Angoulême to St Emilion, nr Bordeaux

Friday 24 August 2012
Hotel Palais Cardinal, St Emilion, France
101.71 km, 5hrs 10 mins, 19.7 kph

Route today: D674 to Chalais (lunch) and Coutras, D17 to St Emilion

When we decided to go to Bordeaux, we looked up “most beautiful village near Bordeaux”, and Google, ever-helpful, gave us the reply: St Emilion. So St Emilion it was, and here we are.

Long day’s ride, very slow leaving Angoulême for some reason – the road was hilly and took us a long time to get going. The D roads vary in traffic, but today it was fine – some heavy vehicles but not oppressive. We even had some rain, taking shelter behind some of our favourite country furniture – garbage bins and electric substation.

Lunch in the small town of Chalais, sitting on the square, and enjoying life.

Towards the end of the day we reached the start of the great vineyards of Bordeaux. The vineyards are green and the area is prosperous, with the chateaux beckoning people in to sample their wines.

Appellation, region, domain, vineyards, and labels – it comes to thousands of varieties of Bordeaux wine. They’re good at protecting their brand – and you can see it in the well-kept buildings and properties. The streets are paved with wine.

St Emilion is a UNESCO world heritage site. The buildings are carved into the limestone, including the church. We retired to a lovely enclosed field and drank a bottle of the local Bordeaux crement (champagne), it would be ungrateful not to sample the local wares.

Dinner on the patio of our little hotel. Doesn’t get better than this.

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About Olin and Suzanne
Olin and Suzanne's cycling trip, across Canada and around the world.

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