Robyn's 2010 European Adventure travel blog

Wanna Buy Some Ducks? How About Some Rabbits?

Juniper Berries!

View From the Back of the House

Huge Wine-Tasting Place

One last day in France, and 1 last market. This time we made our way to Créon. It had some of the same stalls that had been at the Libourne market, but this time I took the time to look at the spice stall and found some juniper berries (geniévre). Talking to the man who was manning the stall (who spoke English very well), he suggested that 2 other things to do with them (other than make choucroute) are to crush the berries and make a sauce for lamb, or to crush the berries and roast or simmer chicken with them. Yummm!

We also saw that they were selling live rabbits, chickens (from tiny chicks to adults) and ducks at the market. We almost bought 2 ducks for the pond (I was just picturing them in the rental car, quacking away), but the man said that you had to have a shelter for them, so that will have to come first.

On the drive to and from Créon, there seemed to be a combination of both English and French architecture, especially in the churches. Patricia explained that the area was where the Hundred Years War took place.

The Hundred Years War (well, it actually lasted 116 years) was between England and France. The final battle, in July 1453, was at Castillon, not far from Patricia’s house. Henry VI had sent an army to Aquitaine (Bordeaux), the area where the war had started in 1337, the English were routed and Bordeaux became French territory again. In fact, England lost all of their land on the continent except for Calais. The battle is re-enacted every year at Castillon.

The other things I noticed along the way were the sunflowers (now all dried, but must have looked spectacular about a month ago) and the preparations for the wine harvest to come within the next month. There were various places where workers were setting up camp, large trucks were delivering bottles to the chateaux, and every once in a while you see a harvester rumbling down the road. Not long before the 2010 Bordeaux will be celebrated in all the villages, with much hoopla!

Before a last dinner of paella (picked up at the market in Créon), we went for a drink to some friends of Patricia, an English couple with a design gallery in a converted barn.

I’m just getting into the swing of the relaxed life of Bordeaux, and it’s already time to move on. Back to jolly olde England!

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