Down to the Bordeaux region, the holidays couldn’t get better: on top of all the (wine driven) planning, we got to Saint Emilion during the “Saint-Emilion Portes ouvertes” event, the only weekend of the year where many chateaux open their doors for wine tasting and to show off their cellars.
This was a really special gift as most of the wine estates are either closed to the public or it can only be visited by appointment.
Saint Emilion itself is quite a special place: this medieval village dated from the 8th century is surrounded by vineyards, it has lots of underground galleries that work as caves for some of the best wines in the world and it is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
Walking through these ancient stone streets, exploring some tiny shops, bakeries or historical sites, the smell from the macaroon factories, the taste of the traditional dishes such as roast rabbit or duck and all the amazing wines that we tried were truly remarkable.
Small village around Bordeaux
At Le Comptoir de Genès wine bar, there is no wine list: the wines are displayed in wooden boxes all over the restaurant and you can pick your own bottle.
It is really exciting going around and reading about the wines, the Chateau and the winemakers but in case you feel lost, the staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and they will proudly assist you on the choice.
It is like going to a candy shop !!!
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From Paris, we headed by train to Loire Valley, region famous for its wines and historical castles.
The two days in this region felt like being in a fairytale!
We started the day with a tour in the Chateau de Chambord, the largest chateau in the Loire Valley.
The castle was built from 1519 to 1547 to serve as a hunting lodge for the king François I.
The afternoon was dedicated to the tiny village of Amboise and the Chateau de Amboise, built between the 15th and 16th century as royal residence during the reigns of Kings Charles VIII and François I.
In it’s chapel is buried Leonardo da Vinci, who lived in Amboise and as many other artists stayed at the Court of Amboise invited by the king.
We finished the day with dinner at Chez Bruno in Amboise. The wine bar is owned by a local wine maker and there was no better way of enjoying local food and wine.
Day 2 started at Chateau de Chenonceau, built in 1513.
Our last tour was to the stunning gardens of the ChÃ¢teau de Villandry.
The vegetable and flower gardens are masterpieces that I will never forget.
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Here are some shots of the amazing sunny days that we had in Paris over the Easter holiday.
This is the busiest holiday of the year in the City of Light however all the cycling, trains, walks (and walks), queues (and queues) were definitely worthwhile!
It is just the beginning of our 30+ days trip between France and Spain and our french classes are already paying off (even though Parisians like to speak in English).
Hotel des Invalides and Napoleon’s tomb
Notre Dame de Paris
Spring in Paris – Luxembourg Garden
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
…and this is why people had their back to the church
Palace of Versailles
Moi, after 6 hours walking in the Louvre Museum
The Arc de Triomphe
and finally, Paris from the Arc de Triomphe
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