• James Eric Fristad

Back East

We are retreating back east of the English Channel, that is. Windermere and Keswick and Ambleside and Grasmere, all by way of a flight to Manchester, have been cut from the schedule. Replaced by an easier-to-reach locale in France with its own peculiar cadences of life for us to explore. Fine. Sounds stimulating, as such, but why this change, one may ask?

The point of going to the Lake District Park in Cumbria (northwest England) was to give us emotional room to hope that we might be joined there by family, for an entire week exploring and thinking Narnia thoughts and Hobbit thoughts. Hardwood forest trails enjoyed as leaves just begin to bud, as daffodils begin to clamber into their seasonal yellow dresses. Beer or cider at roadside tables, coffee and scones indoors. Rowing wooden boats on the lake.

Much of which we have done over the course of two separate visits. The transformative ingredient added this time, was family and most particularly granddaughters. It cannot/will not happen anytime soon, as it has developed, so our thoughts turn to other places that we either have a burning curiosity about, or that we have only tasted briefly before and need to revisit for a more satisfying, full course of entree.

Hence it is Bordeaux that we will fly to, direct from Lisbon. And the nearby small town of St Emilion where we'll climb down from the train with needful luggage. The walk (!) from the gare into the old town isn't all that arduous, they say, but still over the course of those 15-25 minutes we will be glad if a taxi should pause and ask if we'd like to ride the rest of the way.

It's vineyards everywhere, spread over the gentle slopes that drift into the River Dordogne just to the west of here. The nearest real market lies in the next town, Libourne, perhaps three miles to walk past endless rows of vines with new leaves sprouting everywhere. I think the walk will be worth it -- will roll up a large size backpack into one suitcase, for such an au pied morning as this.

So the website has been adjusted to reflect these changes, with all the little intersecting details/references changed as well, so it makes sense. Ha, let me know of fresh lapses, okay?

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