Travel


I personally am not a fan of the drink Cognac. It’s really strong and, I guess, an acquired taste. I do like Pineau des Charentes which has cognac in it and I really like the city of Cognac and its history.

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I’m guessing by the little barrel over the door that the owner is in the Cognac business.

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Love windows like this-wish it didn’t have the reflection in the glass.

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I once did a tour of the Hennessy building showing the barrels used for storage and how the whole process works. Their boutique is very elegant and rather bare. I mainly went in to see if there was a toilet, which there was.

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Here is a fancy, private cognac tasting room. I did the tasting, but not in this room, the time I did the tour as it was offered at the end

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Pretty sculpture over a door.

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.

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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.

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One of the windows on a half timbered house with Pinocchio hanging from the window box. Don’t know why but sort of fitting.

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A scallop shell by the door, a sign of welcome.

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I took many photos of windows and doors.

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Another half timbered building with interesting upside down figures carved on the wood. There was also a man like figure which looked like an alien to me-very primitive anyway.

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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.

Just regular life here on the beach. I took some photos to document it.

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You can see by that dark strip on the sky above the ocean, that rain was on its way.

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And we got it. It poured. The kite surfers were out in droves. It cleared up after long and we got sun.

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This is my favorite house in our village. Wish there had been a blue sky to set it off.

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Here is the front porch. Someone has a green thumb. The house has a huge yard, all fenced off so we can’t see much but what we can see looked well taken care of, and a lot of work.

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Maurice and his grandson.

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You seldom see such a well preserved Citroen Deux Chevaux. The cheerful yellow really set it off. They aren’t made anymore but you still see them everywhere putting along, being passed by newer, larger cars.

I have a mix of photos, some left from our trip to Bordeaux.

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I wrote a bit about this on Facebook. It’s a photo of some bottles in a window of Ott Rose, said to be the best by many in the States. It is more expensive than wines I usually buy. I just as happy with a 4 Euro bottle to tell the truth with my discriminating taste. I asked a wine expert in a Parisian wine shop if it was the best and he shook his head and pointed to another bottle and said it was better. Ott just has really good marketing. Ott is a Provencal wine by the way by way of an immigrant from Germany. Marketing seems to be the way in many areas-just look at Louis Vuitton and its prices for instance.

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A huge bottle of rose from Aix that I was surprised to see in a Bordeaux bar.

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Alone for an hour with a two year old who only speaks French. The hardest part is that he’s two, actually. I have collected many toy trucks and cars through the years so I can keep most boys entertained for quite a while. And then there is the beach of course. He is Maurice’s grandson and we are having him with us for a few days. Oh, the energy of a two year old! Plus, he is learning to use the toilet and wants to give it a go every 30 minutes.

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I was trying to get a magical shot of the water, the birds and the light this morning on my run but the sun wouldn’t co-operate and my lens isn’t good for what I want. I’m going to check out the one you can get for iphones one of these days.

Because I’ve got them, I’m going to post more photos of our time in Bordeaux. It really is a wonderful city.

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A piece of ancient history left in a pretty square.

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Bordeaux has a really extensive and well done tram system and you can see it stretching down towards the river. There are a lot of open spaces in this city.

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On the corner right up the street from our hotel was a brasserie that I wanted to try and we finally ate there for our last meal. I love brasseries with that old time French ambiance. This one has been around for a long time.

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I liked this glass behind the wine glasses.

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Isn’t this a great corner? The food was good too and the staff very friendly.

Maurice and I made a brief overnight trip to nearby Bordeaux. It is such a beautiful city, full of golden stone architecture and lovely lanes. The 18th century was its golden age and such a fabulous job was done on the layout of Bordeaux although winding streets abound.

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You can hardly walk down a street without finding a wine tasting bar or at least a restaurant all set up to offer tastings, mostly of the famous Bordeaux wine.

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Maurice and I often drink a white wine from the Bordeaux region called Entre Deux Mers so this street sign caught my eye-between two walls. I wonder who came up with that name? I guess just about any small, narrow street could be called that.

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Seen on an old door. What else would you put in this slot besides mail?

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A look at the corner of a beautiful building.

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This is certainly eye catching.

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The title of an old black and white film, Arsenic and Old Lace but in French because, France. I didn’t see what they sold. Maybe antique cloth and lace?

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