Last May we went on an amazing trip to France. We wined, we dined, but most significantly, we reconnected with family and friends. It couldn't have come at a better time, as the isolation of living in a foreign country where you don't speak the language was beginning to "hit home," so to speak. Our French Connection was a glorious adventure into the extra-Parisian side of the country - the southern-central-a-little-to-the left region. I think the French call it Dordogne, and Ariège.
Our trip fell over Whit Monday, so naturally we had the day off of work. We managed to get in our longest stretch of vacation away from work yet - 6 days, Friday to Wednesday - which is almost laughable by European standards. What an amazing 6 days.
While traveling from Bordeaux, our flight destination, to Dordogne, our...destination,we stopped off in the famous wine region and commune of St. Émilion for lunch and a preview of what was to come. Then, we went on to rendezvous with our friend Susie and her family in Badefols-sur-Dordogne, for a few days in the charming French countryside, filled with biking, dining, and in general, a repetition of those things. It was so wonderful to be around so many familiar people, many of which we had just met, but could converse freely with.
After our long planned trip to Dordogne, we ended up making a last minute stop in the Ariège region to visit for a couple days with my Aunt and Uncle. Dipping into the Pyrenees,Tarascon-sur-Ariège was just another "duck leg in the confit", if I might invent a saying. This place further cemented my understanding that France is so much more than downtown Paris - filled with pristine mountains, rustic countryside, and a sincere and venerable charm. We spent more time outdoors than in, and even managed to visit a medieval castle for a sunset dinner. What more can you ask of France?