Ooh La La!
Hello World! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted with you on the 400project! So I’m about to unload a backlog of articles and stories with you.
Let’s rewind to the year 2018 for this one!
Shortly after our adventures in Vermont we were confronted with the option of an even larger trip. Kat’s old exchange partner’s sister was getting married and invited her and her family to go and attend the wedding. Kat then excitedly shared with me the news, that I would be coming with her as her plus one to La Brede France! I’m going to try and keep this article short, using only my favourite photos from the trip, but I warn you now this will still be a long one!
This was the first time I’ve been on a flight longer than two hours, or overseas. I was both excited and nervous. However after a long wait at two airports, a one hour flight, and one eight hour flight, we had arrived in Bordeaux, France. After watching the baggage come through on the conveyor belt we realized 50% of our groups luggage had been lost. I lucked out and my luggage (the least amount of stuff/least important stuff) arrived safe and sound.
The Kouchy’s home was absolutely gorgeous, I still can’t get over the style of housing in France. The Clay roofs and how they utilize colour and space is inspirational. Karim’s vehicle of choice was equally astounding.
I was so happy to see a classic Renault, let alone be staying somewhere with one! I think some new vehicles are kinda neat but I really get excited when it comes to classic and vintage vehicles.
Celia and Benoit’s wedding was beautiful. The weather held out just long enough for the ceremony, and then poured rain. They had some wonderful craft beer on tap, self-serve, super dangerous. Kat and I may have indulged in the Hygee Brewing Company’s Delirum Tremmens beer quite a bit that evening. Good thing their wedding favours were brown bags labelled “hangover kits”!
The Kouchy’s family was super kind and helpful when it came to hospitality. Since we were staying around the events of the wedding we met several of their family members and most nights we had tables running into the living room so that everyone could have a seat. EVERY MEAL, consisted of bread at some point. Which I found funny considering we were staying in a place called La Brede.
Being in Bordeaux (literally the most popular wine region in the world) we HAD to visit a few wineries. So equipped with a car we borrowed we hit the road. Luckily everything is still regular in terms of driving for us Canadians there. Left hand drive vehicles and driving on the right side of the road.
There are wineries EVERYWHERE in Bordeaux but we decided to visit La Havt Lafitte and Sources de Caudalie a spa/beauty product producer. Celica used to work at Havt Lafitte and Michelle had visited the place before, but it was all new to Kat and I. We started at Les Souces de Caudalie and began taking way too many photos of everything (I’m severely limiting my photos here).
We snuck around to places we weren’t even sure if we were allowed visiting and took photos of everything we could see!
Afterwards we walked across the road and visited the winery. La Havt was beautiful and the weather couldn’t have been better.
We were already experiencing cold and less than exciting days back in Canada and it was a nice change in France. Everything was so much older than back in Canada being that colonies in France existed way before anyone stepped foot in Canada. So much history and neat architecture was present. This was amazing but didn’t prepare me in the slightest for what I was to see when we would travel to the city of Bordeaux…
The biggest city we visited was Bordeaux. Although we arrived here off our eight-hour flight, we didn’t really get to experience the history of the city until later in our trip. Christine dropped the four of us off near the train station in the morning for us to explore the city. We walked from there to the shopping centre (so to speak) and visited a few shops while getting sandwiches for lunch.
After grabbing some grub we sat just outside the St.Andre Cathedral watched pedestrians and a local garbage removal vehicle pass us by. We then entered the Cathedral and aside from the fact we were respectful, we became silent. The vaulted ceilings were massive and photos really don’t do any justice! Just imagine building something like this back in 1821! With no machinery or any advance equipment, yet everything is symmetrical and perfectly formed.
From there we explored a few more historic buildings and shopping centres. Walking over 10kms, we eventually were short on time. We had to make it back to the train station to grab a specific train to meet up with Melissa. After visiting more touristy and historic sites like Monument aux Girondins and Le Miroir d’eau we ran back to the station snapping anything we could see on the go.
To sum up we could’ve spent two days-worth of time in Bordeaux as we didn’t even cross to the other side of the river.
I’ve never really been the type of person to have a bucket list, but if I did, visiting a castle definitely would have been on it.
Chateau de la Brede has three courtyards, three bridges, two watchtowers, stables, a freaking moat, and back in the day a giant wall surrounding it! As with the birth of many castles the primary function is to protect your army and yourself. Chateau de la Brede has an incredible view in any direction to make sure they could spot their enemy kilometers away.
The castle is full of many things that have been collected from far and wide. Books, furniture, and various art has been gathered here. The library got so big that the main foyer needed extra supports built as the floor began to sink.
After time went on and marching armies became less of a constant, the walls were torn down, and Chateau de la Brede slowly became what it is today. I still think moats are a wonderful design choice for any homeowner.
Anakin’s Worst Nightmare
Sand! So much sand! The Dunes du Pilat was a little taste of Tatooine, except it wasn’t too hot and right beside the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless this was neat little stop before we had to pack our bags and get our flight home.
And there you have it, the short version of our trip to France. Going through these photos in 2020 makes me want to travel again, however it seems that’ll be put on hold for quite awhile now. Stay positive everyone, remember the fun times you’ve had and know there will be more in the future!