Another bus tour to a quaint little village called Saint Emilion. The village is on a hill and the cobble stones were very difficult to get around. You had to be very careful that your feet did not slip. It was quite a hot day approx. 32 degrees.
It is quite a small little town with little to do except visit the wine shops and select your wines from the numerous wines which were very expensive.
There is of course a church on the hill - Trinity Church, and we visited it. It was quite old like all of the churches then we had a guide who took us down the street to visit an underground catacomb Monolithic church. We were not allowed to take photos of this due to all of the little areas being owned by individuals. There was one chapel that we saw which had blackened over the years and the people decided to clean it and they found underneath the black original frescoes with beautiful painted religious pictures circa 12th century. Really amazing.
We then had freetime, had lunch and then onto the bus for a tour of a winery - Chateau Franc Mayne. We were shown and explained how the wine was made and at the end of the tour we were taken into some underground limestone caves. These caves have been dug out for the limestone rocks for buildings of the area. The last photo is a large limestone square airvent for the caves. If you look carefully you can see that the winery is on limestone and then there is a little bit of dirt for the roots and then the green of the vines on top. The wineries are not allowed to irrigate their wineries (except for the first 2 years of brand new vines to get them settled) and they have to exist on their own. The vines have to put their roots down into the limestone and get their water from the rock. The winery then used the caves for storing their wines as you can imagine it was quite cool underneath - apprx 12 degrees. Outside was about 34 so it was a welcome relief to get cool.
We came back to the hotel and 9 of us had organised to meet up and have dinner together at a restaurant that was recommended in Michaels travel book. Unfortunately we could not book as you can only book when they were opened and they opened at the time we arrived at the restaurant. We were not able to get in, so had to change plans and find somewhere else. We walked up the street a bit and came across a small bar café type restaurant with no-one in it. We all decided we had to eat and so went in. There was only one waiter on duty and he was the chef, waiter and barman. He was very friendly and could speak broken English so was able to tell us what he had left over in his fridge to make up a meal for us. He was very inventive and some of us had a chicken salad, and a steak with chips. The meals were delicious, and we all had a great time.
Just before we finished the boss of the café came in and was delighted to see all his table being occupied.
The next day our bags had to be out the door by 7.30 as they had to be taken by our bus driver to our next destination. It was a 6 hour bus drive for Phillipe, but we were able to stay in our hotel room until noon and spend some extra time shopping etc.