I’ve been in France over a week and I love it. The people are friendly, the countryside amazing and the food unbelievable.
Our little merry band of Americans are making out way across French wine country with relative ease. Unlike in the states, there are a lot more people here who speak a second language or enough of a second language that we are able to communicate. We have only run into one or two people that didn’t have a word or three of English. And we were still able to communicate with them either in our limited French or in Spanish.
Yes, that is right, we came to France and spoke Spanish.
We also made friends with the local cats who we have name Monsieur Chat and Madame Chat. They hang out in the little garden area of the house we are renting. We have been invited into local wine caves and tasted wine from 100 year old vines.
The first winery we stopped at spoke with us for more than a hour, gave us a tour of how the wine is made and recommend a place to get cheese. They even called ahead to make sure that someone would be there. The wine was divine. The company was extra ordinary.
Much of our visit here has been guided by luck. The local cafe gave us the information for a bakery just outside of town where the bread is made in a wood-fire oven. The bonus to that was that there was gluten free bread as well. Yesterday, the cafe that we found on google let to a conversation with other patron and another adventure to a completely gluten-free bakery in downtown Lyon.
There has been so much great wine and good food, I am not sure how I will go back to eating the American way.
One of the things that I love about France is they don’t change to suit the tourist, the tourist must adjust to France. Things in the countryside follow the same rhythm they have for decades. Breakfast is small, Lunch is the big meal of the day and dinner is lighter and much latter in the evenings. Many shops close for lunch around 12 and re-open at 2. You can still buy bread from the baker and meat from a butcher. And there are church bells that ring throughout the day.
Tomorrow afternoon, we make the return trip to Paris and Wednesday is the flight home. My heart and my tummy will miss this place and all of the wonderful people.