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Fran had met Anne de Ravel, who moved back to France from New York City after 30 years abroad to assist her brother in rehabilitating their family's ancestral home in Soustre a few years ago. She lives there now with her father, and gives tours to visitors who want to know about the region's cuisine, wines, and history. See for her programs and blog. She invited us for aperitifs and hors d'oeuvres, and we spent a couple wonderful hours learning about her family, the tours, and eating the delicious fresh anchovies and tielle that she served us. She has been a travel writer for the NY Times, and a producer on the Discovery Channel and PBS. We recommend her tours to any who want to learn about this part of la belle France.

Before our visit we had stopped in Nissan to visit the hilltop Roman Oppidum's site and artifacts. The Roman site overlooks a vast circular system of farming fields, used for centuries, that was originally a large inland swamp and sea.
Drained in the 13th century, the ditches allowed water to flow to the centre of the circular depression, from where it was piped several kilometres to the south. The drains remain in use.

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