And more flying…

Bordeaux

So I figure I’d better get this post done ASAP because I’m flying again.

Like in the air right now.  Free wifi on airplanes is a beautiful thing.

After AGMA gets to Newark, I hop on a plane headed to Berlin.  After not visiting Berlin for 46 years, this will be my second visit in 2022.

I think I’m in love…

But before I land in Deutschland, AGMA needs to get a France post posted!

In October, Hubs & I spent 11 days in France.  Again.  In case you haven’t caught on yet, we love France.

This was a partial redo of a trip I had planned for July 2020.  And we all know how 2020 worked out for everybody…

We started out with 3 days in the city of Bordeaux.  We have been to the Bordeaux region before (St. Emilion & Paulliac), but never the city. 

Once a rather grim town full of dock workers (according to what I’ve read), Bordeaux has experienced a rebirth of sorts in the last decade. Even Rick Steves likes it now.

We rarely buy those city passes in European cities we visit because, most of the time, we don’t feel we would get the value out them.  We did, however, buy 48 hour Bordeaux City Pass. It’s a great deal mostly because it includes the fabulous Cite de Vin, a homage to all things wine related, and all forms of public transit (which is easy peasy to navigate and very accessible for people using mobility devices.)

Bordeaux is synonymous with wine.  Wine built the city, and wine continues to be Queen (of King depending…)  We did the vineyard visits on our other 2 trips to the area, so a visit to Cite de Vin was a must.

The old town of Bordeaux is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  That basically means old, pretty buildings with fascinating histories!  And Bordeaux was full of them.

After our stay in Bordeaux, picked up a rental car at the Bordeaux train station, and headed east.  Destination – the Dordogne River valley (also called the Perigord.)

We visited this area briefly in 2019. Then, in late 2019 after we got home, Hubs & I started listening to a series of audiobooks about a chief of police, Bruno Courrèges, in a fictional town in the Perigord. Author Martin Walker, an expat Brit who splits his time between the US & the Perigord, absolutely makes his readers want to visit the Dordogne area with his vivid descriptions of the food, the wine, the scenery & the history of the area.

So we did!

Based in Sarlat-la-Canéda for 6 nights, we thought we’d have plenty of time to see everything.

Nah baby nah…

There is SO much to see – we could have stayed for another month!  AGMA is saying a lot (because there are just so many beautiful, interesting parts of France) when I say this just my be my favorite part of France.

Yeah – that’s right – I said it…

I could start with the plethora of caves with prehistoric art.  Ranging from 12,000 to 36,000 years (that’s right – 36,000!) old, it’s thrilling to see the art left behind by our ancient ancestors.

Lascaux, the most famous cave, has been off limits to visitors since 1961 because of the fragile nature of the paintings, due to “over touristing” in the 1950s.  So, of course, they built a complete replica of cave for people to visit, Lascaux IV.  You have to look up Lascaux II & III…

In addition to Lascaux, I visited 3 other caves, Peche Merle, Les Combarelles, and Font de Gaume.  Font de Gaume is one of the only caves in the area that is handicapped accessible (but with a special narrow wheelchair and a lot of AGMA “push power”) so Hubs could visit that one.  He was beyond thrilled!

Aside from the caves, there are castles (or chateaus as the French call them.)  LOTS of castles!  Like you drive around a corner on one of the many narrow roads, and in front of you is a YUGE chateau.  You can visit most of them if you have the time & inclination.

We visited Chateau Milandes, former home of American entertainer Josephine Baker.  Originally built in 1489, Baker called the Chateaux home for over 20 years – from the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s.   Aside from the beautiful gardens, falconry show, and the Chateaux itself, there is a large display of her costumes and other artifacts from her life there.  She was a fascinating woman, and received the highest military award there in France from Charles de Gaulle for her work with the French Resistance during WWII. 

We visited Rocamdour, a beautiful town high on a cliff.  It’s the 2nd most visited site – outside of Paris sites like the Louve, the Eiffel Tower, etc – in France.  Who knew? 

We did a short boat trip on the Dordogne from La Roche-Gageac, which is actually the 3rd most visited site in France (outside of Paris sites that is.) Again, who knew?

Then there was Domme, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, St-Léon-sur-Vézère, the baside town of Monpazier, the wine town of Libourne, and the incredible medieval town of Sarlat where we stayed. And chateaus…so many chateaus!

The Dordogne is also home of foie gras on the “hoof” – geese, lots of geese!

And truffles (it wasn’t truffle season when we were there.) And walnuts!

So.Many.Walnut.Trees.

And wine. Bergerac wine is fabulous and sells at a lower price point than Bordeaux wines. Gotta love the dollar to Euro exchange rate now!

Finally, I LOVED the markets! Hubs, on the other hand, was ambivalent about them. “Ya seen one, ya seen them all!” he says. He’s kinda right, but ohhhhhh AGMA loves them. Sarlat has the best one in the region where you can buy all of the above mentioned specialities, plus a bunch of other sh*t. The market in Le Bugue, while smaller than Sarlat, was delightful and a good value. I do love a good value!

We spent a bit too much $$, drank a bit too much, and gained a few pounds…. In other words it was a perfect trip!

Next up…AGMA shops at the German Christmas Markets!

Auf Wiedersehen meine Freunde!!

 

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6 thoughts on “And more flying…

  1. I’m glad that you and your husband are able to travel so much. I guess his mobility issues have been resolved, or you have figured out how to accommodate them. Either way, that’s great. My husband is going through chemo and radiation right now. I’m hoping that he will have some good days in the near future so that we can travel again. Our trips, however, will be limited to the USA, so I’ll have to travel vicariously with you. Be sure to wave when you fly over our house on your way to Newark. We’re about 30 minutes east of the airport and about 30 minutes west of the Delaware River. You can’t miss us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I waved! Did you see me? And Hubs is not on this trip with me. It’s a tour & mobility devices are not allowed, so I’m traveling with a friend. Hubs is home taking care of the cats… Hoping you husband gets though his treatments with minimal side effects & that he gets a clean bill of health very soon!

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  2. My head is spinning! Oui, mon ami, gotta love France! The wine! The cheese! The bread! The flowers! The cave paintings (that’s the archeologist in me drooling)! You do know how to stuff a lot into a short space of time. Thanks for sharing your love of all things French.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OH AGMA! This sounds fabulous! I have some money with a tour company from a cancelled tour that I must apply to another one. I think I’ll be going to FRANCE!!! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos and recollections. And hope your Berlin tour is fantastic!!!

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