Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trip to France - The Last Days

I could talk for days about travel, whether in France, Italy, Hawaii or Costa Rica (and many more places to go in the future), but Christmas is creeping up or shall I say arriving at warp speed this year.  The next couple of weeks will be focused on shopping (icky), baking and planning for the Christmas Eve dinner.

So, I'll be as brief as I can to cover the last few days of traveling back to Paris from Bordeaux.

We didn't really see much of Bordeaux.  It was a lunch stop during a crisp blue sky day.  Then the clouds rolled in and the sky opened up as if a giant bucket was hovering over our heads.  So much rain that we sought refuge into the safety and dryness of the car.  We thought this would only last for a few minutes, pass,  and we could continue our trek into the streets of Bordeaux.  It wasn't stopping any time soon.  We made our way (after getting lost, of course) towards the city of Poitiers.

Lunch in Bordeaux..  Salmon!

Basilica of St Michael - Bordeaux   Blue skies before the downpour!

I had no preconceived thoughts about Poitiers, other than it was home to a Disney-like attraction called Futuroscope.  To me, this would mean lacking character in the French countryside.  Our hotel for the night was located inside the "old town" on a hill overlooking gentle rolling landscapes.  And...we managed to get lost again!  That's what you do in a foreign town.

I LIKED this town and felt very much at home here.  Maybe it's because my ancestors from the mid 17th century lived and sailed from La Rochelle a mere drive to the coast from here.  It seemed upscale, yet quaint at the same time, with plenty of pastry/bread stores, shopping and cafes.  After freshening up we had dinner in town.... the menu was no longer dominated with duck entrees, still in French (no surprise) no clues or translation, it was always a surprise!  But, it was always good!

I think these were escargot in a jar??!

Great local fish!

The following morning we threw on some clothes to get in a morning walk, a little sightseeing , a bite to eat/coffee and snacks (cookies) for the return trip.  Poitiers did not disappoint!  My trusty camera got a workout here in this historic area.  Heck, who am I kidding!  I downloaded (barely) well over 750 pictures from this trip  I also journaled every day as I do for most vacations.  Perhaps, we'll meet again France and after more time has passed, I'll share some more.....

Cathedral St Pierre by dawn,  began construction in 1162 and ended 1379 

Notre Dame la Grande in Poitiers

Amazing sculpture of entombment circa 1555 inside of Notre Dame

Perhaps the oldest  (4th century AD) Christian building in France baptistere St Jean

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