I really should post throughout the day. Saving it all up ’til the nighttime is too time-consuming.
First order of business today was to get ourselves some breakfast. Normally I wouldn’t pay to get it from a hotel but today’s was quite good. Lots of very good pastries, drinks, breads, yogurt, etc., and we saved time by not having to go find it.
Next up Nellie and I did a little touring around Sarlat after the others left to explore some caves. Stopped by the market, picked up road snacks and gourmet chocolates, bought croissants and pain au chocolate from a 120-year-old bakery, toured some back streets and got on the move. After a few detours getting out of town we were on our way to Domme.
Domme’s an old fortified city on a hill overlooking the Dordogne river, and the view from the top was spectacular. We got a pile of shots and admired the sweeping views and perfect weather. As we sat near the railing and drank cafe viennoise the bell in the cathedral next to us began to ring, and nearly shook our ears off. Anyway, down the hill we went and set off along the Dordogne.
We drove through some very pretty towns built along the water, then some nice countryside as the river wound along. We arrived in Saint-Emilion just after a slew of tractors; the town was also choked with tourists, so we guessed the first harvest must be happening. Just outside the town we reached our chateau, arriving only 60 seconds before les autres…pretty good timing. Just as we arrived a tour of the winery (our chateau is in a working vineyard) started, and my dad quite enjoyed the winemaking discussion and the limestone caves. Nellie and I bought a few bottles too.
The chateau was gorgeous, by the way. Just stunning. The rooms were all intricate and unique, the other rooms were ornate and luxurious, there was a natural swimming pool, we were surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see…simply amazing. There was even a nice little lounge with a pool table and an internet connection to relax if the plush sofas and brandy aren’t your thing.
Anyway, back to the day’s activities: we drove into Libourne to get some dinner, but that town is crap. We couldn’t find anywhere to eat, and what we did find was closed. We managed to find one bar that served basic pub fare, but that was it. Literally, one bar. It was smoky, but the food was serviceable and the waiters were very nice. Not a typical French meal but we didn’t have much to choose from.
Tomorrow: back to Paris on the TGV!
[tags]france, sarlat, villa des consuls, domme, saint-emilion, chateau franc mayne, libourne[/tags]