Sunday, October 01, 2006

to the manor borne...

...borne by our Clio and some good fortune that is.

We took our first road trip this weekend. Destination Dordogne. Beth found a listing for a hotel in Le Bugue a village near the convergence of two rivers, the Vezere and the Dordogne. We called and made reservations for two nights. 69 euros per night. We bought a cooler and packed lunch and dinner.

We left at midday Friday. Our destination lay on the other side of Bodeaux so we took the Rocade to the north and in less than an hour were in wine country. We stopped in St. Emilion (pics posted later) and dawdled for a bit, Colm took a nap in the car, Beth and Tess explored, then got back in the car and began winding our way deeper into vineyards, orchards, and riverside villages.

We picnicked in a park a few miles east of Bergerac... the kids had a great time stalking lizards. We were dawdling the day away. It soon became obvious that the hotel where we had reservations might lie a bit further off than we wanted to drive. We then came to the tiny walled city of Limeuil. A sign proudly bore the designation "L'un des plus beaux villages de la France!" We drove from the lower village which looked out on the river, through the medieval walls and up the twisty cobblestoned streets barely wide enough for the Clio to a square with enough parking for about a dozen cars.

There was a hotel about 20 yards down another one way street. As we walked there, Beth and I were nursing a fanstasy that this was the place. It wasn't. We couldn't get a room for four people, not even two rooms adjacent to one another. It was getting late in the afternoon. Our guide book listed a place that lay between us and our hotel in Le Bugue. I called on the cell phone but the connection was terrible. The hotel was full, the woman said, but it sounded like she said there was an apartment. They closed at 7:00pm. It was a little after 6:30. We left Limeuil a bit wistful but easily distracted by the scenic drive. There weren't many cars on the road.

Here's where we ended up five minutes later. .. Domaine de la Vitrolle.

They produce wine (we brought home a case), and they grow delicious apples. They've remodelled this manor house into a lovely hotel. We're told that it's filled with gorgeous antiques...we never saw the inside of it.

There are also "rustic apartments" ( two beds, kitchens and outdoor terraces) in the outbuildings which is where we stayed.

We were ensconced in a lovely verdant bubble of tranquility.

The kids had free reign of the ample grounds phone, no TV! 40 euros/night. plus 5 euros for sheets per person.

Plus we were within easy driving distance of the myriad castles and caves that make the Dordogne such an interesting place to visit. More on that later. All of this a mere two and a half hours from our house in Lege... but only if you don't dawdle.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such wonderful pic's and travelogue. We look across the road and wonder if we really appreciate the place in which WE live. I've been listening to some language tapes and wonder how people understand each other - they speak so fast. Wonderful news! The cancer is gone!! We've been meaning to call but never think about it until it's too late.
Hopefully the pictures and news clippings arrived in good shape.
We love you. Bonnet nuit! Mere

8:43 PM  

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