<!–:en–>Going French part 6<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND], Although food plays a major part in any holiday and especially in France, you want to be a proper tourist and look around you.

In this part of France there is a mixture of French and German architecture and there are glimpses of Switzerland, too.

Of course dining in the hotel wasn’t our only activity although you really have to set aside the whole evening for the meal I have just described. We were good

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tourists. We sat on different miniature trains that meandered through the streets of the different towns round and about where you can choose your language to hear the commentary through personal earphones.As the region is so near to Germany and Switzerland, there are many timbered housesand flowers abound everywhere. In fact villages are classified with a flower symbol from one to five according to the extent of their floral displays.

Naturally one of the most important features of this area is the production and selling of wine. As you drive through the towns you come across centres that offer you what they call ‘degustation’ – a chance to sample the wine before you buy. Many of these centres are large with landscaped gardens and ornate buildings. One of the most original was the one recommended by our hotelier. Our faithful sat nav took us to s small village and what looked like a small terraced house.

Dear [FRIEND], if you like this story, you might also want to get a copy of Alan’s Essays on English Usage.

The front door was open and out popped a white haired woman greeting us as if we were old friends. She calmly walked into the front garden and opened up two doors to reveal an enormous cave under the house. As we sat in this deep and rather dark cavern with its tiny exit, sampling her wine, we thought it politic to buy a few bottles. After all you couldn’t exactly make a sudden departure up those steep steps into the fresh air.

On our final morning at our hotel in the vineyards we were finishing our breakfast when panic broke out in this usually sedate and relaxed environment. Five guests had arrived unexpectedly, wanting breakfast but practically everything had already been eaten and the tables were being cleared. Immediately stocks were replenished and the quantities were larger than I had seen the whole week. But then what else would you do when confronted with five breakfast-hungry ladies from the USA!

Apart from the flowers and the medieval buildings in this area, you can’t ignore the wine. Of course you have to ignore it if you’re driving because the French police are very keen to stop you drinking and driving.

[FRIEND], as usual we will be more than happy to hear your thoughts on this essays. You can share them on the forum here: Going French, Part 6


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