Two years ago, Naeva had a classmate from France in her class. She and Lisa become close friends, and her family invited us to come and visit. Here we are! We’ve had a great few days with parents Flo and Marc, and children Lisa (11), Constance (8) and Raphael (6).  Flo’s sister Carole (a teacher at our kids school in Victoria) and her two daughters were also visiting.    THe house is just outside Bordeaux.  We’ve been treated to long, lingering meals, dips in their backyard pools and late conversations en francais well into the evening (midnight bedtimes for les enfants, tres bien!).  Naeva and Lisa picked up where they left off two years ago and had a great few days together.

We took our two and Lisa on a trip to the Dunes du Pyla, a 110 m high sand dune on the Atlantic. I (Kristina) had visited when I was 11. We reenacted my childhood by scaling it and running/rolling/flipping down.  The kids had their first dip in the Atlantic. It didn’t last too long.

We were all invited to visit some cousins at their chateau in the middle of their winery outside Bordeaux on Saturday. Our three hosts Nicholas, Fred and Ben treated us to fantastic meal, a tour of the wine cellar and of course some of their own Sauternes, a sweet and soft white wine usually drunk at Christmas or other special holiday.  We bought a few to take home  for December. Lots of time out on the terrace in the sun, too.

Today Marc took us on a tour of Bordeaux. A beautiful city, on the Garonne River. Lots of plazas and restored buildings. It felt a bit like Vienna, lots of Baroque churches and ornate balconies. Delicious lunch on the Place du Parlement. We climbed up 233 stairs for a view of the city.

And then home for one last meal ensemble. Ian and Marc cooked the Merguez outside.  Our cheese platter had 13 cheeses on it. Love this country.

We have managed to squish the contents of our 4-week road trip into our bags tonight, for our train trip to Amsterdam tomorrow.  I’m not sure if I’m in denial or just happily exhausted from too many late nights, but not feeling like being about philosophical about what it means to be heading to Amsterdam, our final European destination…and how few days of this great trip there are left.  Just taking it day by day, and enjoying it all. Especially the cheese.


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