Bordeaux to Amiens, September 7 – 13, 2017
We were given some ‘must sees’ for the Normandie and Bretagne areas from our friends in Bordeaux so we got going, heading for the cider, salt and calvados that awaited. The first stop was Guérande, the French salt capital. A medieval town, covered in salt marshes where everything is to do with either salt or art; a really incredible place.
Secondly, it was cider, or cidre in French. It’s fairly hard to pass Bretagne and Normandie without seeing cider for sale everywhere. A little stockpile of it began to accumulate as we travelled – from cloudy, dry and juicy, to super fizzy and sweet – disappearing as fast as it appeared. And all through, we were graced with picturesque countryside, laden with apple and pear trees, full with fruits.
As we moved north and west, we sampled andouille (a sausage made from all the ‘yucky’ parts of the pig) and crêpes – both savory and sweet – drank cider, calvados and pommeau as we celebrated both our birthdays, strolled the beaches and visited the (windy) little peninsula of Quiberon and Mont St Michel – a truly fabulous little town that was built on a steep mound, a little off the mainland. In the 8th century a monastery was built on the top and during the Middle Ages it was used as a prison. It is now a huge tourist attraction, with swarms of people heading there daily.
Following these stops, we had coincided a meeting point with Paul’s cousin and her boyfriend, in the woods outside Amiens, as they headed south and we headed for Paris. Seven years since they last saw each other, and the other halves on both sides had yet to meet. We thought it a great excuse to get some of the famous salt marsh lamb of the area, light the BBQ and get to know one another a little better.
The BBQ soon turned into a campfire and we were all involved in fierce marshmallow roasting competitions. The night was a good one; calvados to start, cider, wine and finally the Dark Cave, all the way from Greece, to finish. We think the Dark Cave is a very special drink indeed and if you want to read more about it, see our Greek meze post.
The memories are vague of the night, but the re-occurring feeling was that it was a good one.