I'm finishing the Beaujolais series today. As I said in a comment, I'm very happy that the weather cooperated and that we drove over there from the Bourbonnais, despite the four-hour round trip, with truck traffic and winding country roads. It was a good use of our time.
On past trips, I had visited Burgundy. Lyon. Grenoble and the Alps. The Cantal in Auvergne. Provence. Nîmes. Marseille. Nice. Even nearby Mâcon. But somehow I had managed to travel all around it without ever setting foot, or car tires, in Beaujolais. I don't know how that happened.
I'll go back if I can. It was one of those places where I started thinking: Maybe it would be nice to live here. It seemed so dry, airy, and scenic, with snow-covered mountains in the distance and magnificent views of the Beaujolais landscape and vineyards because of the hills and valleys.
From that point of view, the Cantal area of Auvergne was comparable. We went there and spent a few days in 2009. It was mountainous, but green, lush... and damp. There were great views — except when it was rainy and foggy. In Auvergne, I loved walking through a pasture and watching the Salers cows being milked. I loved visiting a dairy farm and seeing how Cantal cheese is made. I never thought I would want to live there though. It was too remote and isolated, and I could imagine how cold the winters there would be.
Beaujolais was definitely rural, but it didn't seem remote. It's like the Touraine, where we've lived now for 15 years, in that way. Big cities are not so far away — Paris from Touraine, Lyon from Beaujolais. There are nearby autoroutes and high-speed rail lines for TGV service. It felt more like Provence than Auvergne, which seemed somehow lost in time. Beaujolais felt open and spacious in contrast. And that wine...