In April of this year we had a very special opportunity when asked by our friends Argie and Pat to join them for a day on the bay of Cannes on Pat’s classic 64-foot racing sailing boat the Manitou. Each summer Pat and his partners enter the Manitou into about 14 classic boat sailing regattas that take place in different ports around the Mediterranean. This was to be a first cruise for the upcoming season, to see just how ready the boat was. Although sailing conditions were not ideal, it was great to be out on the bay on such a beautiful boat and to get a glimpse on just how the boat can perform. After sailing for awhile we anchored in between the island of Saint Marguerite and Saint Honorat for lunch and a little wine, before heading it back to port ahead of the incoming rains.Continue reading “Sailing on the Manitou”
We returned to Auron in mid’ February of 2013, but this time to ski not just to visit. We arrived on a Monday and it had been snowing all the night before and continued all the way up. We took the bus, which was a good idea as there were a lot of cars along the side of the road, and we reached Auron in 2.5 hours. When it cleared up in the afternoon we had more than 15 cm. of new snow on the hill. We took an afternoon pass (US$20), and enjoyed fresh power and sunshine. The next day they opened the other side of the mountain; so more fresh powder and even more sunshine. Not a cloud in the sky by mid’ afternoon.Continue reading “Back to Auron”
Our travels today took us from Dol de Bretagne southeast to Fougeres and Vitré. Both are towns with chateaus and medieval castles, and some of the best examples of them in France. They are two of our favorites. It’s so difficult to have favorites in France, as there are so many wonderful French villages, but these two rank up at the top.
Fourgeres is divided into two, with a lower part encompassing a medieval castle and town, and the upper, more modern town of Fougeres. A good way to start is in the upper part of town and then work your way downwards to the castle. You can walk through the public gardens of Place aux Arbres, which features terrific views of the castle medieval town below, and features hundred different versions of ferns (Figueres translates to fern). As you go walk through the gardens by way of a footpath you’ll make your way to the lower part of town (actually more scenic as most of the upper town had burned down in a fire in the 18th century) and the castle. As always, grab a map at the tourism office.
Our special in-room dinner service began with a wonderful massage for both of us, which was just what we needed after a long day of exploring medieval chateaus and towns in Brittany. It was followed by a fire lit in the large fireplace in our room, served with a demi-bouteille of champagne and appetizers. As the last sips of the champagne went down, the Manoir staff re-appeared to set up our table with salad plates, a bottle of Bordeaux and a wooden cutting board with a large raw coté de Boef steak and aluminum wrapped baked potatoes. They then set up a special grill in the fireplace and left us with instructions that when we were ready, to grill the steak five minutes each side and reheat the already baked potatoes. We followed the instructions shortly after and the end result was a fantastic dinner for two by the fire in our room. Quite something. Oh yes, almost forgot. Dessert were to small pots, individual-sized with an apple crisp topped with chocolate chunks. A few minutes on the grill and we had hot dessert to finish off an unforgettable dining experience at the Manoir de la Begaudiere.