Friday, May 29, 2009

Richard Smalley Blog - Our time in France

Darwen Online contributor Richard Smalley left Darwen in 2001 to travel the world. He has now agreed to share some of his experiences with people back home through regular blogs.

Richard writes:
We have all heard that French people are either rude or ignorant towards us on our holidays. But, I have to say after my week here in the Dordogne region in south - east France they have been fantastic towards us and blew all myths about French people out of the window for me.

The last time I drove through France we broke down on the way back from the football championships in Portugal 2004. We were stranded on a roundabout just outside of La Rochelle on a Sunday night. To our surprise a polite French family in a camper van pulled up and helped us by taking my friend to the nearest garage for some diesel. The family later returned and fixed the engine for us and then left as if it was au naturel. It was either that or somebody was looking down on us.

So, after two trips to France I really haven’t got anything but praise for the French. I have met up with 16 family members for a once in a lifetime gift from my parents to stay in a seven bedroom mansion in the French countryside. My family travelled from Australia, Bulgaria, myself from Sweden, Leeds, Cumbria and the majority drove from Darwen.

We visited the quaint town of Duras for the Monday market and had a lot of fun tasting the local cheese, bread and wine at the stalls. There are also four wine making areas in this region so if you like wine, this is certainly a place for you. The scenery, towns, villages and more importantly for me the food and wine have been wonderful. We also went for an excellent five course meal for only €19 each. I have been very impressed with France and I am sure you wouldn’t be disappointed either. Magnifique.

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