Travelers Sheltering From the Storm—“Le Snack” Is Also an Art

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The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth

By Roy Andries De Groot

Published 1973

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The first sudden thunderclap seemed to shake the Auberge to its foundations. We were in the dining room, in the middle of lunch. It had grown so dark that Mademoiselle Vivette had come in to turn on the lights and announce that we were about to experience “la grande tempête des Alpes.” Each rolling boom, multiplied by the echoing reverberations of the valley, seemed to envelop us from every direction. One sensed the vibrations beating down on houses, pastures, trees. ... As boom followed boom in rapid fire, the bright copper pots and utensils which decorate the rooms of the Auberge began vibrating in a buzzing harmony: the long poissonière, the “fish boiler” on the old oaken bread-chest, the tall bidon, the ancient five-gallon “milkcan” standing in the corner.