Sunday, June 19, 2011

Champagne, Alsace Wine Houses & Black Forest Cake

Spring Arrived!
After my father and brother returned to Canada we decided to take a trip to the Alsace region. With a few additional days off work and a rental car we headed south.  The Champagne region was along the way so we broke up the drive with a night outside the small town of Epernay. We stayed in the same Campanile as we did with my Mother and Granny Jill, nestled between the Jacquesson vineyards.

We also toured the Canard Duchene Champagne house. It was fun to see a smaller operation, compared to the larger Tattinger Champagne we toured on our last visit. The Carnard Duchene grew out of the marriage between the Carnard and Duchene family and has remained in the small village of  Ludes since its creation. 

In the Alsace region we stayed in the region's capital, Strasbourg. The first day we spent wandering the city streets and sampling the cuisine highly influenced by its proximity to Germany. For diner I even tried a pork’s knuckle. While Andre had the choucroute garnie; a sampling of meats and sausage with sauerkraute, I hadn’t taken the translation jarret de porc, to be literal. But I managed to get through it, especially once I had removed the wrinkled skin of the knuckle. 


The second day we took a daytrip touring the route des vins along the rolling hillsides, visiting small villages and stopping in for a wine tasting here and there. 

We returned to Arras the next day, but were able to hop over to Germany and see the small city Baden-Baden situated in the Black Forest, where we purchased some Kirsch to make a real Black Forest Cake.


Our Rhine river cruise (notice the GPS)
Back in Arras I registered for my French classes in Lille and ate the most delicious Black Forest Cake courtesy of my favourite Bob.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Vous me manquez

Now that so many months have passed since my last blog post, the daunting task of catching up just keeps getting bigger. The numerous excuses I have for taking a séjour from blogging would seem ridiculous. Especially now that I am undertaking the task when, within a week, I have an immense final project due for my practicum and a final evaluation for the French classes I’ve been taking in Lille.

So to continue where I left off, back in February… My Dad came for a weeks holidays arriving a few days before my brother, who had exams. We had a wonderful visit filled with sight-seeing: the Arras Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Vimy Memorial, and the English Channel.  As well as some good food; raclette, galettes, beer, wine and cheese. And of course many wonderful memories.  As it was so many months ago I think a photo post would be the best route to express the nostalgia I have for the week they were here. 

For the first days of my Dad’s visit I had to work, but Andre’s cousins were also visiting so he had some company during the day, with time to tour Arras together in the evening.

23 years old and across the ocean,
my Daddo still comes  to my ballet class

We met my brother at the Paris airport, and did a very quick tour of the major tourist hits around L'île de la Cité.


We rented a car to do some sight-seeing in the area. We did a day trip to the coast. After starting the morning at the Vimy Memorial, we drove up to Calais. From there, we drove along the coast to the look-out points: Cape Gris Nez and Cape Blanc Nez. 

After dipping our/my pinkies/toes in the ocean, we stopped in the beautiful coastal fortified town, Boulogne-sur-Mer.



 Our final day trip was to the beautiful city of Ghent in Belgium, where we spent a northern rainy day warming up with a café or two and wandering along the canals.

One week is not enough, vous me manquez! Je vous aime beaucoup, le plus GROS Bisous!!