On a zig-zagging road trip from Argenton-sur-Creuse in 2012, we first headed south-west to Bordeaux via St Emilion, where the views from the top of the bell tower were unforgettably gorgeous!
We took a cellar tour to see a portion of the incredible 300km of galleries that exist under St Emilion from where they originally mined the limestone for the town’s buildings. Finished off the day with tastings of their lovely bubbly: Cremant de Bordeaux. Le Cordeliers’ soft white and dry rosé were my favourites, and reasonably priced too, for such quality.
Bordeaux is an undeniably beautiful city. There is so much to see in the city centre. Just across the road from the Place de la Bourse photographed above, is the Garonne river with a garden-lined boardwalk, where you will see people of all ages playing in the huge “Mirroir d’eau.”
Staying with friends in the suburbs of Bordeaux, we all took a day trip back east to Sarlat-la-Canéda. And through my less-than-perfect navigation, we stumbled upon the lovely hillside town of Terrasson, catching the tail-end of a market, and stopping for a gourmet picnic in the lush green public gardens there.
We had a great afternoon, exploring the meandering cobblestoned streets of medieval Sarlat, lined with a jumble of yellow sandstone houses of all shapes and sizes. (Sensible shoes are a must, with some very steep alleyways to climb and, more dangerously, to descend.)
En route from Bordeaux to Spain, we visited Carcassonne. In truth we by-passed Toulouse this time – the featured photo was actually taken in 2011… I am discovering a few errors in my photobook as I walk you through it.
The walled city of Carcassonne, which dominates the town, dates back to the 13th century and was restored about 50 years ago. I’m glad we paid the entry fee to go into the castle itself – you get the the best views from there. Cassoulet for lunch is almost obligatory – a white beans and meats specialty of the region. Delicious, but very filling… we walked it off!
After a very big day, we eventually arrived at Gruissan for our final night in France, where we took a twilight walk all around the marina and stopped at a waterside cocktail bar before calling it a night.
Au revoir France. Next stop: Spain.
For more photos of this trip, check out my previous posts: