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Day 22: Dirty Names?

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the name of our city tonight was worth saving. Before you go any further, rest assured that this blog continues to be rated G—slipping into PG at worst. Anyways, we are staying in…Condom. Not to be confused with the word spelled the same in English. The origin of the name of this town comes from the ancient Gallic language and means ”market of the confluence.” Condom in English is actually préservatif in French. But it leads to some funny comments.

There is a federation of French cities with unusual names. We passed through Montcuq several weeks ago. Because the final consonant in French is often silent it is pronounced the same way as you would say my…umm…behind, or in French, derrière. It has led to an entire post card industry and an appearance by a French comedian doing a tour of the place on TV who started with, “I am happy to show you my [derriere] on TV. Rather than risk our family friendly reputation I will refer you to this article about towns in France that belong to that federation. I’ll close the topic by mentioning that when we lived in Germany in the late 80s we did indeed visit the town called Bitche.

Today was a short day because we chose to divide the long segment to Condom in two. It led to us staying in a small resort last night where I actually was able to swim in a pool. And today we spent time in Castelnau-Sur-L’Auvignon, population 145. This small place was a hotbed for the resistance during the Second World War. Several weeks after D-Day in 1945 members of the resistance fought a battle against Nazi troops. A number of resistance members died as a result and the town was burned to the ground in reprisal. But the town earned the coveted Croix de Guerre (Cross of War medal) for their gallantry and they take great pride in their heroism.

Scenes from the trail