Category Archives: France

La Tour Eiffel

 

 

It was a few minutes after 10 o’clock.

Dusk was settling in, at last.

We kissed, then we looked up to the tower

and now the lights were on.

 
 

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To bring the blog up to date, here is where we have been so far:

  • Thursday June 5:  Charles de Gaulle airport to Bordeaux, via the TGV
  • Friday June 6:  Stroll and shop in old-city Bordeaux
  • Saturday June 7:  Tour St. Emilion and drive to Sarlat
  • Sunday June 8:  Stroll through Sarlat and visit an outdoor festival
  • Monday June 9:  Visit the Eyrignac manor gardens, Château de Fénelon and villages in the Sarlat area
  • Tuesday June 10:  Boat ride on the Dordogne River, stroll and shop in Domme
  • Wednesday June 11:  Morning market in Martel, walk through Rocamadour, picnic lunch, shopping in Sarlat
  • Thursday June 12: Drive to Limoges, visit some porcelain shops, drive to Paris, take the metro to the hotel (a story in itself) and get a good night’s sleep

As you know, I have not had time to post every day.  Not having Photoshop at hand has made the process of selecting, adjusting and resizing photos for the blog a lot slower.  When I shoot, I generally underexpose a bit so that I don’t blow out highlights and skies — I figure I can go back later and brighten the foreground in Photoshop.  But since I do not want to post bad photos here (ca alors! – my reputation!) I have only been selecting shots that are rather evenly lit.

Here then is a collection that spans the time from our arrival in Sarlat (we stayed at La Lanterne, a warm and friendly B&B with superb breakfasts) to our departure for Paris.  The captions help tell the story.

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Things have gone super-smoothly so far.  No flight delays, no missed trains, no misplaced reservations, no car problems, no poor weather.  Even when things haven’t gone according to plan, the alternate has turned out to be better.

Case in point: I had intended that we do a winery tour in St. Emilion, on our way from Bordeaux to Sarlat on Saturday.  I had failed, however, to read all the fine print on the winery’s website — in particular the line “booking is advisable.”  So, it wasn’t until we arrived at Chateau Villemaurine in St. Emilion that I learned all the English-speaking tours of the winery were booked up for the next several hours.

No matter.  We saw a little trolley train parked in front of the tourist office and decided to take a tour of the village instead.  A very nice outing, much better than spending that time in a cellar admiring barrels.  Then we had a little lunch, and it was off to Sarlat, to the east.

The drive to Sarlat took at least 30 minutes longer than it should have, even considering our side-trip to an antiquités shop (I prefer to call them junktiques).  The problem with using GPS in France is égalité — according to the GPS, all roads are created equal.  As a result, that winding one-and-a-half lane road through farms and villages is more likely to be chosen by the GPS than a better-paved, more drivable route that is a fraction of a kilometer longer.  (I did check to make sure our GPS was set to “fastest time” rather than “arbitrary detours.”)  While this feature can be charming at times, offering scenes and vistas that you would otherwise miss, it is a pain when you simply want to get somewhere.  Lesson learned: know where you’re going ahead of time and do what the directional signs tell you.

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We are in Sarlat now — this medieval village is our base to explore the Dordogne valley.  Safe to say that Sarlat restaurants have more duck-related items on their menus than anywhere else in the world.  Tonight we ate at a restaurant, Le Clos du Perigord, that had exactly one item (excluding desserts) on its four-page menu that did not feature duck.  And who knows, maybe that lonely little salmon was force-fed duck too.

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