Our Scottish Christmas in France


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Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » Saveille
December 25th 2009
Published: March 18th 2010
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Our Scottish mate Graeme had invited us 3 years in a row to spend Christmas with his family in France, and finally this year we were able to accept. Graeme's parents live in Saveille; a small rustic (?!) village not far from Bordeaux, and about 14 hour drive from Prague. So it probably would have been better to have gone a year where we didn't have a 9 month old in the car, but we were hopeful for a Christmas miracle!

We were also hopeful for a white Christmas after a mid December dump, but it turns out that Baby Jesus had other ideas. You see, in the Czech Republic it is Baby Jesus that flies through the window and delivers gifts on Christmas Eve. St Nick comes earlier in December accompanied by an angel and Satan. Satan's job is to CARRY NAUGHTY KIDS OFF TO HELL IN HIS SACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I digress...Christmas was not white sadly, but a balmy 15 degrees! The trip to Saveille was VERY white though.

We were already braced for an awful trip there (14 hours over 2 days). The first leg should have been 8 hours but we were caught in almost blizzard conditions on the German autobahn and ended up being well over 10 hours. It was like nothing we'd ever seen! Snow was falling so quickly that we had to drive at about 40kmh on the highway and stay in the tracks of the car in front. But it was worth it when we finally arrived in Saveille the next day, and immediately felt at home thanks to the Chisolms (Helen and Mike, and also Graeme’s twin bro Fraser). We took a few trips to nearby towns, but mostly we enjoyed relaxing, playing games and being excited about Dahlia's first Christmas! On the big day she wore her Christmas tartan dress in honour of our hosts, and generally lapped up the attention she was getting from a house full of adoring adults 😊

Christmas Day itself was a traditionally catered affair: a roast, lots of veges, wine, and pudding, but all other meals were decidedly French. We ate snails (better with garlic), goose liver pâté (better not on my plate) and of course drank French wine. All in all, we can give this B&B 5 stars! 😉

The trip home was a lot better. Not only were weather conditions good, but our half way stop was planned for Luxembourg. Luxembourg really surprised us - it was not a city we had heard people say much about, so its dramatic beauty caught us off guard. The old city is built on 2 sides of a ravine with a small stream running through it. All along the sides are small French cottages and winding roads, and at the top of the cliffs are fairytale churches and castles. A light dusting of snow completed the magic. The highlight was the famous street 'Chemin de la Corniche' which winds around one side of the ravine with the most dramatic views...Lonely Planet says it's called Europe's most beautiful balcony and we could see why.

And with the long car trip still on our minds, Steph and Dahlia prepared for a long plane trip to visit summer & relos Down Under. And Anth prepared for 2 weeks of crazy work travel in their absence. Stay tuned for more of winter! (Or summer as the case may be...)


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Christmas Day Walk in SaveilleChristmas Day Walk in Saveille
Christmas Day Walk in Saveille

Sillouttes from left to right: Graeme, Amanda & Ben, Steph (& Dahlia), Fraser
Christmas Dinner!Christmas Dinner!
Christmas Dinner!

Dahlia, Steph, Amanda, Ben, Graeme & Fraser
Anth in front of the castle in NiortAnth in front of the castle in Niort
Anth in front of the castle in Niort

A town north of Saveille
Second Christmas!Second Christmas!
Second Christmas!

More presents waiting when we got home!
A New Years TraditionA New Years Tradition
A New Years Tradition

Chucking the tree out the window!


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