(The cords to transfer photos to my computer are buried somewhere inside one of our carefully packed and weighed 20 kg. suitcases, so none of our own photos today.)
Thiers is a charming medieval town known throughout the world for its fine knives. This spring the city started a new program where tourists can make their own knives. Isaac and Eleanor each made their own tartineur, or spreading knife (i.e. not sharp) with their names etched in the blades. It was a straightforward half hour of assembly under the gentle guidance of one of the workers.
Emma Lucy made a sharp folding knife. The process for her was much more detailed and involved—she used a lot more machines than Isaac and Eleanor did and went through a lot more steps. It took a little over two hours.
They are obviously not used to English speakers; no one in the workshop spoke any English. This was not a problem with Isaac and Eleanor. I could figure out what their guide wanted them to do with a combination of my very rudimentary French and her expressive gestures. It would have been a problem if Emma Lucy spoke no French but it was actually very gratifying to her to realize that she understood pretty much everything.
A little pricey, but a fantastic and memorable experience for everyone. One we’d do again in a heartbeat.