Saturday, 9 June 2012

Road Trip - France - vineyards and sculptures

Not being too good at making decisions and being hopeless at planning in advance........
deciding where to go on holiday often seems to involve throwing a lot of ideas in the air at the last minute, and seeing what happens.
Perhaps it is partly because we are so fortunate to have this lovely beach practically on our doorstep although admittedly the Scottish weather at home in East Lothian is not always wonderful.  

  In the opposite direction there is beautiful countryside to wander through and we are only half an hour from a capital city.  Makes you wonder why we go elsewhere!

But a few weeks ago we decided to take the car and head across the channel.  A road trip.  It's not something we've done for a good number of years. 
When the children were small we drove to Italy a few times to visit relatives.  A few years back we did a similar journey on a research trip. So it felt like time to pack up the car and head off again.

With no particular plan we set off and finding ourselves in the south we headed for the Channel Tunnel crossing  early one Wednesday morning.

This kind of trip has positives and drawbacks. You can find yourself missing things you pass by that you later wished you had known about at the time,  but there are also the unexpected discoveries. 

We stayed a couple of nights in the Loire valley at a lovely vineyard where our room had patio doors opening out onto a great view and we had breakfast out on the sunny terrace.

 Later we were looking for a place to stay and it was late in the afternoon when someone suggested we stop at Chateaubourg where there was a hotel, an old mill with a beautiful 10 acre garden. We stayed a couple of days there and had time to wander around and look at all the amazing sculptures. They were all quite unique.
I love the colour and movement in this one
This bird was about half again as tall as me!
Reminded me of Eduardo Paolozzi's foot  in Edinburgh- Not sure about the red toenails!

I really liked these figures on bicycles - but Stuart wasn;t quite so convinced

 It turned out that this was the 10th year that they have held this exhibition of sculptures in the gardens. Local people are encouraged to come and choose their favourite.

This tree had little ceramic nests each filled with a small roll of paper
A local school class had written wishes on the paper
A tumbling man