 years to find it but for the last 13 years we have owned an enchanting home there right on the river and we never tire of it’s beauty. It also a completely renovated museum of the legendarary artist Gustave Courbet. We will be there for the summer in two weeks

    • Hi Pauline,
      sorry about the delay but I’ve been in France and its so nice to have these emails telling me of their French adventures even when I come home. you’re extending my holidays in a way! yes, Ornans has a wonderful museum with Corbet as its heart. I love the walk over the bridge to get to it, did’t you?
      How did the trip go? You must tell us what you think. Best wishes, Therese

  5. carolinebotwin Says:

    Want to read more about Omans….

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