A quick update so far
Trip Start Mar 02, 2009
19Trip End Apr 02, 2009
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Some might say that a personal travel blog is where an individual can record their travels via the 5 senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. This is too simple. Feelings are how we express these and set them in context, so I was just so saddened to hear of the passing of Daniel Finkletaub. My thoughts are with his family, whom he loved dearly.
Monday March 2nd
The star of the day was the weather absolutely pure blue from the moment we set off to the spectacular sunset as we arrived in Avizes, just south of Epernay. Despite having loaded the IPod with ample 'driving music' we chatted all the way down to Dover - quel surpris! Naturally having allowed enough time for every potential traffic situation it was a quick trip down to Dover. We enjoyed the sun all the more as the French customs man (now UK side) took one look at us and warned us of the 'les galliards' loosely translated as 'naughty boys'! I assured him that all we could do was hope and he found this amusing. Those white cliffs are still very impressive and the journey on down was uneventful - Margaret still astounded by the lack of traffic. The sunset was spectacular - a real 'Sue Williams memorial sunset' from the second floor. Our B&B (Le Vieux Cedre at Avizes) was a real treasure trove of marvellous object'd'arts especially of the modern and quirky sort. The bathroom was big enough to have a party in and after a couple of coups de champagne and supper at Le Progres in Epernay we had ample time and space in our room to repack all 3 bags in a more logical fashion. The sheets smelt so wonderful, we should have slept like the proverbial logs but we didn't. I think memory foam mattresses should be mandatory but on reflection we both agreed that actually it was simply too quiet and this was deafening.
Tuesday March 3rd
So the day started with Imogen's birthday. A fabulous breakfast but an even more interesting discussion with her regarding the hard reality of a champagne producer's English wife and children trying to fully integrate despite having the language and a French husband. A thorough understanding now of just how hard they are hit by taxes when really trying to make a modest living which curtails their growth. So, then Heroes by Bowie blaring took a 'petit tour' around the region - lid off and sun shining, wood smoke smelling divine. Back in Epernay for Margaret to sample yet another glass of champagne (or 2) at Moet & Chandon. But at least she retained a lot of the tour and did consider worthwhile. I in the meantime had a charming experience sourcing my lens case as I had forgotten to bring it, trying to find an Internet cafe to sort out my access problem/the accommodation for the night and sitting with hot chocolate back in Le Progres with my Vogue magazine. 3 hours later arrived in Nuit St Georges at yet another charming Alastair Sawday choice. We had a cottage in the grounds (too many cats really for our liking - sorry Gerardine) but warm and comfortable and adjacent to a 300 year old wine growers chateau. So late that we opted to go into town for a light bite but March we are finding does not offer the full range of delights from a gourmet point of view. Luck strikes again! We chose L'Eden (well, actually it was the only place open) and I must say I didn't think I would ever be sitting down with Margaret Scott in a pizzeria. She was very good and threw herself fully into the ambience of the melted cheese and families eating supper. And at 10pm I can honestly say I was senseless with tiredness and only paid scant attention to her selected passages from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I look forward to the rerun tonight .
Wednesday March 4th
The Internet continues...technology is not as easy as they would have you believe. Summary of the weather today cold, wet and grey - moving south tomorrow. Yet another charming hostess with a beautiful home (Les Hetres Rouges). Actually even tastier confiture was on offer with Julien Clerc playing in the background. Into Beaune, which like all of France so far, is shut.So, in the freezing cold and rain, decided to take a drive out to Mersault for lunch. Stooped off at a working man's cafe cleverly disguised as a pretty little rural restaurant where we were the only women - English at that - taking the last 2 spare places at table. They had the last laugh as we decided to stick it out despite the glares from both clientale and Madame alike and realised too late that we were in front of a blazing fire. At the end of lunch we both felt ill ! However, this afternoon, Margaret was able to see the most stunning tiles on the roof of the L'Hospice de Beaune, Hotel Dieu. Meanwhile in a bar I was trying to see if I could access the b....y Internet yet again. Monsieur (no one else in there took time to confirm that I indeed was unable to access and went and summoned his chum for advice. So, these updates come to you courtesy of Le Bar Cercle,Hopefully whilst Margaret finishes off her Cognac, we can check for tomorrow night B&B and go and buy temporary internet coverage from Carrefour.
Apologies for spelling , grammer