Weeks in the French Interior - Summer, 2007
(SCROLL DOWN FOR PICTURES / SLIDESHOW)
10 Toulouse to Saintes (above Bordeau)
Wednesday, August 22
Our hotel breakfast was spent discussing the weather forecasts and mentally sorting through the map of France. Since the next two days were expected to be VERY rainy, we chose to spend them driving back north again to get proximity to the airport, thus still having time for one day with NO driving at all somewhere north. The rains were phenomenal, and the French news was full of stories about the angry French vacationers having to leave their August vacations days early because of the floods, soggy camp sites, and total lack of sun.
We retraced our path to our car-in-hell, successfully beat the toll-taking machinery's terrible instructions, and hit the road. I was hoping to get well past Bordeaux to Saintes, a nice river town below the Loire Valley, where we'd stopped for a night on one of our other trips.
We stopped for lunch in Moissac, whose romanesque church, L'Abbaye Saint Pierre had charmed me some 40 years ago, when I made a grand tour of all of the romanesque architecture that I could manage to see in France. The portail of this church, directly on the town square, is justly famous, and its cloisters sculpture includes some of the best-preserved romanesque art in the world.
Back to the autoroute. Non-stop rain. Thousands of huge trucks kicking up a wake of spray. Bumper-to-bumper traffic for many miles around Bordeaux. But finally we exited the autoroute and eventually found a bizarrely tasteful Hotel de L'Avenue across the river. It was clean, had a balcony with a view, and was a photographer's dream because of decorating choices. Our hope of repeating a memorable dinner in the pedestrianized old town was dashed when we found that the chosen restaurant owners were on their annual vacation, and the place was closed. We chose a tiny Italian place, instead, and had good dinners and wine before much needed sleep (after hours of tense autoroute driving in storms).
Copyright© 2007 - Darrell Taylor