So after Paris Porfirio and Mia drove us on the Contiki bus towards the French Beaujolais Wine Region. We had the music going and the mood was once again good on the bus. I was feeling a little under the weather after my huge night in Paris and looked like death wearing my newly purchased PARIS jumper and un brushed hair!lol We had our first stop at a quaint little French town where we stopped at a French Chateau (Castle). It was huge and even though I was hungover as all hell I got out, managed not to vomit on the grass and held it in lol Most of my friends know me as the 'Vomitron' after a big night out. We got photos on top of the stair case and and looked around the castle before getting a bite to eat. We stopped at a cute little patisserie where we had so many delicious options to choose from (bagels,macaroons, chocolate eclairs etc Katie Hawke you love French food and you would have been in heaven!). It was in a small little town filled with carousels that I ate my first ever French caramel macaroon!Sooooo delicious and tasty mmm
|Standing on the stairs of a real French Chateau|
|Famous jump photo shot with Taylor and Rachael|
|French Patisserie food.Decisions hmmm|
|My first ever French caramel macaroon yummo!|
Our drive to the Chateau in Theize was amazing I remember sitting on the bus looking out the window thinking how beautiful France was from the names of the roads to the canola filled fields and cute little houses that looked so different to ours in Australia. As we drove through the wine region and got closer to the 'Chateau De Cruix' we got our usual talk from Mia describing the area, the wine and the significance of where we were about to visit. We could see vineyards for miles and miles, it looked so quite and peaceful. This stopover was a special Contiki one where only Contiki buses were allowed the stay. They had on site Contiki crew that ran the grounds, food and Chateau. When we arrived to our Chateau we were greated by the friendly waving (we always laughed at how goofy they looked whilst waving so happily) Contiki on site crew and the weather was beautiful!We had to wait on the bus for them to get on and explain the rules, dinner/breakfast times, bar times etc Each special Contiki stop over had their very own bar and usually club which was sooo cool!We could get drunk with our group in the comfort of our own site. At this stopover we were introduced to 'cookies and dishies'. Cookies meaning (people who helped with the food preparation) and Dishies (collecting cutlery and cleaning the eating area). Cookies and Dishies were chosen at random by Mia at each Contiki stopover site and you were able to mingle with people on your crew whilst helping out the on-site Contiki workers also. You were only chosen to do one of the above throughout the duration of the whole trip and if you were chosen you had to be there an extra 15 minutes before meal times. It ended up actually being a fun job!
When we went inside the Chateau it was beautiful and clean. I shared a room with Sharni, Simone and Rachael. This was the first stop we needed our sleeping bags for and had to share mixed communal showers and toilets. We were right in amongst the vineyards and could see them from outside the bathroom windows how close they were!We got unpacked and had to head straight to the local vineyard to sample some French wine.
When we walked into the vineyard there was a table full of red wine, cheese and crackers. The Contiki people explained to us the processes and production of the wines in the area. The Contiki guy told us that the workers in this wine region didn't use any machines to harvest their grapes and everything in the process was done manually. Something that I found interesting was that they pick the grapes individually by hand and when the barrels need cleaning they use small men to get in and clean them out by climbing through a tiny entrance in the barrel!We enjoyed listening to the history of the family that owned the vineyard and then sampled the wine by following these steps: (smelling, holding the glass up to the light and checking the colour and swivelling the wine around the glass to see the legs) lol That was probably one of the first red wines I actually enjoyed!Meanwhile Rachael and I went crazy eating all of the cheese even the bits that had fallen off the plates on onto the table baahaaa
We had dinner that was yummy and then the girls and I sat chatting in the room for ages. There was a 'P' themed party down at the bar/club that night but I was still feeling quite hungover and decided not to go (along with Tara) as I thought it was one of the quiter nights on the trip I could afford to miss out on. All of the other girls went but I stayed in bed and caught up on sleep from the night before (this night was 1 of the 5 nights I didn't drink out of 25!!). I had many drunk visitors to keep me entertained though lol Hamed, Tamara, Rachael, Sharni etc) and I even had sober kisses ha Weird for me if anyone knows I haven't hooked up sober in quite awhile due to my previous man hating ways ha
Day Two in the French Beaujolais Wine Region coming soon....
Love the wine drinking Backpacker
|Our amazing Contiki Chateau De Cruix|
|View from our bathroom window of the vineyards|
|The wine tasting table|