The day after we went to the great dunes in Dune du Pylat. It is a sand due that is around 110 metres high, 500 metres wide and 2700 metres wide. First you climb about hundred steps up and then you reach the dunes. Obviously we wanted to do the whole thing so we climbed up and started walking forward. Very fresh and eager as you can be. The thing is that we really didn’t have a great deal of water with us and it was close to 30 degrees warm. We soldered on almost the whole way before heading down to the seashore. That was really hard job too, believe it or not. It seems easy to go downwards, but actually some distance that seems like 100 metres, takes about 20 minutes to accomplish. When we got down to the beach it felt so relieving, it took me a second or so to take off my clothes and dive in to the water to cool down! We soon realised though that in order to get back to the car, we need to climb up to the dunes again! I swear I thought I can’t make it since all the muscles in my legs were like jelly and without water it felt impossible to get back up. We did it all the same and when we got first up to the dunes and back the stairs, we went to the very first bar and we drank 1.5 litres of water in less than 10 minutes 🙂
We loved every minute of it and we decided to come back the next day 🙂 Only difference that we drove to Pyla s/ Mer and avoided climbing up the dunes and only walked the seashore to get to the beach. We had all the part of the beach for only for us and we spent a whole day just fishing and sunbathing and eating lovely lunch, cooling out in the sea every now ad then. My kind of holiday-day!
We went for a little miniholiday to Arcachon with Charlie. First we drove there with two cars, spent the first day with Lotta and the family relaxing by the beach. We had booked a room from hotel Altica for three nights and during our stay we made many trips to lovely places close by.
After we had checked in the hotel we showered and headed to the town to have dinner. We found a nice restaurant called “Chiperon” and we had such a lovely dinner with deep fried muscles, squid rings, fried fresh anchovies followed by duck for Charlie and bloody steak for me. All flushed down with local red wine of course. At nine o’clock it was still 23 degrees and the bill wasn’t excessive either, success 🙂
We did another day trip today to explore more of the Bordeaux wine region. We drove through the Médoc district and we passed probably one hundred “Chateau’s” and miles and miles of vineyards. This is the time of the year that they are picking the grapes and we saw crowds of people in the fields with baskets tied on their backs. We talked that it would have been so cool to work couple of weeks in a vineyard as a grape picker, but we are little bit too late for this year. Let’s see if we get to try that next year instead.
First castle we saw was “Château D’Agassac” and they produce a Médoc wines that are advertised to be for example “Devilishly Bordeaux”. The vineyards of this Château were so huge that it was like looking to the ocean without being able to see the shore, but only with vines.
From there we drove to the area where they produce some of the most expensive wines there is. Château Mouton Rothschild is the only estate to achieve promotion under the Official 1855 Classification of Médoc and Graves. Two years prior to the classification, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild bought the property. Unfortunately the estate is under large renovation and we weren’t able to get a picture.
After driving quite a long time we got so hungry that we really didn’t want to go around looking for castles anymore before eating something. When we arrived to St Laurent Médoc it was so late that we had missed French lunch time and most places were closed. What does an englishman and a finnjävel do when they are desperate? They are off to McDonalds….almost too shameful to admit but that is what we did. “Lunch” at 16.30 in Macdidlidoodles…USCH!
Here is one more Château we saw:
We made a trip to Saint Emilion village, which is located only 43km from here. It is the oldest wine area of the Bordeaux region. They produce over 36 million bottles of wine each year and the wine is considered the most robust of the Bordeaux. The town is nowadays part of the world heritage and that is easy to understand after visiting the old monolith church, which was carved out of a massive limestone rock in 11th century. The church is not visible from outside since it is underground and only the bell tower can be seen from the village.
There are hundreds of vineyards surrounding the village and in the whole valley. It is the time of the year that they just start picking the grapes and all the vines are so heavy from the fruit.
Saint-Émilion can be discovered quite easily by foot in a short time but there is so much to see. There are one wine shop after another where you can taste local wines and there a many wine cellars which welcome you to go in and have a look how they produce and store the wine.
Finally we had a wonderful lunch in a Galette bar. Galette’s are very thin pancakes made out of buckwheat and filled with various ways. Mine had ham, mushrooms, cheese and soft fried egg in and it was gorgeous. To company the meal we had obviously local red wine.
If you ever go anywhere near Saint-Émilion, go and make a visit, it is so worth seeing!
Who would have thought? We were open to all possible opportunities that will be revealed during the way, but that we found the perfect place to stay already.
Before we left Sweden, we had made an appointment with an english couple who own a big farmhouse in the French country side and they wanted to rent it out. It is located about 6km from a small village called Villereal. The closest larger towns are Bergerac and Villeneuve. You can find the official tourist office site in here: http://www.villereal-tourisme.com/index.php?lang=2
When we walked in to the house for the very first time, we fell in love with the place. It is very charming and the views from the back yard are superb! There are several different fruit trees, walnut trees and loads of different plants. There is even a small hidden garden, which they call “Gin & Tonic garden”. (Suites Charlie well 🙂 )
We are going to run the place as B&B the next season, starting off with March-April. There are two big double bedrooms downstairs and four more smaller size bedrooms upstairs. All on-suite. Then there is an open kitchen-living area and a huge conservatory with view to the garden. Not to mention the enormous barn attached to the property.
We are going to move there latest in the end of September, depending on when the owners are able to get time from their work in UK and come here to help us with some official stuff.
I will add loads of pictures of the property as soon as we get there 🙂 (and we get the internet connection)
Feels soooooooooooo good!
Vive la France 🙂
We left Grasse after our morning cappuccino’s and headed towards Bordeaux. That bit was amazingly beautiful! We reached the “real” French country side with thousands and thousands grapevines, sunflower fields and olive grows. At this time a year one can only imagine how wonderful the views would be when the sunflowers are in bloom!
We stopped in Arles for lunch, and what a great lunch it was! We eat duck in mushroom sauce with chips and it was just gorgeous. We drew past Nimes, Toulouse, Montauban and saw many hilltop villages, castles and all the beautiful hills and valleys.
Finally we arrived to Bordeaux in the late afternoon sun, conveniently just at dinner time 🙂
I apologise the wrong timeline, but we didn’t have internet connection all the time and since arriving here, we have had so much to do that I haven’t had time to write as much as I wanted.
We totally love it here! Italy might have to wait……..
We drove all the way to French Riviera and on the way there were more or less 60 tunnels, believe it or not! After every tunnel we saw something breath taking! It is difficult to describe the beauty of all hamlets and surroundings we were blessed with every single time we came out from one tunnel after each other.
We stopped in Monaco to take some photos, but didn’t wanna spend too much time there since we really wanted to go to Nice. When we finally arrived there, it was lunch time, conveniently enough 🙂 We had expected to be asked to pay a shirt for something to eat, but we got happily surprised since prices were not close as high as we had expected. We had gorgeous lunch spiced with entertainment in the old town with less than what we had spent on a dinner in Germany. I love Nice with all it’s narrow alleyways seafood smell and colourful people!
I wanted to go and have a swim in Antibes on our way to Cannes, but due to busy traffic it never happened. We wanted to take a photo of the famous Cinema building, but we were so trapped in traffic that we drove straight to Grasse instead and staid the night in a not so very glamorous hotel in there.
Lot to write still but it is getting late,so Bon Nuit until next break with internet connection 🙂