There and back again

In my fabulous at 50 year I had two trips to Europe. The first was as a result of a “use it or lose it” annual leave week and a Ryanair sale. The second was due to a very generous birthday present from my fabulous friend Annette.

My mum and I set off for Venice in January with our cheap as chips flights and stayed in a lovely hotel (another bargain). We also paid a visit to Verona by train and had a fabulous time. I’m not to going to write about the sights we saw and the famous places we visited as there are many other blogs online that do them better justice. I just want to offer a little advice to anyone heading to this wonderful city. Any map that you get with a guide book will not prepare you for finding your way around, there are many tiny side streets, lanes and dead ends to get lost in. Round every corner there is a piazza and bridge that you aren’t expecting. I would suggest either chalk or string to guide your way back to your hotel!

Also if you visit Verona from Venice remember that there are roads with cars to get across, it’s easy to forget after spending time on water boats and trotting around the streets and bridges of Venice.

 

In September, with my friends Bev and Deb, I jetted off to France to spend the week at Rural Gites Chadenne halfway between Bergerac and Bordeaux. This amazing holiday home is owned by my very lovely friend and ex colleague Annette and I couldn’t believe it when she offered me the week as a birthday present.

Our biggest challenge was finding our way from the airport to the gite, we circled and went through Bergerac a couple times before managing to find the road we needed to be on. It just got worse once we found the forest that was hiding our final destination.

Getting lost became a theme of the whole holiday. We didn’t seem to have trouble finding places, it was coming back and locating the gite that seemed to be impossible for us to do! But anyone who knows me knows that I get lost in my own city!

Despite our apparent lack of sense of direction we did manage to get out and about quite a bit and visited Saint Emilion and Aubeterre Sur Dronne all by ourselves. But our most successful trips were with our lovely host to Issigeac and Sainte Foy La Grande for the markets and lunch. We made it there and back again in record time with no detours and unplanned excursions.

I can’t recommend Rural Gites enough, it’s in the most wonderful location in Saint Barthelemy de Bellegarde. Annette is most attentive, kind and generous host.

We had a fabulous time and I won’t forget it for a long time.

aubeterrebathroom chadennechadenne 2chadenne 4chadenneout with annettesan emilion

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