Summer 2024 Journey Begins




Our Journey to Bordeaux and Beyond

We set off from our home in Sarlat on a cool, grey Wednesday morning. Thankfully, the rain had finally stopped after a very wet spring!

Walking the 2 kilometers to the train station with full packs wasn’t our preferred method of travel. However, we had inadvertently chosen to leave on the same day the Olympic torch relay was passing through Sarlat, bringing much pomp and ceremony! This meant that every road, lane, footpath, and place in town was blocked off, closed, and generally inaccessible. It also meant that what seemed like every gendarme in the southwest was in Sarlat that day, all eyeing two people with packs making their way through the flag-waving crowds very suspiciously. One even stopped AP, muttering about searching his bags—we managed to talk him out of it, thank goodness.

We finally made it to the station with 10 minutes to spare, boarded our train, and headed off to Bordeaux. It’s a beautiful journey, and no matter how many times I travel that route, it still takes my breath away. The train travels past medieval chateaux, quaint villages, and the famous Bordeaux wine area of St. Emilion. The wet spring had left the countryside lush and green.

Once in Bordeaux, we jumped on the airport bus and headed to the hotel I had booked at the airport. We always travel to our departure airport the day before our flight because years of experience have taught us that French trains are really unreliable. In fact, for the last three years in a row, 100% of our train journeys in France have been canceled or seriously delayed, so we no longer take the risk.

The Sheraton airport hotel was, well, an airport hotel. Gin and tonics in the bar were nice, although AP declared they were not a patch on those made by our friend and neighbor, aka SS. After drinks, we headed to the hotel restaurant, L’Eden, for a very ordinary and very expensive dinner.

The following day, we wandered over to the airport and caught our Ryanair flight to Krakow, Poland, a city we had not visited before but were very much looking forward to.

Read on for stories from Krakow.