Posted: May 29, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Blundstone, Chateaux de Biron, Edward 1er, France walking trip, Le Seguinet, Monpazier, Saint-Front-sur-Lemance
Good Morning Monpazier.
We left our Barbie Castle hotel (aka Edward 1er) in search of more…..
Castles! Our friendly postman/taxi driver, who rescued us in my last post, drove us to Chateaux de Biron.
The details blew my mind.
Aha! A possible clue about our previous day’s misadventure. Occasionally you cross paths with other “GR” trails, like you see here.
Welcome to Lacapelle-Biron, home to fanatical rugby fans. Most of the town was gathered in their red and white colors. I could write an entire book on the difference between American sports fans and French sports fans based on my 10 minute observation of this event but this is a blog, not a book so I will spare you.
Go team! We start our walking for the day leaving Lacapelle-Biron and their sports traditions behind.
It is immediately apparent we are all in a bit of a silly mood.
I think the previous day’s challenges brought us closer as well.
Note to self, call the GR trail people about the marks in this town, they sort of completely disappeared.
Thanks to some friendly locals we found our way and saw beautiful things like this country home.
We were in no rush, we truly took our time which yielded more gifts like this shot.
Sometimes, more is better.
Le Seguinet, our intended destination for the night in Saint-Front-sur-Lemance.
Le Seguinet sits on 18 acres with 4 separate buildings on the property. It was magical.
France provided a wonderland of contraband park equipment that our kids are very unlikely to see in the States – like see saws and unruly swings.
The actual town of Saint-Front-sur-Lemance is……so-so.
So we spent the rest of the daylight enjoying the grounds at our hotel.
The kids found tadpoles to “study” around the fairy like pond.
When you’ve gone without any toys for a couple of weeks, a broken hula hoop can provide an hour of entertainment.
Interior of Le Seguinet. I lost count of the amazing tile patterns used throughout the 18 room “house”.
Blundstone family pic.
The beginnings of our sun downer from our lovely Indian/Canadian/English cum French host Mme. Finnegan (funny coincidence). Good night Saint-Front.
Posted: May 21, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: france, GR 36, Lou Peyrol, Monpazier, MOntferrand, traveling in Europe with kids, walking trails
A bit of an introduction, on our fifth day of walking we mistakenly hopped off the GR 36 trail and onto another. It was a beautiful walk but took us 20 km AWAY from our intended destination. This turned out to be our longest day of walking, we figure it was over 20 km, possibly 25 km – that’s a really long way when you are five and seven years old. This post is dedicated to my kids who not only walked the whole day but happily put on their boots the next morning as well, thank you, I love you.
Breakfast – time to leave Montferrand for Monpazier
Snail love, turns out that love was in the air that day
11th century church, I think this was my favorite, I’ll take it over Notre Dame any day
We spied this place for a mid-morning break, also to fill water bottles (walking tip: turns out cemeteries almost always have water)
Lunch break, our hosts from Lou Peyrol packed us sandwiches for the day, which we happily devoured sitting outside this castle wall.
Here’s what the locals were offering, this was the only restaurant in town.
Two deer running straight for us
The moment we realize we are 20 km away, it’s a hard moment, no one even cares about Chateaux Bannes in the background.
While we wait for our hotel to send a rescue car our way (miraculous), my daughter adopts several snails. (choosing snails over the chateaux, that’s my girl)
The feeling of sitting after walking for 9 hours.
Our hotel, Edward 1er
You can almost make out our muddy footprints
Monpazier and this surrounding area of France is very “English” in style…and sort of Disneyland-y.
Posted: May 15, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Dordogne, Lou Peyrol, Montferrand-au-Perigord, Walking in France
Packed up lunch for our walk from Belves to Montferrand
Lock the gite and we are on our way
Find the mark and start walking – we have an easy day planned, only about 5 hours of walking.
Many have asked my “favorite thing I saw” – this is it, a caravan of caterpillars
The caterpillar string was about 15 feet long, I’ve never seen anything like it before
This did not make me happy. The kids thought it was hilarious.
Notice the elevation, the mornings typically began with a steep climb.
We saw lots of happy, beautiful animals on this path…..thankfully no boars!
Can you see my happy kid?
Our home for the evening. Our wonderful host Thierry, greeted us, made us cafe and chocolate chaud.
Montferrand is very small, it might have been my favorite town. The buildings are very old, very quaint and everyone was very kind.
Charting the course for the next days of walking.
At Lou Peyrol, Thierry cooks our dinner, his wife serves us, we eat until we are stuffed talking with the kids the whole time. It was a magical night. Goodnight Montferrand.
Posted: May 14, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Belves, Dordogne, Gite, Montferrand-au-Perigord, Saint Cyprien, travelling with kids in France, Walking in France
Leaving Saint Cyprien for Belves
The people who mark the trail are amazing, this is another mark you may see just to clear up doubt.
Attack of the trees!!!!!
The town of Belves is a sight for sore feet after a very full day of walking
Belves. Town of bells and secret dwellings (13th – 15th century a whole slew of people lived under the castle)
The Gite, our home for the night – Relais Vert. The sheets are for 1-2 nights use and then throw away, they feel like paper towels.
The gite is an old church (complete with cemetery and bell tower) about 3 km from Belves city center.
Walking paths in the area, we are still on GR 36.
View from the gite. Good night Belves. Montferrand-au-Perigord we’ll see you tomorrow. (Note to future guests, the bell tower stops at 10:00, THANK THE LORD.)
Posted: May 10, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Chez Nanou, France walking trip, Le Moulin de la buene, Les Eyzies, Saint Cyprien
Les Eyzies, the starting line for our walk and our hotel information
Our last train from Perigord to Les Eyzies get delayed for hours – No “Train Supreme” for us, we get a taxi
We arrive in Les Eyzies with about an hour of sunlight left to explore
We wake up to a cold morning
Le petit dejeuner
Found the trail – GR 36
Walking to Saint Cyprien
The white and red stripes mark our path
The GR 36 leading us into Saint Cyprien, we’ve finished our first walking day – very easy only about 7 km.
The kids still have tons of energy so we find a playground
Our “hotel” Chez Nanou
The daily laundry
Goodnight from Chez Nanou
Posted: May 9, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Blundstone, France by train, Gare Montparnasse, TGV, traveling with kids
After an early morning train from Gisor we are back in Paris. TGV here we come
I’d just explained we were taking 4 different trains that day, for a grand total of 8 hours of travel!
I honestly didn’t see that coming.
All is well once again and we explore the train station and people watch.
Family pic, so far so good with the Blundstones, they handled Paris and Normandie like a dream but the real test is about to begin.
The TGV (super fast train) is nice, and I mean real nice.
And the view is even better. Paris to Bordeaux in a few hours while sitting comfortably, not bad my friends, not bad.
Posted: May 8, 2013 Filed under: Me, Travel | Tags: Gisors, laundry and travel, Normandie
Laundry – a good thing to do when visiting a foreign country