Come September 1st in the Greater Daglan Area, it’s as if someone closes the shutters all at once. The curtains come down. The door is slammed shut.
In other words, after the two months of July and August, the Tourist Season is over.
This takes a bit of getting used to, for a few reasons. Perhaps most notably, businesses aren’t open as much, or for as long. This means we have to plan our shopping a bit more carefully.
For example, Daglan’s 8 à Huit convenience store is now closed on Mondays, and its business hours aren’t as generous. The bio (organic foods) store in St. Cybranet is also closed on Mondays now.
There’s a similar story at the popular Fabrice Le Chef boutique in the heart of Daglan. It was open every day in the Season, and stayed open through the day, so lunches could be served on its patio. But have a look at the chalkboard out front now — there’s a two-and-a-half-hour break during the middle of the day; it’s open only a half day on Sunday (the day for Daglan’s weekly market); and it’s closed on Monday:
Our Sunday market is now much quieter, and as you can see in this photo, taken at about noon yesterday, it’s a bit short of actual shoppers:
Campgrounds are popular in the GDA, and account for a huge proportion of our tourists. Now the several campgrounds in the area are either closed until next spring, or emptying out fast. The tents and caravans have been packed, and the visitors are probably already back home in the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium, with their kids in school. Here’s Les Cascades, just north of Daglan, looking distinctly quiet yesterday:
Now that we’re at mid-September, there’s a change in the air too. Actually, the weather has been just about perfect lately — with cool, almost cold nights, cool mornings, and warm, sometimes hot, days.
But I figure that the night air is just cold enough to encourage the shrubs and trees to start taking on their autumn colours. Here’s a walnut grove, next to Daglan’s rugby pitch, starting to show yellow in the trees’ leaves, and signaling that the harvest is just around the corner:
Tobacco has already been harvested, from what I can see, and the fields of corn are to be harvested soon. In fact, this field of corn looks like it could use harvesting pretty quickly, before it dies of old age:
Saddest of all are the huge fields of sunflowers that are scattered throughout the GDA. At the key T-junction in St. Cybranet, north of Daglan, there’s a particularly impressive field of sunflowers that now seems downright gloomy, with dull and drooping heads and leaves that are going grey. Here’s how it looked yesterday:
Of course it’s not all gloom and doom. Despite the closed-for-business Mondays, I still maintain that September is the best of all possible months to visit the GDA.
Without the hordes of tourists, traffic is much lighter, the weather tends to be good, and it’s easier to get into restaurants and various tourist attractions. In Daglan itself, the popular tea salon Le Thé Vert is open all of September (every day but Wednesday), and seems to be doing a brisk trade throughout the day, especially at lunch time.
On the home front, we are expecting two more sets of guests before the month ends, so there’s lots more sightseeing and fine dining to come.
And to end on a bright note, have a look at this little guy — proudly lighting up the area just next to that sad-looking field of sunflowers in St. Cybranet:
Shine on, little guy!