le voyage continue et fini!

WARNING: PHOTO OVERLOAD!

As I write a post, I pull photos from my trip album into a blog photo folder. Then I go through them, cull the collection, and come back to them a few days later to see what else can go.  But this time: I just couldn’t do it! There are a whopping 63 photos in this post, covering 3 days.  Now, I could split this post in 3 but we all want the rest of the France trip, right? So I’ll give you all of them in mosaics and squares, and you can hover over or click to see them larger.  Let’s do this!

On Sunday morning, we went to the local market for some fresh vegetables and a beautiful duck saucisson. Oh my gosh- if only there could be a scratch and sniff button on computers lol. We were in E’s family community of Bourg Sur Gironde, where E grew up and pointed out the home where her Grandmother lived.  After stocking up at the market (oh- and I can’t forget the olives. So tasty!), we walked around the city.

On the upper level of the city,  and overlooking the Dordogne river is Musée des Calèches, an 18th century building ideally located in the citadel park.  In the 13th century, the site was home to a defensive citadel protecting Bordeaux, the fortress of which remains underground today and can be visited.

Down the hill, beside the river and nestled between two streets, is Le Lavoir, a washhouse built in 1828.  A sign at the open doorway says “In the 19th century, the tongues of the women washing their families’ clothes would wag so freely that the men nicknamed this washhouse ‘The Chamber of Representatives.’ Fed by water from the spring, the building has two basins: the biggest is for washing and the other for rinsing the laundry.”

We stopped in another city for lunch but I forget what it was called! oops.  Yummy food though, great prices, and stunning buildings.

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Next, we explored the city of Saint-Émilion, which boasts an underground church carved from limestone, and features a 68 meter bell tower.

At one point, I thought we were stepping into a wine bar, but it was another beautiful old church: Eglise Collégiale. This stunning Catholic church is full of fresco paintings and such a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

With stone buildings, steep cobblestone paths, rolling hills, breathtaking vistas, the whole city was reminiscent of a fairytale.  Visiting Saint-Émilion led into a tour of wineries.  Even the sudden downpour of rain didn’t interrupt our adventures but what did have an impact was my sudden and vicious allergy attack! I couldn’t taste a THING and it was tragic. What a day to have no sense of taste 😦 I placed all my trust in T to pick out great wines for us and he certainly came though 🙂  Also, may I just say dearest E & A how lovely it is to share these photos of you two with the little one in sight ❤

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Oh hi, allergies, swollen lip, red nose, watering eyes! 😦 Boo!  However: YAY for T’s fantastic taste in wine 🙂

The rain continued on Monday morning.  We had breakfast, enjoyed some downtime reading while the guys worked, and then E and I went for a swim at a local pool. It was a perfect relaxing day, wrapped up with another lovely sunset taken in at the beach.  It may have been *slightly* cold as demonstrated by Miss E’s blanket wrap ❤ Here’s to toasts with olives and good friends!

Tuesday was the 1st First day of May. After breakfast, the guys got to work and E and I had a quiet start to the day as the weather was pants! We relaxed in the back yard for a while as the weather started to change.  We all stopped for lunch together, then E and I went into the proper township of Arcachon (technically they live in a smaller neighbourhood with its own name, but Arcachon is the simpler reference).  We walked through the city, wandering in and out of shops that caught our eye before making our way to the end of the pier and then along the boardwalk. From the pier, we got a great view across the water to the fishing shacks on stilts, and a VERY amorous couple on the beach. It made us giggle but eventually got so heated that we had to walk away! Lovely view of the – ahem – ferris wheel. haha!

From there, E took me to climb the Belvedere Tower which gave a stunning 360 degree view around Arcachon. Big wave down to E- see her standing down there (top right photo)… it was a wee bit high for this mama to be to climb that day!

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We went for a walk and then drove around the neighbourhood- look at the personality of these houses! And so many of them have names!

We had lunch with the guys, and walked down to the beach to watch the waves. We stayed until the sun set and the tide came in to reclaim the beach for the night.  It was a beautiful way to end our trip with amazing friends! Then, it was time to fly home to London, with more memories and LOTS of wine (read: we bought a new suitcase, filled it with wine, put wine in our carry on, and checked them both. haha!).

THAT is how you visit France. Merci beaucoup chers amis!  xo

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