Sunday, 19 September 2010

Days 47 and 48 - Completing the circle

I left my hotel in Cordes-sur-Ciel on a slightly misty Friday morning, but one promising sunshine after a day and night of rain. I regret not having time to explore the village as it looked both beautiful and interesting. Instead, I hit the road for a big drive back towards Marseille.

A misty morning - Cordes-sur-Ciel
Albi is about 25km from Cordes; I topped up the petrol tank there and joined the D999, which I followed all the way to Nîmes - it was about a four hour drive, but wow! the scenery was spectacular, through the natural gorges, the odd viaduct... really if you have a car and are visiting Tarn, take a day to do this drive - stunning scenery. I had decided to spend Friday night near Grans in the same place where I spent my first 4 nights, so after 40 minutes negotiating Nîmes at rush hour (and on a festival weekend) I carried on a further hour to Grans.
It did feel a wee bit like coming home... And it also made me realsie how far I had come in myself... Not so shy... I greeted Mme. Richard with gusto. I realised how much more I spoke to her, how much more confident I was from the woman who had arrived.
After dinner in Grans, I completed a bit of a Krypton Factor to fit all my wine into my bags... It all fitted, but was so heavy... I knew I would never make it onto the train.

So, Saturday, after leaving Grans, I drove to Roussillon to drop off 18 bottles of wine (not bad for 7 weeks and all the main wine producing regions!) though there are 12 in my bags still! The owners of the Barchetta, have come through once again and have allowed me to store the wine there until the next time someone is driving back to the UK and can carry them.

It's a stunning spot, beautiful house... I'll make sure to put a link on the blog.

Once the wine was dropped off, I drove back to Marseille airport where I dropped off the car. I have to confess to shedding a few tears on the drive... Well, you all know I'm a bit of a weepy... cry at the drop of a hat, but it was sad, saying good-bye. She had served me well... We had seen France together... And not a bump; not even a clipped wing mirror (despite some of the very narrow lanes explored!)

I gathered my cases and made my way to catch the shuttle bus to Marseille, where I will be spending the next 4 nights before returning to the UK on Wednesday. While I won't be tasting wines, I will upload an entry for Marseille, as I hope to explore the city and take a boat out to the islands, and in particular to visit Château d'If, where the Count of Monte Cristo was supposed to be held.

I have just had a lovely dinner in the hotel, and with the dinner I chose a half bottle of red from Bandol to celebrate the end of the road-trip; it was delicious:
AOC Bandol - Les Adrets 2003 - Moulin de la Roque - 95% Mourvèdre/5% Carignan gave a nose of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and flavours on the palate of cherries and blackberries and excellent tannins... Very pleasing indeed.
I will write up my experience in Marseille before closing the blog. :-(

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