Archive for September 11th, 2021

September 11, 2021

Barsac is more than wines!!

Well for lack of a better title we have been all over the wine country of Bordeaux, our favorite. However, there are some towns that even if not the favorite wine is worth the detour me think. One of these is Barsac; let me tell you a bit about it ok. For disclosure, the text is new ,the picture is old. See my many posts on the wine country of Bordeaux!

Barsac is a town in the department of the Gironde no 33 in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. It is only 27 km from Bordeaux, 8,5 km from Langon, and 6 km from Podensac, all in wine country!  The roads here you will see vineyards on both sides such as the D1113 that takes you further into Cérons and Podensac and up to Bordeaux city. Also , to Preignac out of Langon. The main highways here are the A62 (Bordeaux-Toulouse which we love), you get off at exit 2 for Podensac and exit 1 for Bazas to connect with the highway A65 (Langon-Pau, taken a lot). It has a train station on the line of  Bordeaux-Séte of the TER of Nouvelle Aquitaine (never taken).

We were struck by the Church Saint Vincent built in the 18C on the spot of an older church destroyed in the 16C. This church is dedicated to Saint Vincent, patron saint of the winemakers. It has a simple facade with a belltower with tiles. The church house furniture from the 18C such as an altar and retables of different work of arts in wood such as the Choir of Simon, marbre of Quéva, a organ tribune of Mollié, a Sacristy with wood from Combes and a nice retable. In one of the walls of the church you will read about a meter from the floor a sign telling the level of flooding of the Garonne river with the mention April 7 1770 flooding!


Other things to see here worth the stop next time me think are

The Château de Bastard 17C, Château de Rolland medieval ruins. The castles of the wine country of Barsac area of Sauternes, appellation Barsac. The Barsac is a sweet white wine from the Sauternes line part of the wines of Bordeaux. The appellation includes the town of Barsac with most vineyards on the left bank of the Ciron river. One of the best we have tried here is the Château Coutet excellent. You can also visit the Maison des vins de Sauternes-Barsac. There are many wooden houses from the 18C . Also, the chemin de Croix and the Halle or market facing the city/town hall.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The Valley of Ciron on the Church Saint Vincent of Barsac:

The town of Barsac on the Church Saint Vincent

The Syndicate (union) of the wines of Sauternes-Barsac

There you go folks, a nice town of Barsac. I like to put it up in my blog for memories’ sake of our road warrior trips with the family is this part of my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 11, 2021

The beaches of Carnac!

Ok so the world knows this town and Unesco recognised because of the megalith stones that abound here (see post). However, we come here literally for the beaches and the ambiance in good weather. Sometimes even in bad weather for the ambiance in the restos/bars. The town is great and well known in France and Europe in summer months.

I like to tell you a bit more about the beaches of Carnac that were written before briefly so take the opportunity to update the post as well. Enjoy it , good for the whole family, and this is still time here. Of course, Carnac is in my beautiful dept 56 of Morbihan, and in my lovely region of Bretagne.

It’s a splendid beach area just 32 km or so (about 19 miles) from my home. Carnac is known for its megalithes stones, however, the things that attacts me here is the beach life, and restos with terraces along the beaches ,and the nightlife well at least to mingle in the restos ,and my sons love it.  The drive is very nice along quant villages ,and the main entry from my side of Auray is the Carnac bourg, this is what is considered the city center , usually where the church, and mayor’s office is located. It has a nice central plaza with restos all around it ,and an escape from the more bustle at the beach or Carnac plage. You follow the signs for Les Plages, and you reach the area of beaches known as Carnac plage.  Here is  one beach after the other, my favorites are Ty Bihan, Légenèse, and the Grande Plage (main central beach). There is also, St Colomban, Beaumer , Pô, and Men Du. The works!!!

There is the Grand Plage, just a big semi circle of wooded secluded beaches great for surfing and families. You have dressing, showers and WC available. Plage St Colomban, further west  and the best place for surfing ,and belly planchers.  Plages de Beaumer , Pô, and Men Dù,  these are in the small ilots of île de Stuhan and link by a narrow sand dune in the water at high sea ,where we can discover a natural alley at sea. The beaches of Légénes and Ty Bihan are very nice too,  there are west of the Yacht Club, small beaches in comparison  but very nice indeed. In between all there is Port du Pô, a nice harbor where you can attained the beaches and have some good food looking at the sea.   Kids activities including learn to swim (special inflatable mini pools )  is available and supervise by certified instructors.






The food is plenty and would be unfair to just name a few, however, for something different head for the Kreiz An Avel, at 1 ave de la Chapelle, in the port du Pô area of Carnac, great seafood and pizzeria in two different legal entities , resto with Kreiz An Avel and pizzas with Pizza Baia (take out). Same owners , they are in roundabout facing the harbor. We try for lunch the pizzas with canard, chorizos, and hams, with banana splits, ice cream, and creme brulée à coconut; with pints of beers pelforths. The price is right for a tourist area, the food was great, good company as we found British tourists who had come there the day before and like it a lot. The resto was full but always rotating with tables available and 3 servers. For a first impression , bit slow , but again very popular with locals and tourists alike.


It was time to eat again, and we came back to our favorite at the Memes Tra, mention here for the memories, the new ownership as the Lulu à la plage brasserie, good we missed the ambiance of the first one ;right across is the Grande Plage, and very close to the shopping area behind it , the food is delicious, we gang up on mussels is the season, curry and garlic sauces combination with delicious homemade fries, grimbergen beers, and more banana splits, Breizh gourmand (coffee with small breton cakes like far breton etc), and Quebec cup of ice;  cream different flavors.


We hit Saint Colombard beach early  to avoid traffic and potential bad weather as can change quickly here ,we never know even with local forecasts its not a perfect science.  We did walk into the bunker (St Colombard beach)  that I wanted to do last time so this is a remnant from WWII, and still there rusting away but still there.  We again saw the kids activities early on with learning to swim and all in an inflatable pool! The rocks or reefs onto the beach is a sight to see, and the white sandy beach was a delight.




For a great ice cream go to L’Igloo just a block from the Grande Plage or big beach, superb , our family would come here just for that! For a quick coffee, the lotto tickets, magazines, newspaper, and the must stamp, we had the opportunity to visit it especially for the lottery and newspaper this friendly Bar Tabac Le Marigny, very close to the beach as well.

If staying longer periods and need grocery shopping there is on Super U ,Avenue des Druides, right by the beaches area. There is a petit train or little train service, that takes you around the city and into nearby La Trinité sur Mer.


The official Carnac tourist office on the beaches:

My fav Plages TV webpage on the beaches of Carnac:

Like I said, the beaches of Carnac are glorious, the time of the year to be out every day, and they are popping now ,and on weekend is fantastic. Hope you enjoy the beaches of Carnac too.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 11, 2021

The market of Lavaur!

And now I bring you back down to my dear late wife Martine’s family region where we still have family. Of course, we have been by here several times over the years and have plenty of posts in my blog, but as usual by quick road warrior me I have left out more on the some and especially the lovely market of Lavaur in the Tarn dept 81 of the region of Occitanie.

We came straight to Lavaur from where my dear late wife Martine’s  father was from. Of course, we have visited the place several time and written before in my blog on the town. The idea of the post is the two weekly markets in Lavaur which take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays by Allées Jean-Jaurès.

The small Wednesday market is reserved for local producers, from 8h 12h. The bigger Saturday market is open to everyone from 7h to 13h: here you will find the works such as cold meats, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheeses, poultry, fruit and vegetables and other producers of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but also headgear, clothing and accessories, shoes, hardware, thrift stores, second hand booksellers and various peddlers.

It is the essential meeting of Wednesday and Saturday morning, on the boulevards which surround the old town. Hundreds of stalls offer you the opportunity to discover all the producers of the surrounding farms. However, it is also and above all an incomparable place of exchange not to be missed . Indeed not just the purchase of wonderful mother earth best products but the talk and ambiance of any town and here they talk, you are in Cathar country!!

The covered market is been used as an exhibition hall for events so there are special days where the market is held indoors in the Halle aux Grains. Nevertheless, it is magical!

The city of Lavaur on its markets:

The City of Lavaur on its heritage


A quant visit to a nice architectural and historical building , the Halle aux Grains,(see above with my Martine ) now offering various cultural events throughout the year, including shows for young audiences and live shows, concerts. The Halle aux Grains was built from 1879 to 1881. On the ground of the cooler ,a former underground ice warehouse. It was intended for the market for silkworm cocoons, which lacked space at the Old Market. It is hexadecagonal and offers a lot of space because it has no pillars. The fall of the silk trade in Vaurais, at the end of the 19C, confined it only to the sale of grains. The central lightning rod vane represents a winged dragon: was it to dissuade the granivores? Ha good question. It is located at Place Stalingrad.

There you go folks, a wonderful region of my belle France very dear to me, memories forever. Hoping you too will see the enchantment and visit Lavaur in the Tarn department 81 of region of Occitanie (this is the old Midi-Pyrénées region).

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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