Tuesday, June 14, 2005

2005 Odyssey-Part 2 –France

Tony did a great job of adjusting to driving on the “wrong” side of the road and away through France we went. Coffee and pee stop at a place I can’t remember the name of, but was suitably old. Then on to find a B&B or Gites at Jupilles. The homemade cider is never to be repeated!
Jupilles Cider
Leaving Jupilles and being market day, we stopped at Chateau-du-Loir to check out the market.Chateau-du-Loir
Hard driving and meal breaks to Azay-le-Ferron for “THE PARTY”
Patrick was not 100% surprised to find us, but Ivy engineered a fantastic gathering of the Port Kelang clan.
What a venue for a party piss-up
The party was a blur of drinking, eating, talking, drinking, castle tour, eating, drinking, field walks and drinking.
Patrick and Ivy joined us for the next part of the trip, and 8 of us first visited the small Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau
Chat d'Azay
Though raining lightly, we headed south to Martell for lunch. A beautiful town that transports you back 200 years.
A cave sounded like a good idea and it would get us out of the rain so we headed for Padriac and a serious hole in the ground, which made us hungry!
It’s a crying shame when you can’t remember things, but the Gites stop that night remains nameless.
Gites Ivy & Patrick
I had seen Rocamadour on a map, but nothing prepared us for this incredible village perched on the side of a cliff, with its ancient monastery and protected by its castle on the cliff top. It boggles the mind.
Cirq-du- Lapopie was a pretty good answer to Rocamadour and just as spectacular.
Sadly next day we lost Tony and Joan, who had to fly back to UK and so we were six. St. Emillion in the heart of wine country beckoned and the night on a farm full of character near St. Seurin sur L’isle. La Grillade au Bois in the local village had arguably one of the best value for money meals in France (bad luck Fitzy).
Drove through Bordeaux, but no time to stop….next time.
Onto Rocheport for lunch and to see the marina where water level is maintained by lock when the tide goes out so far the river becomes a mud flat. Also the reconstruction of the famous ship Hermione’s and the Barracks with rope making facilities. 2 buildings the length of the 2 lengths of rope made.
Nearby is La Rochelle with its incredible Marina’s and boat harbour. What a place for a University. Our co-revellers from “THE PARTY” Bernard and Nicole Babiarz welcomed us to their beautiful home for the night, complete with BBQ, wine and an unforgettable evening. Followed next day by a market food fair.
La Rochelle1
A long drive across country, past Azay-le-Ferron to Patrick’s parent’s home ay Chatillon-sur-Indre, where we stayed the night and stripped cherry trees in the huge garden and generally stuffed ourselves.
One major stop on the way to Paris was the incredible Chateau Chambord, the ultimate fantasy. The stuff of a child’s dream.
Chateau Chambored1
Chateau Chambored2
Chatillon, close enough to the heart of Paris to enjoy it and far enough away to be quiet, is Patrick and Ivy’s very large apartment with everything you could ever want. Perfect base for “DOING” Paris and we did!
Snails Yuck!!

No comments:

Post a Comment