Surfacing again after several months of "radio silence". The latest posts should bring things up to date. I have now moved back to the UK into the somewhat surreal world that is Flete House. I am planning to head off up the Mekong and Red Rivers in Vietnam and Laos later this month. 2023 has arrived so Happy New Year !!
We left Bordeaux – slight delay as our captain anxiously awaited the very late arrival of the French pilot – required because the Gironde is tidal and we had a low bridge to contend with (more tidal stuff later) and sailed up the Dordogne to moor at Libourne from where we visited St Emilion.
St Emilion a real gem and thankfully not swamped with tourists. Apart from countless more wine sources and shops, it includes a cathedral (very ancient and hewn out of the limestone cliff. Too dark (and strictly forbidden) to take photos. Only problem is a huge tower/spire which was a late addition and threatens to bring the whole lot crashing down. So there is much subterranean concrete and steel being installed.
Lots of nooks and crannies and hidden cloisters all designed to convince you to consume and purchase their fine wines
Meanwhile the kids seem to be fine at Posh Pets. Also what was nearly the most expensive “selfie” ever as I whisked of my mask and an Airpod went flying!!!! Fortunately one of my fellow travellers spotted it on the edge of the precepice so crisis averted!!!
Next morning went on a walking tour of Libourne. I was the only participant so had my own private guide. Everyone else has opted for yet another wine tasting!!
Next a cruise out of the Dordogne, past numerous Chateaux and a soggy tour of the Medoc region in the rain – they don’t call it Aquitaine for nothing. Some of my fellow geriatrics/travellers and places seen along the way….
Back to the mooring at Fort Medoc: now somewhat overgrown but one of three forts across the Gironde to stop the Brits sneaking up river and taking back Bordeaux
We have to keep manoeuvring to avoid getting swamped by the twice daily Gironde equivalent of the Severn Bore (Le Mascaret). A tidal phenomenon which comes roaring up river twice daily complete with surfers and kayaks etc
Keeps the captain and crew on their toes!!! Full moon and all that!!!
Everyone else buggered off to yet another Chateaux for more wine tasting and a Classical concert – dressed in all their finery. I opted to stay on board to take advantage of liberated WiFi as we cruise back to Bordeaux where they will rejoin the ship. Tomorrow off to Cadillac and more Chateaux..
House all closed up and The Gang off to Summer Camp – They fall for it everytime!!
All settled in at Posh Pets – Their Home away from Home and where Daisy did 6 weeks of rehab earlier this year after her knee reconstruction.
Great flights from Malaga to Bordeaux via Paris with Air France who have been brilliant throughout the past 18 months of cancellations and postponements. Turkish Airlines and Expedia still on my serious Shit list after 18 months of body swerving and no refunds etc. Avoid them at all costs!!!
Nice hotel overnight in Bordeaux before boarding the Scenic Diamond – my home for the next 11 days – so time for a wander around the city and some sight-seeing etc
First glimpse of Scenic Diamond moored in Bordeaux
A morning to spare before Embarkation so a visit to The Cite du Vin. A very high tech Museum with everything you need to know about wine and it’s history.
Ah those were the daze!! At least I won’t have to drag any home and deal with excess baggage etc!!
Next stop is an amazing sensory experience inside a WW2 U-boat pen. They couldn’t demolish it so have converted it into an “art experience”. Mind blowing and quite disconbobulating. Not for epileptics or vertigo sufferers!!
Some of the visuals…..
A visit to the obligatory cathedral and then off the boat to check in
Checked in on board Scenic Diamond. All very civilised, welcoming and just what the doctor ordered. Off up/down The Gironde to the Dordogne. Coming up – St Emilion and Libourne. Next Post.
Will publish this now as WiFi seems a bit sluggish so let me know if photos come through as they should. More later……R
After a year of no travelling, Postponements and Cancellations too numerous to count, it looks as though I may finally be able to resume my river explorations in a couple of weeks. Exotic destinations – Myanmar, India, Vietnam & Laos are non-starters at the moment due to Covid complications and Coups and have been postponed, so I have had to focus on closer to home. Even a long trip down the Danube has had to be put off until next year despite all countries to be visited or transited were in the EU !!
So I have put together an itinerary that includes:
11 Day cruise in France on the Dordogne and Garonne
Train to Amsterdam
8 Day cruise down the Rhine to Basle
5 Day “Panoramic” Train tour of Switzerland (Lakes, Mountains and Glaciers (if there are any left !)
After a brutally hot summer in Spain and raging fires on the mountain behind me as I type, it will be good to get some cooler weather and doubtless some Rain and even Snow !!
Due to set off on Tuesday 21st September.
Then Train to Amsterdam
Some of you who have “followed” me in the past may have received a new invite as I dust the cobwebs off the site ! If you have already “registered” please ignore. Otherwise explore and enjoy !!! R xx