When we set out on Our Global Adventure, it was with a plan. We would spend 6-9 months in Ireland (to take care of the requirements for a visa into the UK) and then head on to England. When Gina said to me this time last year… “Do you want to go to France”, I was quite flabbergasted that she would even suggest such a spanner in the works of our carefully planned schedule. After all, she wasn’t even looking for housesitting opportunities at that stage.
But as I read the advertisement on trusted housesitters, I must admit that I felt something special was being placed in front of us.
Château de la Barbelinière
We are not going to deny it. Four months in France, and yes it’s been all about the food.
This has been our first extended stay in France, the first time that we had access to a kitchen to make good use of all the outstanding ingredients we gathered from markets and the supermarket. Oh my goodness, we have enjoyed it! The French have a reputation for producing some of the best culinary delights in the world, (deservedly so!). So, what have we been eating in France?
Our favourite village, Angles-sur-l’Anglin.
For the past four months Our Global Adventure has taken us housesitting and exploring in the Poitou-Charente region of central Western France. A short drive in any direction off of the motorway will take visitors through lots and lots of pretty towns and villages (in fact we advise you to stay off the motorway, it’s so boring!). So, here is our pick of the best for postcard photos, picnics and meandering. Continue reading
Château Chenonceau radiates feminine beauty. It’s not a foreboding stronghold built to keep out invaders. Nor is high over a town, like a warning, to keep everyone below in their place. Chenonceau is graceful, even soft on the eye, it’s built over a river at the end of tree lined path. It is all these things because throughout its 503 year history it has been a series of women who have influenced the design and fate of this Château the most.
It’s hard to believe that we have been living in France for six weeks now. I know that we have been a bit quiet on the blog as we’ve settled in, so it’s time for an update on what we’ve been up to, and how things are going on Our Global Adventure. After all, it’s not every day that you find an Aussie family in France.
We recently took the children for their first visit to Paris, one of our favourite cities in the world. After living in rural France for month, we decided to spend a weekend in one of the most beautiful capital cities that we have ever travelled to. Of course, we wondered before setting off, if the Paris would appeal to children as much as it does to adults, since it’s the architecture, wide boulevards, and bridges that the city is most famed for, as well as museums, churches and galleries. We wanted the kids to get a ‘feel’ for the city, to take it all in unhurried, and at their own pace. Our children’s first visit to Paris was a great success, and do you know what? We didn’t ‘do’ much at all.
The Royal Fortress of Chinon
Recently we had a day out exploring some of the towns nearby to Chatellerault where we are currently based in France. We were excited to discover beautiful towns and villages all within easy reach. Highlight of the day was the medieval town of Chinon which is located in the heart of the Loire Valley, strategically built by the banks of the Vienne River. It is a town steeped in history and rich with culture. The imposing castle that sits high above the town was the preferred residence of Henry II, one of the English Plantagenet kings, and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry II died in 1189 and their son, Richard the Lionheart was born here. Continue reading
Château de la Barbelinière
It’s funny how things don’t always turn out how you thought they would. Twelve months ago we never would have considered that Our Global Adventure would find us living in the French countryside, but here we are. Originally we thought that we would start our adventure in the United Kingdom, but then Visa issues for Simon had us in Ireland instead. Whilst in Ireland we thought that the next leg of our journey would be to England for sure, (having cleared up visa issues) but then this opportunity to live in France popped up, and well Voilà! Here we are. Bonjour! Continue reading