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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Poitou-Charentes, France

Aug 20, 2018 - Hot August Nights, (and cold showers)

Bonour mes amis, Thanks to Neil Diamond for his inspiration of "Hot August Nights". His 70s album was a great hit but the reality of hot August nights is not so pleasant when the heat continues. After Alison left to continue her adventures in southern France and Slovenia, I did a bit of relaxing and resting my knee for a few days. However, by Wednesday of that first week I discovered that my shower felt cool. Damn! I hoped it was my imagination. Sadly no. My hot water heater had stopped working again. Last summer it did the same thing twice...

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Summer 2018

Aug 7, 2018 - Travels with Alison

Bonjour mes amis, My travels in France have continued amidst the heat wave but for the last week I've had my friend and former colleague with me. I got up very early to meet her at the airport after a sleepless night in Paris due to inconsiderate hotel guests below me. They were outside in a courtyard below my room and sound reverberated off the stone walls. At 2am I asked Reception to get them to be quiet but they only increased the volume of the music and the talking. Like a grumpy old lady, I rang again at 2:20am. Again they ignored the...

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Summer 2018

Jul 28, 2018 - Injuries and travels

Bonjour mes amis, Since my last entry we have had our regional "Tour de France" bike race, much smaller but still exciting as it started in Saint Savin and circled back later in the day. We have a few hills to challenge the riders and I noted that some looked particularly fatigued as the day wore on. We were waiting to receive gifts thrown out by the caravan. Again this year they threw them at the opposite side of the street. A car slowed near me and I put my hands out to receive my bounty. Alas, they just sprayed me with water. People on...

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Summer 2018

Jul 15, 2018 - Celebrations

Bonjour mes amis, We've had all kinds of celebrations in the village since my last journal entry. Firstly on 7/7, it was Virginie's birthday so she hosted a musical evening at her bar, Le Saint Savin. We sat on the terrace with some wine, listening to the musicians called Ambience. They've performed here before and they're great. Keith always says that the woman sounds like Joni Mitchell, her voice is so pure. Later in the evening we were treated to strawberry sponge birthday cake but no champagne this year. Things are changing! It...

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Summer 2018

Jul 6, 2018 - Socialising and storms

Salut, I love this time in the village. There are always social events organised by the hotels or other local bodies. Recently, the Hotel de l'Abbaye (aka the PMU) held a rock concert in the square. A couple of hundred people came out to eat, drink and be merry. Apparently the food was good but I and my friends choose just to go for a drink and the music. It was a balmy, summer's night that stayed warm until the end. Some patrons chose to buy giraffes of beer (check out the photo,) which is very sensible when a lot of people are drinking...

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Summer 2018

Jan 16, 2018 - On To Leoville

Day 3 - Tuesday 16th January Still dark at 8.30am when we set off South. Rained on & off all day as we passed Tours, Poitiers & Angouleme before stopping for the night on another free Aire about 30 miles North Of Bordeaux. First one we went to had ceased to be so we had to find an alternative. These Aires are great stopover places & most cater specifically for motorhomes with facilities for dumping waste & taking on water, this one also had a toilet. Not a squat one either. This Aire was on the outskirts of a small town. We did have a walk...

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Sep 7, 2017 - À bientôt, (see you later,) Saint Savin

Bonjour mes amis, I have said à bientôt (see you later) to my other home in Saint Savin and I'm heading back home to Melbourne. I'm at the airport now, although my flight doesn't leave until tomorrow morning but when you are coordinating a bus from the village which connects to the airport train, you either have too much time or not enough to make the flight. This time I have way too much time so I'm luxuriating in my home away from home, the Hotel Ibis in Charles de Gaulle airport. Over the last few days I've done my usual preparation for...

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French summer 2017

Sep 2, 2017 - A busy week

Bonjour à tous, My summer here is almost over so I've had a lot of things to pack into my week. On Sunday I attended the last solo performance of a pianist at the lunchtime Masterclasses. As we left we walked across the square to the bar and caught up with friends for a brief drink and a chat. I joined Glenda and Val for the finale at night which included 15 performers playing one piece each. It was pretty impressive although very warm inside the refectory. When interval came there was a polite dash outside to stand in the cooler night air...

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French summer 2017

Aug 26, 2017 - The good, the bad and the smelly

Bonjour mes amis, How are you? Are you still suffering through the cold? I'll be home soon to see for myself. It might be a nice change after this summer. I've had another interesting and busy week. The annual piano masterclasses started last Sunday and will finish this Sunday. This event brings young artists from all over Europe to study with renown piano Maestros in Saint Savin. While they are here they perform every lunchtime in the refectory of the medieval abbey which has great acoustics. They also run a program at night in the St...

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French summer 2017

Aug 19, 2017 - Cold showers

Bonjour mes amis, The title of this entry refers partly to the weather which has often been wet of late but more particularly to my faulty hot water service which has led me to have cold showers. Last weekend was fine on both fronts. On Saturday the Aussie Three Musketeers as Glenda, Garry and I have become, went for a long walk winding through the forest, snaking through the tunnels under the old railway line. The area is in a slight valley with many trees so visibility and orientation are not easy. There was a lot of moss growing...

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French summer 2017

Aug 10, 2017 - I've fallen in love with Albi

Hi all, Yes, as the title states, I've fallen in love with Albi. No Prudence and Penelope, you're not getting a new daddy. It's the town of Albi that has taken my heart. But more of that later. Last Saturday, I went to the big annual Le Blanc brocante and vide grenier street event with stalls selling everything from junkie old toys to antique furniture and art. The town's main streets were closed so that hundreds of stalls could be set up in preparation for the thousands who attend, in search of a bargain. Like last year I went there with...

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French summer 2017

Aug 5, 2017 - Last week in Saint Savin

Hi all, I hope that life is treating you well. Last week was another big one for me in the village. On Thursday night we all celebrated Hilary's birthday at Le Saint Savin bar. (You will have guessed that this is our favourite haunt.) It was a lovely summer's evening spent with friends enjoying a few drinks and a good chat. The music was provided by a great duo who gave us a mix of rock, jazz and pop to appeal to the audience. As the night drew on, we joined in songs we knew and some got up and danced. Hilary was the belle of the ball and...

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French summer 2017

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