Blogs from Saint-Emilion, Aquitaine, France, Europe


Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion May 1st 2023

May Day in France Growing up, the first of May was celebrated by placing bouquets of flowers on people’s doors, well the neighbors we liked. I don’t really know where this tradition came from, but that is what we did. I do know that its origins date back to Roman and Celtic times and was a celebration of the beginning of the growing season. Now in Europe it is Labor Day and a national holiday in most countries celebrating the rights of workers and the 8-hour workday. We are headed to the heart of the Bordeaux wine region today and will not be impacted by the holiday, both lunch and dinner reservations are secured. Today also marks the halfway point of our trip. We will shortly be in Brittany and the primary focus of ... read more
Were are we going
Chateau Grand Barrail

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion September 7th 2022

Saint Emilion Well yesterday was a quiet one we just walked to the lake etc and took it easy so decided to give you all a day off from reading my blog. So next day we set off to Saint Emilion and Goose was back on form using the map and also his trusty Sat Nav but to be honest until the last bit we were on not bad roads. We stop for diesel and Goose gives me 20 euros to get a coffee - I think if I need 20 euros for a coffee they can go and take a run and jump. Anyway the coffee is from a machine and you needed to use a card so I decided that this was a no no. So I give the money back to Goose who ... read more
One of the wine Chateau’s
The grapes
Wine tasting

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion November 21st 2021

Have you ever wondered what a second wine is in Bordeaux? To make its grand vin, or best wine, a top Bordeaux château will blend together only its very finest lots of wine, usually from the most well-sited vineyard plots and the oldest vines. What happens to all the other lots? In many cases, the château makes a second wine, which will have its own brand name and its own distinct label. (It’s important to note here that a second wine is not the same as a Second Growth.) Usually made by the same winemaker in essentially the same manner as the grand vin, the second wine will be less expensive, although alas, not inexpensive (several cost more than $100 a bottle). Still, for many savvy wine drinkers, buying second wines is ... read more
How much?
Beautiful vineyards

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion June 27th 2021

Someone asked me yesterday if I wanted to watch the Tour de France in person. The answer is yes, but! Because June and July are hot weather months. And yes, because the trip could be sandwiched with the French Open (tennis) at the start, and Wimbledon at the end. The biggest challenge, other than joining a guided tour, is getting from one venue to the next, since they are not contiguous. Watching on TV over the years, one solution to the rather sprawling location of the routes is renting a motorhome. But as a foreigner, I cannot see driving through the French countryside in a cumbersome vehicle, trying to find a place to park, and a place to view the race. As exciting it is on TV, I think it would be better in person. Why ... read more
My favorite rider, Peter Sagan

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion September 25th 2016

It was good bye to Spain as we headed continually northwards. We had that real going home feeling. It has been a funny old holiday. Different in a way to any before. The fridge not working set the scene, the tyres needed replacing continued the rut and the water coming in the roof sealed the deal. We were feeling really fed up with ourselves . It has been a holiday of excellent weather . Hotter than we have had in five years of motorhoming. Hotter than many other holidays taken in gites or hotels abroad. We have travelled further than ever before . Some places have delighted us . Others have just been a little above ordinary. But then thats the beauty of travelling. Sometimes you enjoy something and want it to last forever and other ... read more
The cloisters and the market
The belltower
Medieval cloister

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion June 12th 2014

Ooh la la!!! What a fantastic day in Saint Emilion. We started our day with a walking tour of the town with our guide, Pauline. This is a very old and very historic town with a lot of stories to be told on Emilion and his miracles. We toured a cave that he lived on as he wanted to live out his life in peace and alone. Below the bell tower we entered the cathedral that was dug by hand out of the stone and is completely below the surface and is the largest underground gothic cathedral in the world. It was in its glory painted with religious drawings but during the French Revolution it was vandalized. The revolutionists scratched the limestone to get to the sulphate from the walls and mixed it to make gunpowder. ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion May 14th 2013

Moving on, we headed towards St Emilion and planned to stop at Cognac on the way south. We decided to stop on an Aire: a free, or very low cost, parking spot specifically for motorhomes or campervans, and found one just north of Cognac, in a little town called Matha. The Aire was just off the main road near to a pond and an old chateau gatehouse, with enough space for 5 vans, really peaceful and leafy. There were already three motorhomes parked up, by around 7pm, there were the full quota of 5 of us, so it obviously pays to find your stopping point early in the afternoon! The following day we drove into Cognac and had a wander around the town, very quiet and peaceful considering it was a Saturday morning. The town sits ... read more
and again...
The Town Hall Gardens - Cognac
Steves Panorama

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion April 28th 2013

St. Emilion. Continuing eastward through the Dordogne Valley we arrive at the Chateau Soutard Grand Cru Classé (winery), just north of the village of St. Emilion. All the Chateau wineries throughout this region are considered "high end" and the Chateau Soutard was no exception. We were given a tour of the estate and had several samples of their products, which we pronounced as “good.” Carrying on to the village itself we were led through the ancient, cobblestoned streets and entered the Cave of Saint Emilion. Our local guide told us that Frere Emilion took up residence in this cave sometime in the 8th century. His plan was to live a simple ascetic life. Gradually his presence became known throughout the region and pilgrims would visit him for his blessings – or something, I really have no ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion July 31st 2012

Our last full day in France we headed east from Bordeaux to the Saint Emillion area. We visited Chateau Canon in the morning, before heading into the town for lunch. Walked around this very old and beautiful town. Authentic, but with a touch of a touristy feel. Another excellent lunch at L'Enver du Decor outside in back courtyard. After lunch visited the local church before heading over to Chateau Figeac and then finally to Chateau Petit Village (a next door neigbour to Chateau Le Pin). Back to Bordeaux. Walked to the local shopping mall near the hotel. Shopping in the grocery store was a very different experience to what we have in North America for sure. Aisles and aisles of wine... a 10 euro meal that night. The most expensive item was 4 euro for the ... read more
Ancient ruins at the church in Saint-Emillion
Chateau Figeac
Chateau Figeac

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion June 22nd 2012

K- The theme of our final few blogs is basically going to be the same - ancient and medieval cities, beautiful countryside, local markets and good food and wine. I could really just cut and paste the place names. However, for our own historical record I will continue to blog as accurately as possible. Our first stop after leaving Colondannes was La Rochelle, a seaport on the Bay of Biscay and an important harbor since the 12th century. It is a pretty town with beautifully maintained architecture and impressive fortifications. As we so often do we spent the evening walking around before enjoying a kir or two. We then retired to a traditional French Irish bar to watch Euro 2012 - another great thing about being here was to follow the football in countries that cared ... read more
Classic Saint-Émilion
Picnic time!!
A typical view near Saint-Émilion

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