Thu 28 Aug 2014
We aren’t very far from the city of Cognac. I’d been there once before. Maurice and I were driving along and I saw an exit for Cognac (being an American, I didn’t even know that Cognac was an actual place, not just a drink) and asked Maurice to make a stop there. I don’t remember being that impressed for some reason. All of the stones of the buildings are gray from years of the process of making cognac and it was strangely empty. We did take a tour of one of the companies that make Cognac which is rather like that of one which makes wine and were back on the highway before long. I made another stop there the other day and found Cognac to be a delightful place with fascinating architecture and cobbled streets.
Unfortunately, it was an overcast day so the light is poor in all of my photos but here is a photo of those cobble stone streets. Cognac has a very interesting history. Kind Francois was born here, there was a very large salt industry because the city is on a river and then, just as that business started to decline, the cognac making had started leading the wealthy people which leads to beautiful buildings. Many of the streets are made of ballast stones, which were used to make ships heavier on return trips after they had delivered their wares. Cognac is a brandy, by the way. “The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wine when aged in barrels, and most cognacs are aged considerably longer than the minimum legal requirement.”-in case you wondered.
Cute little corner café. I arrived too early to have lunch in Cognac which I would have enjoyed. I did notice that their prices were close to those that I see in Paris taking advantage of all of the cognac lovers.