Imogen's weeks in France
Jun 16, 2010
I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long, but France has been so much fun! We have spent 3 weeks in France. One week in Paris, one week in a town called Beaune which is in Burgundy, and the third week near a town called Sarlat, which is in an area called the Perigord Noir.
First I’ll tell you about our week in Paris. On the first day we went on a bus ride and saw so many famous things. Our apartment was in an area called Montmartre and it has a famous church called the Sacre Coeur. It is a catholic church and it was white all over and it was at the top of a hill so we had a magnificent view of Paris and we saw the Eiffel tower. We arrived there on a Sunday just as they were beginning mass so we stayed and watched for a little bit. The next day we climbed up the Eiffel tower, but we only went to the second floor. But we still got a really cool view. After the Eiffel tower we went on a boat trip along the river seine but I didn’t find it that interesting.
We went to lots of museums when we were in France and one of the museums was the L’orangerie to see Monet’s water lilies. We also went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. It was soooo crowded!
One day we went to have a cooking class. It wasn’t so much hands-on but we did get to learn how to make 3 different types of pastries; croissants, pain au chocolat and raspberry triangle twists. Another day we went on a bike tour around Paris. It was so cool and our tour leader was a kiwi guy. He has lived in Paris for 10 years. He moved to Paris with his girlfriend except she dumped him but he didn’t have enough money to go back so he stayed in Paris. We also went to see Versailles, which is a Palace outside Paris. On the Palace it had lots and lots of gold and it had really big gardens, which were sort of like a maze. Marie Antoinette used to live at Versailles until she had her head chopped off by the revolution.
After our week in Paris we went to Beaune. On the first day we went to get our bikes and spent two days biking around the vineyards. We passed 3 villages and at the 3rd village we stopped so mum and dad could do some wine tasting and Lachie and I saw a clean fountain so we dipped our hands in and it was nice and cold so we felt refreshed. On the way home we stopped under a tree to have a picnic and when we got home mum and dad had a nap after the exercise. The next day we cycled again through 4 different villages and this time we stopped at a chateau which was also a museum with planes and cars and motorbikes. And while we were cycling through to the next village we saw a little tornado in the vineyard and it nearly came past and hit us! It picked up a piece of wood and threw it up into the air. We then stopped in the 3rd village so mum and dad could taste more wine and the lady had two dogs and a kiwi boyfriend. While mum and dad were having wine tasting Lachie and I played with the dogs and Lachie found a new type of cork. Then we went to another chateau called the guardian angel and the lady was really nice and gave us ice cream and mum and dad tasted wine again and bought cassis and bubbles. Then we biked home through the vineyards and dropped the bikes off at 7pm. The next day we went to the famous hospice. It was really cool and interesting and it was build especially to look after poor people and the person who built it was buried in the chapel. After the hospice because it was a boiling hot day we wanted to go to the swimming pool but it was closed for school groups. One day went to a mustard factory but it wasn’t that good. After the mustard factory we went for coffee which was really expensive because our hot chocolate was made with valrohna chocolate. There were really clever tarts there, and we had some. We also went to the famous wine cellars in Beaune and it was really cool because the wine tasting was underground in the cellar and we got a map with info on it. We also got tasting cups that we got to keep and we got to taste 15 wines. (Edit by mum - mum and dad tasted the wines, not the kids!) We bought some cheese and then we went home.
On Friday we went to get the car which was really small with 2 doors and mummy wants a car smaller than that. After daddy got settled we had a little drive around some villages so dad could get the hang of driving on the right hand side. After the villages we went to the guardian angel lady’s husband to get some more bubbles.
On Saturday there was a big Saturday market and it was really cool because it had lots of food and the front was basically all clothes and the back was basically all food. Then we hit the road. When we were driving we stopped to have a look at some canal locks and it was really cool. Once we arrived at Sarlat we were a bit early so we had a little drive around to see how the village was, then when it was time we drove to our house which was in a tiny village called Sainte Nathalene. The man met us and we got settled and we met the dog Toffee.
The next day we drove around because we were thinking of buying a house in the area and we went to see how the villages were (because it’s all about location!) and after all that driving it made us really hungry and it was a Sunday so not alot of things were open. So we found a bakery and had a little bit to eat. And after a drive we came face to face with our favourite farmhouse and we didn’t like it as much as we thought we would, so we drove home. The next day we went to try to find the real estate agent to show us the houses. It took two and a half hours to find the village where his office was and when we got to the village we couldn’t find his office. We gave up and went to a little village called St Emilion but it was a tourist mania. On the other days we went out for lunch and had duck cassoulet, we went down a cave called the Cathedral cave, we also went to the market in Sarlat and got some goats cheese and sausages. We went to a little town called Beynac and visited Beynac castle at the top of a really steep hill, and the owner still lived there. The castle had a really cool old kitchen and when the soldiers won they would go up a ramp through the kitchen and into the courtyard and a servant would put the horses away. And when we were going through the castle mummy ready lots of info out. In some rooms it was 17th century and some parts were 11th century. After the castle we went outside the gates and had ice cream. The next day we went horse riding for a few hours through the forest and my horse started trotting and mum’s horse didn’t want to go over the train tracks. The guide’s dog came with us. The guide told us where some of the Lord of the Rings was filmed, and how the area used to be famous for making charcoal. After the horse riding we went for a drink at the local hotel and Lachie and I played ping pong, then we went for a swim at home, just like most days. On the last day in the Perigord we went canoeing. It was quite hard work and we spent 5 ½ hours on the river. There were lots of castles and lots of trees along the river and daddy and I kept going into trees but Lachie and mummy mostly didn’t. Along the way we had a picnic and Lachie and I liked standing up in the canoes and paddling. When we got back to shore we were so tired because we thought it would be easier and the current would push us but there really was no current so we had to use our muscles. And when we got back to shore mummy had a coke, daddy had 2 beers, and Lachie and I had two ice blocks each and we sat and sat and sat and sat. Then we came home to pack and have a little swim.
The next day we left the French farm house to take the train to Barcelona. So we said goodbye to toffee and Chris the owner, and headed off.
Bye for now and I hope to tell you more about my adventures next time.
PS I’m missing you alot.