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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 09 Sep 2007

Location: St Emillion, France

MapThe warm hospitality and charming friendship from Jean, Andy, Nicole and Helene made it well worthwhile changing plans and spending the night with them. Jean also helped us book tonight’s accommodation over the phone – her French language skills proving invaluable. After a heartfelt goodbye, with a depth of gratitude that seemed impossible to convey, we set off for the west. Hopefully, one day, we will repay their kindness by welcoming Jean, Andy and the girls to Tasmania.
After a two-hour drive, we arrived in the Bordeaux region. Deciding not to venture into “la grande ville”, we left the motorway (after paying ten euros for the privilege) before Bordeaux and headed for St Emilion, then onto a little village called Belves-de-Castillon, to the home of our B&B host for tonight, Armond Burriel at Chateau Claud-Bellevue. The countryside is spectacular, the scenery stunning. Vineyards to the horizon, passing through one little village after another, with buildings looking as old as they obviously are. Our host is charming, and amazingly we discuss wine, holidays, family and our home countries without Armand speaking any English and us struggling with the occasional word in French. Goes to show that language is not a barrier in establishing international relations. But wine helps, specially when it’s made by the host.