“Beautiful Bordeaux” and a week of Villages, Chateaux, & obligatory wine tastings

Not a lot of long distance cruising involved here as I don’t think that we have ever been more than 60km from Bordeaux. However a thorough exploration of the lower reaches of the Dordogne & Garonne rivers and the Gironde Estuary into which they flow. I have teamed up with two charming “old school” English couples for dining and excursions etc.

Johnny & Sarah, Brian & Carole and Moi

The next few days involved visits to various Villages and Chateaux. Photos may be a bit muddled but you should get the general idea. Medieval Villages, Miles of grapes on vines (harvest about to start), Grapes into vats for fermentation, then into barrels for aging and bottles for drinking. Some of the finest “brands” in the Medoc and Sauterne regions including Chateaux Laffite Rothes child, St Emilion, Chateau d’Yquem etc. You get the idea….

A visit to Roquetaillade – an amazing castle which has been lived in by the same family for over 700 years. Our guide was a very informative and wise cracking Brit in a beret. When I asked him what a “Brit in Beret” was doing as a tour guide in a French Chateau I got a somewhat evasive answer about the Brits having been in the area for centuries. Later learned that he was the owner and descended from when We ran the region! Whoops……..

A day trip to Arcachon where the oysters come from. A huge lagoon between the Gironde and the Atlantic. A great market. Only saw a bit of the old town which must have been spectacular in the 1920s & 30s. A few fragments remain but now a seafront of rather tired 70s apartment blocks. Spectacular beach and some interesting “art”.

Back to Bordeaux for a couple of days. A long solo walk around the city covering numerous, churches, Roman ruins, museums and medieval bits.

Then back to the Dordogne for more villages and Citadel. All designed and built to stop the Brits sneaking up the river to steal back Bordeaux who had occupied and ruled it (along with most of Aquitaine and Western France from the 12th to the 15th century – 100 Years War and all that…

Then back into Bordeaux for disembarkation and train to Amsterdam via Paris. A “day off” in Amsterdam before joining an 8 day Scenic cruise down the Rhine, Train tour of Switzerland and then home and reunion with the diggits. More of all that in the next posting…….R

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