Zachary Sabbatical - 2006/2007 travel blog

When in France, do as the French do (for breakfast)!

One of the few areas NOT in vineyards.

One of many chateauxs-cum-museum in order to survive.

An inviting entry to a chateaux.

"Good morning Savannah" chirped Dad somewhere in the foggy distance. "Time to get going!" This time, his voice was louder and much nearer as I gained consciousness after what seemed like only a few minutes' sleep. This was the start of a long travel day - no planned touring. We got ready quickly and headed into the cool morning without breakfast. An hour or so later, Dad pulled into a small village and found the local boulongerie (bakery) where the locals were already carting off the fresh baguettes, petite pains, pastries, and other goodies. (French villages are so predictable that way!) After making our selection, we continued our journey south toward the Spanish border.

We were passing through Bordeaux country, and as expected, vineyard after vineyard rolled by. Church steeples towered above the many villages nestled into the rolling hills, and although it was picturesque, I kept occupied with one of the novels I picked up in London. Dad stayed on the motorways (toll) roads, so there was little for me to do with respect to helping with navigation. In the evening, we had finally reached Bayonne - the last major French city on the Atlantic coast before entering Spain. As we drove through the city looking for a hotel room, we noticed several other tourists doing the same thing. All of us got the same reply - "complete" (no vacancy)! It was almost funny how we would all race to the next hotel along the street, the wives jumping out to check on vacancy while the husbands got the cars turned around, ready to go just in case it was necessary. We did manage to find a place to stay near the outskirts of the city, but by the time we returned with a few items for supper, our hotel too sported the dreaded "Complete" sign! Hopefully there would be less tourists in Spain!

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