A Travellerspoint blog

Normandy - where it rains just like Oregon!

July 16 – driving/transition day

We started off our morning still in Bordeaux. We found a cute patisserie not far from our hotel and had a fantastic pastries and coffee for a little over 5 Euros! We were feeling a little smug about our abilities to find quality places without guide books.

We hopped on the autoroute and didn’t get off for hours and hours. Unfortunately, you can really rack up the toll charges driving on the French autoroutes. Our tolls for the day neared 50 Euros! Yikes!

For a quick lunch, we stopped at one of the stops on the route. The autoroute stops are like a mini-village complete with gas, restaurant, mini-market, picnic areas, and WCs. The one we found was extraordinarily packed with people. It was rather exciting in a way! We bought baguette sandwiches and I got more coffee from the line of coffee machines. It’s funny how the coffee machines advertised XL coffee and it was still only around 8 oz. I miss my 16 oz mochas!
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We drove through lots of soggy weather and found our little cottage in Normandy up a windy narrow road. We stopped at another Carrefour grocery store in a town nearby for kitchen supplies. It was nice to stock up on milk, yogurt, cereal, (WINE!) and other staples. We liked the space in our little cottage with its two separate bedrooms – one at each end. At last we had space AWAY from the kids! Have I mentioned just how hard it is at times being together ALLLLLLLLL the time?
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The half-timbered buildings are fascinating. A barn connected to our gite has deteriorated a bit and you can see how clay/dirt fills in-between the wood.
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The girls went a little nuts upon arrival in the huge yard and tree swing.

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The satellite TV had all British (ENGLISH!) channels. I nearly wept! Friends reruns were never more entertaining. We had an easy dinner of pasta and I bought plenty of stinky cheese to try. We’re mere minutes from Camembert, Livarot, and many other famous stinky cheeses. The owners of this lovely gite left us a great welcome package with local cider (some for the kids and some for us), calvados, camembert, butter, eggs, bread, butter cookies, and more. They are very friendly and have given us a lot of help.

We were supposed to have internet access all week. Sadly, we haven’t been able to access it. I’m typing this update in Word now before I forget. Despite seeing a mouse in our gite – eeeeeeeek! We still slept well and enjoyed having more space.

July 17 – Chateau Vendeuvre, some sunflowers, and our desolate Sunday in Normandy

We awoke late and were still getting our bearings in Normandy. The kids enjoyed the swings and massive lawn just outside. After a leisurely breakfast, we managed to leave and visit a nearby chateau. On the way we found a pretty sunflower field and stopped for a photo-op.
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This particular chateau was known for being kid-friendly. The outdoor gardens had several surprise water features that came on with sensors. There were also some mazes the kids really enjoyed. The indoor area had a lot of miniature antique furniture that none of us got that excited about. There are a lot of miniature museums in France. I’m not quite sure what the big deal is.
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It was Sunday in Normandy and pretty much everything was shut down. We went to a nearby town and tried to have lunch. Every place was closed. Many places close between 12-2 for lunch. Restaurants stop serving right at 2. All the villages looked pretty desolate. The pouring rain didn’t help matters. The kids were starting to melt before our eyes so we called it a day and headed back for lunch at our cottage/gite.

We didn’t make it far this day. I got a little stir-crazy and borrowed a bike for a short ride on the country roads. The roads around here are like a spider web and go every which way. I felt so silly and panicked for getting somewhat lost! I can barely speak a work of French and didn’t even know how to pronounce the name of the place we were staying. Luckily, I took a few deep breaths and tried another little road that lead me back. That cured me of getting away on my own without GPS for a while!

Have I mentioned how fantastically awesome the GPS is in our car? Man. Worth every penny.

DH grilled some sausages for dinner along with my concoction for Mac & Cheese – didn’t go over that well. We just hung out and watched it rain while driving each other a little crazy. I think we were all feeling a little homesick this evening. Luckily, DH and I were able to end our day watching the women’s World Cup soccer game against Japan. So sad to watch the US go down. They were the stronger team!

July 18th - Honfluer and Etretat - in the rain!
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We had ambitious plans for our day after spending so much time at our gite yesterday. After breakfast, we headed out to the coastal town of Honfluer. It was over an hour away and the rain wasn’t letting up. Being Oregonians, a little rain wasn’t about to change our plans!

Honfluer was beautiful. We bribed the kids with a carousel ride so that was the first order of business. Pretty neat that it had two levels!
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DD#1 was starving again. She can make it about an hour before she’s about to die of starvation. After drying off for a few minutes in the tourist information center, we found a recommended café for lunch. I had some mussels while DH had pizza and the kids shared a savory crepe. We checked out a church across the way that was made of wood – very unusual. A bomb went through the roof during WWII but didn’t explode. It’s fascinating running into reminders from WWII. Normandy is full of history.

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The bell tower was built separately across the way from the church.
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The interior:
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I loved wandering around the town of Honfluer. DH and the kids found a park along the jetty and I took off to explore and take a few pictures. I didn’t buy any souvenirs – too touristy – but got some nice shots.
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Even though it was still raining, we took a 45 minute drive to see the famous chalky-white cliffs along the ocean in Etretat. This turned out to be a ridiculous and pretty hilarious side-trip. We were completely soaked. We snapped a few token pictures and I thanked my dear family for putting up with my often ambitious itinerary.
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We drove back home and stopped at the Carrefour grocery store once again for dinner supplies. The girls were drinking an amazing amount of milk. We had ham tortellini for dinner. The French seem to put ham (jambon) in about everything. Both DDs behavior was leaving much to be desired. They played outside in the large yard while we cracked open another bottle of vino and called it a day.

Random thoughts – Normandy is WAY bigger than I expected! Driving to all my planned destinations is much further than I anticipated. The kids were also showing major signs of travel distress. DD#2 was especially throwing some impressive tantrums. We’re one month into our trip and have realized that it’s just plain hard sometimes. I knew it would be but it’s even more difficult than I expected.

July 19th – Sunshine in Normandy? Could it be? Time for Velorail!
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We awoke (albeit 9am) to a lovely day. DD#2 had a screaming fit in the night and kept us all awake for a while. After breakfast, we eventually headed out to a natural park area known as Suisse Normande. The main attraction was the Velorail. A disused railroad line was now used for tourists. The neatest multi-person "bike/cars" could be pedaled down the tracks.
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It was another hour drive to get to the attraction. The girls are SO done with long car drives. Geesh! We had an interesting picnic in an old rail car.
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We all enjoyed the Velorail and it renewed my faith that we can all have fun together. It’s possible! It was a pretty neat experience and a bit of a work-out.

We came home and finally took advantage of the nice heated pool just outside our gite. DD#1 and I stayed out for quite a while playing random pool games. DD#2 took a much-needed nap.
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For dinner, we treated ourselves to a fancy-ish French meal in the nearby town. We actually had courses like they do in France! The kids were most excited for their dessert course with ice-cream and candy. We enjoyed walking around the small village after our nice dinner.
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The small town near our gite even has a massive church that probably doesn't make any guide book. It was open after dinner so we did a little exploration. We were the only ones inside.
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July 20 - Cheese and Rain. That's about it.

We woke late feeling tired and a bit homesick. After a very long breakfast and lazy time, we got ourselves to the Livarot Cheese Museum. It was pretty interesting and there were free samples at the end. The robotic production was mesmorizing to watch. The gift shop wasn't bad either. All the cheese labels are really artistic.
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We came home after much indecision. The kids played outside in yet MORE rain. I took off in the car to the nearby town to do a little grocery shopping and wandering around. I meandered to the tiny town of Camembert - home of the infamous cheese.

Even though the temp probably didn't break 60 degrees today, we swam in the pool mostly to tire out the kids. It was rather refreshing! Luckily it is a heated pool.
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We had frozen pizza for dinner. Not so bad - seriously! I found microwave popcorn, turned on a movie, and called in a night. Did I mention that DH got our internet going? What a relief to be back in touch!

Tomorrow the big plan is to hit Bayeax and the WWII beaches. It will be a big day. An hour and a half in the car! Wish us luck!

(Random - I just checked my email and received a message from travellerspoint.com - they featured a portion of this blog with a Tour de France pic! Neat!)

Posted by familyineurope 14:50 Comments (1)

Tour de France from the Pyrenees!

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July 12th – Moving on to the Pyrenees.

We packed up after a great six nights in the Dordogne. The hosts at the B&B were so kind and gave us a nice stainless steel coffee container with their logo full of coffee for the road.

Our drive took us through more foie gras country. We were off the main autoroutes this time and poked through many small villages. We had a great picnic mid-way near a field of sunflowers. So many sunflower fields!
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Pretty nice place for a picnic:
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How could these little angels be causing any trouble at all?
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Seriously - the Pyrenees portion of our trip has been the most challenging so far. DD#2 has been rather explosive at times.

We arrived in Argeles Gazost around 4:30 and had time to unwind in our hotel room. We had a balcony and bunk-beds. Two positives. Our balcony is the one nearest the hotel sign:
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We’re without a refrigerator and pool this time though. We walked a short distance to the town center and had a casual dinner. We still find ourselves opening most restaurants when they start serving around 7:30.

We had a drink while we waited for dinner service. On the way to the café, we noticed a fresh milk vending machine. No way! The milk was from a local farm and came in a plastic bag for 1 Euro. We brought it into the restaurant and the kids drank vending machine milk with dinner.
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I finally tried cassoulet for dinner. It’s a regional dish which is basically fancy pork ‘n beans. Some foodies are surely wincing at that description! I liked it though. I don’t believe I’ve had beans since leaving the US.
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Around 10pm we all heard the loudest thunderclap ever! The kids cried and I was pretty scared as well. The thunderstorm went on for quite some time. Quite a show.

Wednesday July 13th – A rainy drive up Tour de France mountains

We had a slow morning after a restless night. We meandered up to a café for pastries and coffee. Prices are pretty reasonable in this town that caters to cyclists and hikers. On several occasions, I have felt like the token American family on display. Some older French folks openly stare at us. They aren’t exactly scowling or smiling so I’m unsure what they’re thinking about our American family.
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It rained cats and dogs all day long. We were all a little moody but finally got in the car to explore a couple of the common Tour de France peaks – Col d’Aubisque and Col du Soulor. This turned out to be a lot of fun! The roads were ridiculously narrow and shared with free-roaming livestock. I got such a kick out of seeing cows, sheep, pigs, and goats up close and personal! The kids were thoroughly amused.
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The tunnels dug into the mountains were amazing! DH and I tried to imagine how the cyclists would be blazing down this same road in just two days. The road was just plain scary in some spots. No guard-rails and very steep cliffs.
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The top of the d’Aubisque was all ready for the tour with giant bicycles! It was literally raining sideways at the top. We were soaked getting our few quick pics.
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When we returned, I snuck out for a short while to shop around town. I found a cute skirt to add to my small wardrobe. I’m getting tired of wearing the same things!

After the much-needed break from the munchkins, I took them out for a soak in the hot tub. DD#1 loved practicing her underwater hand stands.
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I returned to the hotel, dried off, and had dinner at a pizza place. The day was rather uneventful and we spent time in our hotel room watching it rain. The kids needed some downtime and we were plain tired. DD#2 had the tantrum of all tantrums this evening. That is all I will say because I refuse to relive and remember the details. Thank goodness for having a bottle of wine in the room.

Thursday July 14th – Bastille Day!

Finally – we all slept well after a tough start to our evening. We slept late (a pattern, I know) and made our way to a boulangerie for more pastries and coffee. DH was leaving us for the day – with the car – to see a mountain stage on the tour! We opted to stay in town and visit an animal park. We stopped by the Carrefour for snacks and DH dropped us at the Animal Park.

Although visiting zoos wasn't high on my list, this one fit the bill for our day. It wasn’t crowded, the kids were entertained, we were outside walking (rain stopped today!), and the animals seemed more accessible in France. They actually fed and pet marmots! The bears were impressive.

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We walked back to the town center and had yummy cakes for lunch. We had snacked on healthier things earlier – really! I grabbed some fruit at the store to balance the cake. The kids played at the town park for a long time and then we soaked in the hot tub at our hotel.
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Meanwhile, DH was still up a mountain – Luz-Ardiden to be exact. He parked pretty far away and hiked a couple of hours where he was 3km from the finish line! He took many many pictures - here are just a few:
Here are the two riders in the lead:
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Levi Leipheimer
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Take a look at all these switchbacks going up the mountain! People camp out for a couple of days to get the best spot.
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On our way to dinner, we saw a TON of tour vehicles and police coming through town. The gas station just out our window was taken over by official tour vehicles.
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Perhaps the biggest news of the day was DD#1's loose tooth! She is over 6 1/2 and still hasn't lost a tooth. A bottom front tooth is finally loose.
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The kids and I had a casual dinner in town. Behavior seemed to be returning back to normal and we all had a nice day.

July 15th - Another Tour de France stage!

We packed up our things, loaded up the car, and headed up the hill into Argeles-Gazost for one last breakfast. It was a sunny day at last!
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The Tour de France had taken over the town! Carrefour Supermarkets is a large sponsor and had a coloring station for the kids. They sat and colored for quite a while not knowing that they would earn a huge pile of loot for their efforts! They got a stash of colored pencils, hats, air cooler devices, pencil box, etc... They could barely carry the haul!
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The kids also played on inflatable toys. DD#1 is actually inside of that giant bowling ball!
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After we wandered the Tour de France "village", we set off for a level #4 climb early in the stage. We took some narrow backroads and walked up part of a hill. It wasn't long before the tour caravan came through. This is a huge parade with cars (floats) made by sponsors. They threw out free loot to those spectators whooping it up. Being loud Americans, it was no problem attracting plenty of attention and getting a ridiculous pile of free stuff! The highlights were two jerseys, 6-8 hats (haven't counted), food, magnets, etc... I'll try to take a picture of our haul later.
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We really did have a great view of the riders.
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After the Tour madness, we drove 2-3 hours to Bordeaux. We reserved a chain-type hotel on the outskirts of town for our short night. It was interesting using their automated check-in system. We got a key-code, room number, and paid for the room with a computer outside the hotel. We burned off some energy in a forest park complete with exercise equipment and found a nice cafe for crepes and omelettes.
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Tomorrow we are headed to Normandy for a week-long stay in a gite! We are so so excited for two bedrooms and a kitchen. I can't wait to stock up in a supermarket. Naturally it's almost 1am. We're keeping strange hours mostly because it's light until after 10pm. Also we're on vacation!

Random thoughts - my children will not use these standing-only self-flushing toilets. I don't blame them.
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Also, I love how the grocery stores carry small boxes of crackers and nuts, etc... The US sells giant sizes of everything. It's nice buying a small package of crackers that we can eat without carting around forever.

Posted by familyineurope 14:13 Archived in France Comments (0)

Dordogne, France Report - another couple days with our kids

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July 10, 2011

Our kids are really enjoying the place we're staying. They still have their rough moments - DD#2 is being especially demanding as I attempt to write this.

On Sunday, much of France shuts down. The stores and restaurants are mostly closed. Some touristy things are still open such as the Font de Gaume cave. We were lucky enough to have an English guided tour through the only cave in the world with prehistoric cave paintings which one can visit. They were all of bison, horses, and reindeer. They predict that they were 15,000 years old. Our guide was very passionate about the subject and made the experience very interesting. They only allow 200 people per day into the cave. They will likely cut back to 80 people soon and many predict it will be closed to the public forever at some point. Carbon dioxide and temperature variations damage the paintings.
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Next we checked out the nearby La Roque St Christophe - a prehistoric and middle ages settlement formed into a natural rock shelter in a cliff. The kids enjoyed exploring the ancient rock formations. It's the largest natrual rock shelter in Europe. They predict around 1,000 people lived here! I think it must have been a unique living arrangement even in its time.
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Here's a replica of what the village probably looked like:
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The kids seemed particularly tired so we headed back for nap. DH gave me some lovely solo time to visit Beynac - a not-to-be-missed picturesque village. I drove the new car by myself and did just fine. Beynac was very pretty. It was a steep walk to the castle on top! Most things were closed, being Sunday, but I found a couple souvenirs near the top. Natrually I was low on cash (most places don't take CCs it seems) so I headed back to the bottom to the ATM and BACK up again. Good exercise for the day!
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For dinner, we treated ourselves to the evening meal at our accommodation - Le Chevrefeuille. The owners are also accomplished chefs and put out quite a 5 course spread! It was particularly good because the kids could eat and go play with the other children while we lingered. It was and probably will be our most relaxing meal on our trip. We had duck on a mango/walnut salad, soup, cheese, tapenade, dessert. Tasty!
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July 11, 2011
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Our last day in the Dordogne region. I really think we got a feel for this region during our six night stay. I have been to several regions in France (many yet to be discovered) and found the Dordogne to be the most relaxed and casual. There are definitely fine-dining options everywhere but so are shorts, sandals, and just-went-swimming hair-dos.

We had an especially easy day. After a short run among sunflower fields, we enjoyed another lovely breakfast. I love the fresh fruit, muesli, yogurt combo!

We stopped for picnic supplies in St. Cyprien and also walked around the sleepy little town. Our big event for the day was a local waterpark - Parc de Loisirs. The kids were castle/caved-out and I think we all needed a mindless day jetting down waterslides and staying cool in near 90 degree temps.
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DD#2 even tried one of these trampoline contraptions:
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We came back, cooled off, and headed off to our third and final meal at La Merenda in Meyrals. It was just so convenient and nice to sit outside with a view of the countryside.
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After quite a tantrum from DD#2 (I'm glad we're leaving tomorrow for that reason - it's embarrassing to show our face around this delightful B&B after that scream-fest), girls are sleeping before 10pm. A miracle. I do think we'll miss this beautiful place.
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We're off to the Pyrenees tomorrow. It will likely be a 4-5 hour drive. Our stop is Argeles-Gazost near Lourdes. The main attraction is the Tour de France!

Posted by familyineurope 12:42 Comments (0)

Dordogne - Canoe Trip, Castelnaud, Sarlat, and More!

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July 7, 2011 - First full day in Dordogne.

We are lucky to be staying at a beautiful Chambres d'hotes called Le Chevrefeuille. The grounds are big with play equipment, gardens, a pool (a huge hit with the kids), and plenty of picnic areas. There's a playroom and communal kitchen area. Our room has two exposed rock walls and bunk-beds. The girls alternate who stays on top each night! The morning breakfast is great too. They have pretty much everything you could want - including mini boxes of sugary cereal for the kids. They love it!
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The middle part of the complex:
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Our first outing was to the small village of La Roque-Gageac. It's nick-named "the rock" because the town clings to a rock cliff. We walked up some narrow passageways up to a church that overlooked the river. We were amazed by just how old everything seemed. Apparently the Dordogne River floods the town every year.
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Next we moved downstream to Castelnaud - an imposing fortress castle guarding over the river. We had a small picnic before heading into the castle. This castle was especially fun because we could enjoy it at our own pace. We rambled up and down narrow staircases and the girls tossed small pebbles into a very deep well. What a difference from King Ludwig's castles in Bavaria!
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The castle from the river:
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By now, the girls were aching to get into the pool. We went back and spent time swimming. We were lucky to meet other friendly English-speaking people at our b&b. They directed us to a town nearby, Meyrals, for dinner. What a great find! We were able to try foie gras and canard confit (duck in its own fat) - both regional specialties. Foie gras is a huge deal around here and we've seen it for sale EVERYWHERE. I think it's an acquired taste. We liked it but didn't love it. Sorry all you foodies reading this! The duck, on the other hand, was tasty.
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A few notes about the Dordogne region. The roads are incredibly narrow and windy. Some people drive SO fast on them despite barely having enough room for two lanes. I haven't dared drive and have to keep a keen eye on the road so I don't get car-sick. There are a lot of English-speaking people in the region which is nice. The region feels relaxed and slow-paced. My to-do list was pretty big upon arrival but I've already limited the number of activities. We've been travelling for nearly 3 weeks now and need more down-time. This is the perfect place to accomplish that task!
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July 8, 2011 - Dordogne river canoe trip!

We started our day with another nice breakfast. We made arrangements to take a 4-person canoe down a scenic stretch of the river. The river is very calm and requires quite a bit of rowing. I guess that explains my blister! The views were great and we couldn't have had better weather. We stopped a couple of times for snacks and to relax on the rocky banks. DD#2 was especially in the zone and loved watching for leaves and water plants. Canoeing the Dordogne is quite an operation. There are many competing companies and hundreds of people partake everyday. It was still relaxing despite the river traffic.
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After the 3+ hour canoe trip, we came back for more swimming and snacks. The French eat dinner very late. Many restaurants do not open until 7pm. We decided to eat at the same place we'd been the night before because it was nearby, delicious, and reasonable. We opted for easy pizza and beer. Another nice day that just flew by.
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July 9, 2011

After a leisurely breakfast (lots of friendly English-speaking folks here including a family from California), we headed off to a farmer's market in Le Bugue - another little village up the road. We bought local strawberries and a roasted chicken for lunch. I also found some fun duck-themed souvenirs.
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We then headed to a funny little village/amusement park called Le Bournat. It's supposed to be a replica of a 1900s village complete with artisans and kid-themed rides/attractions. It was a little hokey and the kids were only interested in the rides. Still, it was a nice place to have our picnic and spend a few hours.
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As always, we headed back for our afternoon swim. DD#2 took a much-needed nap after an explosive tantrum. So fun. Travelling with our lovely children 24/7 can be very challenging at times. I know we're privileged to have this opportunity but everyone sure has their less than stellar moments.

After everyone seemed back to normal, we headed to Sarlat - the largest and most well-known town in the area. We found a restaurant that had hams hanging from the ceiling and had a yummy - and very cheesy - meal. The best part was wandering the lovely little pedestrian-only streets after dinner. There were many secret passageways to explore and rocky old architecture. The stone roofs were incredible. I especially enjoyed our evening stroll around this town.
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It's after midnight now and I apologize for any misspellings. Time for much-needed sleep!
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Posted by familyineurope 13:28 Comments (0)

Chamonix, Last Day in Annecy, & Drive to Dordogne!

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July 4th - Happy 4th everyone (belated)

It was kind of strange to spend the 4th sans fireworks or celebration. We managed to see some pretty extreme and awesome scenery in the alps! We were lucky enough to score big with great weather in Chamonix, France.
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We got up early in Annecy and made the hour+ drive to Chamonix. We had pre-purchased all-day passes to ride as many gondolas/trains/lifts as we could. The kids were pretty cranky in the morning but nothing could spoil this view.
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We took the biggest and best gondola ride up to the Aiguille du Midi to have a close up view of the biggest mountain in Europe - Mt. Blanc. The structure at the top of the mountain is truly remarkable. After our two gondola rides, we took an elevator up to the top of a rock.
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Ridiculously beautiful. Enough said. We took tons of pictures. I'm only showing a few mostly because downloading them is taking. so. long.
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After seeing Mt. Blanc up close and personal, we took a cog-wheel train to Montenvers (Mer de Glace). We were able to see - and walk through - a real glacier! Once we got off the train, we took a small gondola down to the entrance to the glacier. Sadly, the glacier continues to melt each year and the number of steps to reach the ice tunnel increases each year.
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After our train ride, we found a nice outdoor restaurant in Chamonix where we refueled. The girls were completely worn out by this point. DH was kind enough to wait in the car while I rode a small gondola up to the top of Le Brevent for one last view. What a great day we had!

We arrived back to Annecy in time for more gelato and crepes for dinner.
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July 5th - Last day in Annecy

I began our last HOT day in Annecy with a short run. I was happy to see that another market was getting started! DD#2 and I set out to gather peaches and pastries for breakfast.
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We took a drive up Le Semnoz to a pretty but distant view of the mounains we'd seen yesterday. After the kids played on a playground at the top of the hill, we spotted another summer luge. It was closed for lunch so we settled in at a ski resort and had wine and cheese while the kids played. The best part were the cows roaming beneath the chair lifts. Many wore cowbells and it was music to my ears!
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This luge was even better than the one in Germany. There were fewer people and the price was better. We each had three very fast runs!
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We made our way back and had another final round of gelato. We were sad to leave many flavors untasted! After lots of hunting for dinner, we settled on a cafe where DH had a croque monsieur and I had a salad nicoise.

Annecy was lovely but a little touristy for our tastes. We were pretty hot our last night and some loud teenagers were outside our room until late. The location of the hotel was great but the traffic getting there was difficult. Overall, Annecy would have been better as a 2-3 night stop rather than 4. DD#1 had quite a fever at one point. Luckily, the pharmacy had Children's Advil and her fever broke. She's feeling much better now.
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July 6 - drive to Dordogne

This is the shortest entry of all. We left Annecy after another breakfast of croissants. Mmmmmmmm! The 6 hour drive took us through central France and was quite uneventful. I drove over two hours and enjoyed going 80-90mph on the autoroutes! Woohoo! Too bad the tolls were so crazy expensive.

We arrived at Le Chevrefeuille Chambres d'hotes (b&b) and loved the buildings and outdoor areas. The Dordogne region was already fascinating with its narrow winding roads, ancient looking buildings, and rustic appeal. The pool wasn't too shabby either. We stopped at a Carrefour grocery store and stocked up. We finally had a shared kitchen facility and could keep perishables. We had a nice picnic dinner by the pool and had a short swim before bed. I was also able to do some laundry and hang it to dry. The kids liked helping me hang the clothes on the outdoor clothes lines. We don't do that at home but should!

I'll post many pictures of the Dordogne and our accommodation next time....

Random observation - many children use pacifiers well past toddler-hood. I saw one kid who had to be 5 walking around with a pacifier in her mouth. Several 3 and 4 year olds too.

As always, thanks for reading!

Posted by familyineurope 13:43 Comments (0)

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