I know, that sounds more dramatic than it really was — but it's the truth. As we left home last Tuesday morning for the drive to Burgundy, what remained of that hurricane that hit Bermuda the week before was sweeping across northern France and the British Isles. It was blustery and rainy, which didn't augur well for our mini-vacation.
The drive is a straight shot through the forests of the Sologne region.
The drive takes about four hours. The northern part of Burgundy, centered on the small city of Auxerre in the département called l'Yonne is basically due east of our part of the Loire Valley. We headed out across the flat, forested Sologne toward the midway point of the trip, which took us past the wine village of Sancerre and on to the other famous wine village of Pouilly-sur-Loire.
There are curved roads through the villages and towns along the way — which one was this?
Notice the sign that says Toutes Directions — a driver can't go wrong.
There's little or no car traffic in the Sologne woods, but you do have to be careful not to collide with animals like deer and wild boars. Such collisions usually occur at night, however, and we were traveling in broad daylight. We did see a deer or two during our trip, and I saw a fox standing next to the road at some point — I'm not sure, though, that it was on this particular day.
Every town and village has its church and a few businesses.
Other than the woods, the Sologne road takes you through a series of small towns and villages, including Theillay, Neuvy-sur-Barangeon, and Méry-ès-Bois, and then into the old Berry province through Henrichemont (a planned town dating back to the early 1600s), La Borne, and Neuilly-en-Sancerre. Each town or village as its own old church and its business selling farm equipment, along with a few shops like bakeries, groceries, and cafés.
As you reach the eastern edge of the Sologne and approach the Loire River, you leave the flat country behind.
We planned to have lunch in Pouilly-sur-Loire, where I also wanted to pick up a bottle of a wine that I had never tasted before. It carries the name of the village and is made with a different grape, Chasselas, compared to the nationally and internationally known wine called Pouilly Fumé, which is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the same area.
The Sancerre area on the west bank of the Loire is famous for its vineyards and especially for its Sauvignon Blanc wines.
By the way, I've been taking my finger splint off for several hours at a time for the past few days and carefully exercising the damaged digit. When it starts to ache, or when I plan to engage in some activity (including sleeping) that might put the finger at risk, I put the splint back on. This morning, for the first time since the accident happened back in August, I am typing on the keyboard using all ten fingers!
Yay for finger recovery!ReplyDelete
Henrichemont sounds interesting -- any chance of some pics or even a blog post?
Susan, we didn't have time to stop in Henrichemont. According to the Micheline guide, the patron of the place was Sully. It predates Richelieu, if I remember. We will definitely go back there. The next village west, La Borne, is full of potters and pottery studios.Delete
I admire your patience. Typing should be good exercise for building up the strength in your finger, but I'm thinking of the old manual typewriters. When I was a kid and having trouble keeping the right rythym on the clarinet because one finger was constantly too early to hit its key, my teacher suggest typing exercises.ReplyDelete
Ellen, I feel that way about the finger exercises too. So far so good.Delete
Near Sancerre, there is Chavignol known for its famous crottins, small, hard, dry goat cheese. As I recall, you eat them with dry white Sancerre wine.ReplyDelete
Or cut in half, with a dash of honey and some thyme ... a minute under the oven grill ....Serve with a green salad and a sweet vinaigrette (olive oil and honey vinegar, freshly ground pepper and coarse sea salt) ... and a nice slice of baguette of course. Can you tell it's almost lunch time here? ;)Delete
When I'm back in France, I'll try your recipe. Sounds delicious.
good news on your fickle finger of fate! and the pix are lovely too!ReplyDelete
really looking forward to these pix! and glad you are back tickling the keyboard with full effect. :-)ReplyDelete
ps i never tell anyone when we are going off farm either - a good strategy.
It is better not to advertise that the place is unoccupied, though we live in a safe area.Delete
An exciting start for your trip, plus the first taste of a new wine! Glad to hear the finger is useful again.ReplyDelete
The timing for the finger is good, because on Wednesday I have to go to Paris to have a document notarized by an official at the U.S. Embassy there. Now I can not only type again but I can manage handwriting. I have to fill out and sign the document in front of the embassy official. I'm just doing a quick round-trip, leaving early in the morning and coming back home late afternoon, by train.Delete
interesting landscape and it is Europe but it is different region from mine. But at my place houses are definitely in better condition..
Maybe there are a lot of newer houses in your region.Delete
Great news on a working finger, and interesting vacation visits and tastes :)ReplyDelete
The trip was fun and a nice break in the routine, Judy. I'd been wanting to go to Avallon for years.Delete