Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Off to Perpignan!

This weekend is a 5-day weekend due to 2 holidays occuring this week and the start of next. What they are, I don't know, but I am taking them. My cycling buddy Laurent invited me to go with him and his wife, who were going with his parents, to his wife's parents villa home near the Mediterranean coast. Off we went to explore some new places. This trip just proved how amazingly different France is after a short, 2 hour travel by car.
One of the first sites we visited was the Byrrh (say beer) aperitif winery in Thuir. This winery makes some of the most famous apertifs know throughout the world. Here is the largest vat that holds 15 million gallons of wine! It took 175 trees to make the planks to piece together the vat. Cheers to that!
Next stop was Collioures. This was a famous sea port with a famous church on extending out into the water. Notice how the mountains falls into the sea in the background.
A few kilmeters later we went to an amazing castle in Castelnou, a beautiful village overlooking the valley. This table was from the 16th century and I could only imagine how many amazing dinners were served on this table. But, due to medieval rules of the time, no women were allowed to sit at the table.
So, from mountains to the sea, back to the mountains, and the back to the sea again. Here is the Mediterranean in all her might. Just across the water is Spain. France is roughly the size of Texas after all. Off to Lyon for the 1st International Syrah Symposium after the trip on Sunday. Overnight train...............first one and it should be eventful.

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